Community is and will always be the cornerstone of a healthy and happy life. This becomes even more important as we grow older, with aged care communities committed to providing a home that allows social interaction and community atmosphere to thrive. If your looking at aged care communities but haven’t considered the importance of social connection, here is why it’s important and why you should be asking about this crucial inclusion when shortlisting your aged care options.
Feeling connected and supported
Humans have an innate need to connect and feel supported by a group of likeminded people. This is such an important part of our lives, and something you should be looking for when you ask ‘what is aged care’, and what makes it feel like home?’ The simple act of being a part of a routine with regular interactions with fellow community members will lead to an enjoyable and engaging experience in your new home. This can be joining a group for afternoon tea, church or an arts and crafts activity, or simply having a one-on-one conversation with the friendly team of carers on staff. Whatever your interests or social appetite, they should be met at your chosen aged care community.
Meeting new people
There is a misconception that getting older means narrowing your social circle and social activities. This couldn’t be less true with a community-centric aged care option, with residents opening their worlds up to new people and social opportunities. This is an important part of your new life, as your new friends will be in similar stages of life and will provide a friendship that is easy to maintain with them also lodging in your community. This also opens you up to their visiting loved ones, giving you an opportunity to expand your circle even beyond your new home with life long friendships forged.
If you haven’t before associated social interaction with physical activity, that might change when you’re welcomed into an aged care community. Physical activity is ingrained into community life, and it’s something that will have the dual benefit of affording you time to explore your friendships in new environments. Many aged care residents have built a strong physical activity routine since joining their aged care community, which can be hard to create at home on your own without the constant social motivator present. When you are selecting the right new community for you, ask about what sort of physical activity you can expect each day.
Mental health benefits
Like physical health, mental health is something that needs to be nurtured and addressed in every stage of life. Living within a community has a positive effect on mental health, with many individuals there to provide support when needed or help you work through an issue you might be facing. When you’re socialising and coexisting together, it’s easy to spot those who might need additional care, which is why this type of aged care solution is so important. Through the highs and lows, you are not alone in the right aged care community.
Develop new interests
As adults, we don’t reach a certain age and then close ourselves off from new things. In fact, when you grow older you have the time to discover new interests and see where they will take you. This will typically come about through social interaction, with new members arriving at an aged care community identifying the many extracurricular that is present and joining in on the fun. Get ready to see a new side of yourself, one that might be creative, analytical or physical.
There are many elements to look for when selecting an aged care community, but the power and importance of socialising is one that should be at the top of your list. It’s amazing how much finding the right community for you can enrich your life, no matter what stage of life you’re in.