No matter what age a person is, socialization is important and gives a person a sense of belonging and acceptance. The elderly are no different; they need contact with other people just as much as a child, teenager, young adult, and adults of all ages. People need socialization to thrive and enjoy fulfilling lives.
Socialization becomes more important as we get older, especially once we reach our senior years. A recent research study performed by Harvard University showed that elderly individuals who had active social lives, we happier, healthier and more likely to live longer, than elderly people who did not have an active social life. Loneliness can deter an elderly person’s life, socializing can enrich it.
Try these social activities with your elderly resident:
- Attending church services
- Playing Bingo
- Any type of class the facility may offer (painting, ceramics etc…)
- Gardening (indoor or outdoor)
- Leaving the facility (if able) to go shopping, to a movie, a family members or friends home, or any place else they may want to go.
Aside from adding a few years to their life, the benefits of the elderly socializing can help develop new friendships, reduce stress, keep anxiety and depression away, and help them to feel useful and needed.
Socialization also stimulates their mind. It takes an active mind to carry on a conversation, play cards, or just about anything else the elderly resident wants to do.
Socialization is the key to a healthy mind especially for an elderly person. If they are left to sit by themselves with no contact or socializing, their minds become unhealthy and depression can set in quickly.
It doesn’t take long to have a conversation with your geriatrics resident and it should be part of taking care of them. You take care of their physical bodies their minds are just as important. Once an elderly person stops socializing, they withdraw and become lonely and isolated.