It is estimated that around 20% of those aged 55 and older deal with some type of emotional or mental health concern. The most common of these are severe cognitive impairment, anxiety, and depression. Among these depression is the most prevalent and can cause impaired physical, mental, and social functioning in addition to personal distress and suffering. These problems are grossly overlooked and so many older adults go untreated, suffering in silence, which harms their quality of life.
Many older adults find themselves isolated and lacking the sense of purpose they once had. This fuels a decline in mental and emotional health. They struggle to remain socially active and may not have many opportunities for human connection and interaction. This can lead to extreme loneliness and even more severe mental health concerns.
A senior living community can give many older adults all of the things that they need to overcome these hurdles and be able to thrive both mentally and emotionally. Here are some of the emotional and mental perks of a senior living community that can help aging adults navigate this season of life.
- Sense Of Belonging- After a lifetime of working and raising a family the need to feel like you belong to something bigger than yourself does not just disappear when your family is grown and you retire. It’s essential to continue to feel helpful, needed, and connected. Living in a senior community provides a sense of community, belonging, and friendship with opportunities for socialization, companionship, and inclusion that banish those feelings of isolation and loneliness.
- Renewed Sense Of Purpose- During our lifetime we fulfill various roles such as child, sibling, parent, friend, spouse, and coworker. These all give us a profound sense of purpose. They give us the motivation to face the day and do something meaningful. Sometimes seniors lose this sense of purpose when they retire, their family grows up and moves away, and they lose their spouses and loved ones. Community living offers a space where seniors can regain that sense of purpose in their lives by developing new friendships with neighbors, joining clubs, attending events, and entertaining family and friends. This renewed sense of purpose that community life brings makes all the difference in an older adult’s emotional and mental well-being.
- Safety- A very common concern that many older adults have is that of safety, especially if they live alone. Worries arise about driving, remembering medications, falling, fires, and even intruders. These worries can cause significant anxiety that interferes with daily living. Being a part of a senior living community helps to eliminate those worries by providing a secure, comfortable environment with secure entrances and exits, alert and alarm systems, transportation, assistance with daily activities, and supportive staff to ensure all needs are met and residents are safe.
- Engagement And Socialization- Anyone living alone without easy access to social activities can fall into a daily routine of boredom and isolation, but this is a major mental health risk for seniors. It’s human nature to crave social engagement, and that need does not decrease with age. It’s vitally important for older adults to maintain an active social life. Senior living communities offer opportunities for healthy socialization every day with shared meals, activities, and scheduled trips and events. Socialization is part of the fabric of senior community living.
- Mental Health Support- As we age our brains have more difficulty regulating hormone levels, and so the effect of anxiety and worry can be greatly amplified. These dysregulated hormones can be detrimental long term affecting mental health and memory, and worsening depression. The resulting anxiety, depression, and loneliness contribute to loss of sleep, weight loss, mood swings, and even suicidal thoughts. Senior living communities provide not only a social support system but a team of trained staff as well which can help recognize symptoms of mental health conditions and provide necessary interventions to get seniors the professional mental and emotional health support that they need.
Making the mental and emotional health of the seniors in your life a priority is of utmost importance, especially if you or a loved one are feeling isolated or lonely. It’s never too late to consider whether community living could provide the benefits needed to overcome challenges and restore mental and emotional health.
At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a fulfilling, socially active lifestyle and independent lifestyle. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!