This seems like a simple question as most people would not choose isolation and loneliness. However, can a lack of social activities actually hinder your quality of life?
The simple answer . . . YES. A lack of social activity is related to negative impacts on health and well-being for the elderly. Having a variety of positive social support can contribute to psychological and physical wellness. It is also important in reducing stress, increasing physical health and defeating psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.
Although family members are the first line of individuals to provide social activities to their elderly parents, they cannot be the only source of social activities. Community-based social services are extremely useful and should be used to support family opportunities. Support can be found in many places including senior centers, assisted living facilities, meal delivery, religious affiliation and adult day care centers just to name a few. These services can provide positive social support that can help defeat loneliness and isolation. However, social support must encompass more than physical presence or conversation. It should also contain quality physical activities. These activities should promote positive self-awareness.
Self-awareness is key to a person’s overall quality of life and satisfaction. Activities can include reminiscence groups, journal writing, book readings, group exercise, singing groups, etc. You will also feel more self-satisfied if you are part of the planning of social activities that take places. Two of the best places to find quality social support services include senior citizen centers and adult day care centers.
Social Activities at Senior Citizen Centers
There are around 15,000 senior centers across the United States. The most common services offered at a senior center include health programs like Zimba and Yoga, arts/humanities activities, intergenerational programs, community action opportunities, volunteer opportunities, education opportunities, financial assistance, senior rights counseling/legal services, travel programs and meal programs. These programs and activities can help promote positive self-awareness.
Social Activities at Adult Day Care Centers
Adult day care is a program in which activities are provided to promote social support and health services to the elderly during the daytime. Most centers operate Monday through Friday during daytime hours. Social support services can consist of musical entertainment and singing groups, group games such as cards, gentle exercise, discussion groups (books, films, current events), holiday/birthday celebrations and local outings. These programs not only provide social activity, but can develop lasting relationships with staff and other people. Adult day care centers also provide meals and health services. Adult day care centers differ from other programs for the elderly because they allow you to develop and increase self-awareness by encouraging independence.
Adult Day Care Centers and Senior Citizen Centers help provide you opportunities to participate in social activities. Social activities in these programs can be beneficial to your quality of life and overall satisfaction. A higher self-awareness and quality of life can reduce the risks of mental and physical health problems as you age.