One can only hope that was read to the tune of Olivia Newton John’s “Physical“.
March 24th, 2020, The United States is now a number of days into ‘social distancing’. Citizens are asked to make little contact with others. Families are separated, and senior living communities are on lockdown. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has created a dramatic change in the new decade. The current events continue to shed light on the importance of social relationships.
The importance of social support reaches far beyond anyone’s imagination. In fact, it may be the most important aspects of the position our team practices each day. It is also a topic of discussion when families are considering a move to and from a senior living community.
Common thought exists, as a teens become and adults, his or her, social connections begin to dwindle. As adulthood begins, friendship that were once strong may begin to fade, often leaving individuals with a ‘core’ group of social connections. The aging population is somewhat similar, as one understands time is beginning to fade, many choose to spend time with those who are most meaningful.
Families are unique in their own way. Some are more connected others. Oddly enough some do not communicate much and are as strong as ever. No matter the current state of one’s family it is ever important to maintain connections as a family member ages. Family is the most important social connections for a number of reasons.
No matter what, family is important because the aging process is ever changing. It helps to have a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to simply listen.
The ability for families to remain in one remote location together forever is seldom. Adult children must attend to their children, spouse, and careers. Therefore, mom or dad may be living miles from the nearest family member.
That begs the question… Is a move to senior living the best thing to do?
There are numerous studies that report the majority of the aging population wish to age in place. However, as the years go by, and one’s social support begins to dwindle it poses concerns. When families are unable to visit frequently, an aged individual may go upwards of one week without having face to face contact with another individual. Senior living communities are designed and managed to provide a social support on many fronts.
The benefits of social support
Social support may be of the most important factors influencing health as one ages. Medication protocols and physician visits may supersede its importance to some. However social support may trump all when discussing impact on overall health. Whether it be family, a group of friends, neighbors within a senior living community, or a flow of providers, the social support from each goes a long way in achieving a happy, healthy life for a loved one.