Independent living was created to provide the aging population with an opportunity to remain engaged. Many communities offer a wide range of activities for their residents to build lasting friendships.
A great deal of research has shown those who are social in later years are often times happier and healthier. As an individual ages many will reduce the number of peers they interact with. Much of this is based on social theory in that older individuals will condense their circle. Older adults condense their circle to those who may be able to provide care for them now or in the future. Unfortunately, that is not always the best, due to the beneficial aspects of social engagement.
Independent living tries to curb some of the reduction of peers by offering a wide range of activities to help engage residents on an everyday basis. Senior living communities create a calendar of events that cater to each of their residents interests.
Communities offer two or three meals per day not only to provide nutritional support but to allow residents an opportunity to meet fellow residents and begin building relationships. Afterall, some of the greatest friendships are created over a great meal.
Exercise classes are offered each and everyday. These classes are important because it will allow residents to connect with those who have similar thoughts related to health and well-being. Those who remain healthy have the opportunity to use their fitness for activities outside the community such as golf or tennis.
Nothing says friendship like a good ole competition. Residents come together to create regular meeting times for various games such as mah jong, bingo, dominoes, etc.
Many independent living communities will have various outings put together as often as once per week. Outings might include trips to grocery stores, the zoo, various attractions in the area. Ladies and men’s groups may meet once per month for dinner at a local restaurant.
Research continues to indicate music is great for the mind. Therefore many communities will have performers in-house or schedule transportation to and from local concerts.
After the 2020 coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on much of the world, social engagement has become especially important. Many senior living communities suffered great loss as infection spread. As the push back to normal begins social engagement is at the top of many communities priorities list. Residents battled isolation and depression. Activities within independent living communities are back in full swing, while following all safety recommendations.