The desire to feel connected is something that drives much of our human behavior. It is not surprising that even in the last stages of life, community is so important. During trying times, this sense of community becomes especially important. A sense of community helps people who are fighting dementia feel as though they are not alone in their struggles. It also helps to exercise their minds and keep them active!
Importance Of Community Environment For Seniors
Below are some ways to build community that can be impactful in senior living facilities. Seniors can participate in any of the mentioned ways to build a stronger community with those around them.
Have a Common Area
Common areas provide space for people to gather together. It also gives an opportunity for people to connect with one another whether it is through a conversation or a game they are playing.
Discussions with other people help grow connections. Discussions can be in the form of someone giving a talk to an audience or small group discussions about what may be going on in the lives of the residents’. Either way, the talking that takes place helps people feel more unified.
When a living facility gives people something to do, it is likely that they will participate with other people. This can create shared experiences and stronger connections with people.
Create a Newsletter
A newsletter or webpage that catalogues the different events going on in a particular facility is a great way to keep people in the loop about what is happening around them. It is also a great way to keep the families of residents involved. Newsletters can feature different residents, allowing everyone else to learn about them. Newsletters are a great way to make everyone feel as though they are part of where they live.
Health and Wellness Offerings
Senior living facilities should offer many opportunities for the residents to get up and move. This keeps their minds and bodies healthier for longer. They should also offer informational sessions about how the residents can be maintaining their own heath. Classes such as yoga, meditation or swimming can bring people together for a common cause.
Spaces For Specific Activities
Create spaces that are designated for specific activities. For example, you might have a room that is just for family visits, or a place outside for yoga. There could be a game room, a movie theater, etc. Creating spaces like these can foster a sense of community by making residents feel as though they are still living a purposeful life.
Importance of Community During Trying Times
Feeling a sense of community doesn’t have to mean being engaged in similar activities or conversing with others. Just being around other people can have a big impact. When people are going through a difficult time, it is important that they feel as if they are not alone. This connectedness is a support system that develops to carry people through their challenges. When community and relationships are in place, people tend to have more energy, a sense of hope and better mental and physical health.
Orchard at Athens understands that community is an important factor of senior living. Our facilities include floor plans that foster a sense of community and connectedness. The variety of activities that we plan for our residents each month give them a plethora of opportunities to engage with other residents. If you want to learn more about our community, click here.