As humans, we spend our lives making connections with other people. Much of what we do is driven by the need for human interaction and relationships. It is not surprising that even in the last stages of life, community is so important for the aging. 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!
Building A 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. This provides space and opportunity for people to connect with one another whether it is through a conversation or a game they are playing.
- Initiate discussions. This 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’.
- Host events. 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.
- Health and wellness offerings. Senior living facilities should offer many opportunities for the residents to get up and moving. This keeps their minds and bodies healthier for longer.
- Spaces 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 Brookhaven 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.