Mental health refers to one’s psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It’s how you think, feel, or behave on an ongoing basis. Mental health affects how you live each day, your social interactions, and even your physical health. Likewise, physical health, social connections, and daily routines can also impact your mental health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 percent of adults aged 55 years and older experience one type of mental health concern, such as anxiety or depression. Such mental health concerns can affect how older adults function day-to-day and contribute to physical decline. Most seniors suffer in silence. Many live alone and/or don’t have a solid support network. Those who do often dismiss their anxious or depressive feelings for fear of becoming a burden to their family.
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. For many older adults, a move to a senior living community could be highly beneficial to their mental health. Here are just four mental health benefits of moving to a senior living community.
Sense of Belonging
Senior living communities offer seniors a true sense of belonging. They’re surrounded by peers who are facing similar circumstances. Neighbors become friends. There’s always someone to eat with in the dining hall. Members greet each other in the hall. There’s always something to do. This sense of belonging helps older adults ward off loneliness, depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.
Peace of Mind
Senior living communities also provide seniors with peace of mind. Facing older adulthood alone can be a source of anxiety for some seniors. They might worry about remaining safe at home or feel isolated if they can no longer drive. Senior living communities enable them to feel safe. They feel secure knowing support staff is available to ensure their overall safety and well-being. As they need more help, they can receive the assistive services they need to continue to thrive. Many seniors also feel relieved that they are no longer a burden to their families.
In addition to providing a sense of belonging and peace of mind, senior living communities also give seniors a revived purpose. Studies show that adults who have meaning in their lives are more likely to feel mentally and physically healthy, especially as they get older. Purpose drives us and motivates us to get up in the morning. Unfortunately, many seniors lose this sense of purpose after retirement or when their children grow up and move out. Senior living communities offer seniors the opportunity to revive their purpose. They can join clubs, volunteer to serve on committees, voice their opinions, and work with others to enhance their community together.
Opportunities to Socialize
Studies show that seniors who regularly socialize are more likely to have robust mental health. Socialization is also important in lowering the risk for dementia, specifically in women. It’s not just conversation that improves mental health. Engaging and connecting with others through games, exercise, and other activities profoundly enhances mental health. Seniors who live alone can easily slip into a routine that leaves them isolated and bored. Senior living communities offer a wide range of activities that promote socialization. Beyond specific events, seniors have opportunities to socialize during meals and can strike up a conversation in common areas throughout the community.
Senior Living Solutions believes it’s never too late for seniors to prioritize their mental health. If you are ready to move to a senior living community, we’re here to help. We provide free resources and guidance to seniors and their families searching for senior living options, such as independent living, assisted living, or memory care. We will personally consult with you to understand your desired living situation and required care. We can then help you narrow down your search to only tour communities that fit your care needs. Our goal is to save you time and money while relieving your stress by easing your transition to a senior care community. Don’t search alone. Please get in touch with us today to schedule your free consultation.