Is Socialization Important in Nursing Facilities?
We all know the importance of socialization in children, but rarely do we hear anything about the importance of continued socialization in the elderly. Often, when people are looking into nursing facilities for a loved one, it doesn’t even cross their mind to ask about activities that will provide opportunities for social engagement.
But they should.
Socialization has positive impacts on our emotional, mental, and physical health, no matter how old we are.
At Bella Vista Health Center, not only are we aware of the research that proves the importance of social connection, but we’ve also seen the difference it makes firsthand.
So, you ask if socialization is important in nursing facilities? You bet it is. Here are 5 major benefits:
Improved quality of life
Imagine having all the wealth in the world and no one to share it with. It would be a sad existence. That’s because the true joys of life exist within our relationships with each other. Every moment of laughter and social connection in our life adds to the quality of our experience. And the more true joys we can experience with others, the better our quality of life.
Increased purpose and belonging
The longer we live, the more loss we experience. Many elderly have lived through the deaths of their parents, their siblings, close friends, and even their children. This can lead to deep depression and sadness, which is only exacerbated by isolation. Social engagement reminds us that although we have lost loved ones, we can still experience a sense of purpose and belonging with others.
When we help others, and when they help us, we affirm each other. And as we affirm each other, our bonds grow. This affirmation and bonding creates a deep sense of fulfillment. This experience can be created through something as simple as taking a class, learning a new skill, or volunteering. A healthy sense of interdependence feeds our spirits and adds to the quality of our lives.
One of the best antidotes for stress and anxiety is social support. Research has shown that people who have an effective network of family and friends are able to come through stressful ordeals more easily than those who don’t. In addition, social isolation and loneliness can create or exacerbate anxiety-inducing hopelessness, worry, and fear. But engaging with others helps free our minds from the stress. We can reduce our stress and anxiety by spending time talking, bowling, singing, playing Bingo with others – or any number of social interactions.
In one study, a group of researchers followed 6000 men and women ages 25 to 74 for 20 years and found that emotional vitality reduced the risk of coronary heart disease. Another study of 7000 adults found that participants with fewer social ties (friends, relatives, marriage, organization/church membership) were twice as likely to die over the 9-year follow-up period. In other words, social activities aren’t just a fun idea, they’re also good medicine!
Want more information?
If you’re interested in how we provide opportunities for socialization at Bella Vista Health Center, we welcome you to come visit our facility in Lemon Grove. On any given day, you’ll find our residents engaged in knitting clubs, yoga classes, Bingo – all kinds of activities. We also have movie night, special performances, and visits from animals at the Humane Society. At Bella Vista, we understand the importance of social interaction, and we do everything we can to maintain a high quality of life for all our residents.
Call or come in for a visit. We know you’ll like what you find here.