No matter what your age, friendships are important. As children, friendships play a vital role in our social and emotional development. As we become teenagers, friendships help us feel accepted, influence our choices and effect the type of people we want to grow up to be. But the importance of friendship doesn’t stop in our formative years. As we age friendships play a significant role in improving and maintaining our health and enriching our lifestyle.
Research shows that social isolation and loneliness can increase physical and mental health risks for older adults. However, the benefits of connectivity are far greater. By maintaining connections with friends and family, seniors find an increased sense of belonging, reduced stress and increased happiness, a greater sense of self-worth, and find the support to cope with pain such as the loss of a loved one.
At MBK Senior Living communities, residents find an environment that encourages and engages residents. Whether it’s sharing a meal with a new neighbor, taking a new class, volunteering in the community or enjoying an outing, residents find multiple ways to make new friends and stay connected.
What’s more, MBK Senior Living communities embrace residents’ family and friends and encourage those connections. From helping a resident connect via the Internet to Skype with loved ones far away, to including family and friends in our Sunday brunch and other meals, to support groups, MBK strives daily to enlarge and strengthen residents’ social and family networks.
In a recent letter from a daughter of two residents, Donna Otto attributed her parents’ move to our Commons at Dallas Ranch community for opening up a world of activity and increasing their social life.
“My parents lived in a house with just the two of them before moving to The Commons. Their main source social activities was an occasional trip to the Bingo Hall,” wrote Donna. “Ever since they have moved into The Commons, they have enjoyed so many wonderful events, outings and activities. Their social life has flourished.”
According to Donna, her father has enjoyed participating in the community’s Karaoke night (a first for him at the age of 90), the opportunity to display his artwork, and share authored stories and poems with residents and staff. Her mother has continued to enjoy her weekly bingo game, and the family has enjoyed meeting up with them both for 4th of July BBQ's, Fashion Shows, Cinco De Mayo, St. Patrick's and Valentine Day's celebrations, and fabulous Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities.
Donna also commented how wonderful it was for her and others in the family to be invited to share the fun holiday events with her parents at The Commons. “Our family members are always welcomed to join them and we take much delight in sharing those special times.”
In many situations, a move to assisted living creates more connections and enhanced involvement among family members in addition to new friendships.