The long barren hallways of a nursing home, ten or twenty wheelchair bound frail seniors, heads slumped down, never looking up at the scurrying nurses rushing by to handle one emergency after another – the picture is indeliby written on our minds. This is not socialiazation – it is isolationism. Yet, study after study has shown that some form of active socialization can have a positive affect on one’s health. The sad truth is that many of our elderly age, they begin to lose their social contacts and there are logcal reasons for their loss.
Woodhall Park Retirement Village could not be further away from this description. We are NOT a Long Term Care Home (nursing home) we are a Full Service Boutique Retirement Living home. We are a community within a community, a place where there is a feeling with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
We know that once the elderly begin to lose their ability to drive – clearly a means to an independent lifestyle; thus limiting their access to friends, relatives and social activities. Second, as one spouse becomes ill, the other spouse becomes homebound in order to care for his or her spouse – again, further developing a form of social isolationism. And third, as we age, many of our friends pass away – further reducing the potential for normal social contacts. The result is a moderately constant decline in social function as we age.
The need to maintain social interactions, and thus good health, is strong. The following points have been paraphrased from the article by Gary M. Skole, Eldery in Home Care Doesn’t Mean a lack of Socialization, Ezine Articles, January 5, 2010:
- Those elderly folks who get out and interact and spend more time with people during cold/flu actually get fewer colds and illnessess than those who spend most of their time alone
- Those folks with a companion pet to interact with have fewer illnesses than people who do not have a companion animal.
- Those who often use the words “I”, “mine” and “me” during casual conversation are more susceptibe to heart attcaks than those who do not focous on themselves.
- Our natural immune system is negatively affected by social isolationism.
A recent Harvard School of Public Health study published in The American Journal of Publuc Health, suggets that “strong social ties, through friends, family, and commmunity groups, can preseverve our brain health as we age and that social isolation may be an important risk factor for cognitive decline in the elderly”. (Tara Parker-Pope, Socializing Appears to Delay Memory Problems, The New York Times, Well, June 4, 2008).
The study indicated that those elderly engaged in many social contacts had the slowest rate of memory decline. The idea is to not sit and wither away, but rather to engage in some form of social activity beyond the limited world of friends (which are, unfortunately, naturally declining).
Woodhall Park Retirement Village keeps this perspective in mind and is able to increase social acitivities for the elder person in your life. The desire to stay involved, to grow and to enrich your life never ends. At Woodhall Park Retirement Village, you can continue enjoying a favourite activity, explore something new, and find out what will keep nurturing your mind, body and spirit. All programs are designed to give you choices to keep living life to the fullest as you possibly can. We offer the companionsip of animals, the interction of all age groups and increase of social and spiritual socialization.
We invite you and your friends to come for a complimentary lunch and tour. 905-846-1441.