Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, social activity for elderly loved ones became even more important to combat senior loneliness and isolation.
However, it also became more difficult due to social distancing requirements and local guidelines to keep seniors safe.
Despite these unique challenges, The Kensington Sierra Madre has ensured its residents have continued to thrive, and find joy and purpose in each day.
Our community life enrichment coordinators got to work immediately to find creative ways to maintain a full social life despite the new restrictions.
Now, we continue to adjust and adapt to the new normal. Let’s dig into the benefits of social activities for seniors, and the best ideas to keep seniors healthy and happy.
Benefits of social activities for seniors
Research has shown that physically active and socially active seniors are healthier, happier, and less likely to develop certain diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and dementia.
At The Kensington Sierra Madre, we believe in whole-person wellness, which includes eating well, strengthening the body, and participating in fun, socially active activities.
Throughout the pandemic, our life enrichment coordinators have quickly adjusted all activities to follow CDC requirements and local guidelines.
Fortunately, Sierra Madre has beautiful weather year-round. This also provides opportunities for safe outdoor activities that allow for appropriate social distancing.
Let’s look at some of the biggest health benefits of social activities for seniors.
Stronger cognitive function
Studies suggest that physically or mentally stimulating activities can help keep our minds sharp and positively affect memory.
Some studies have also found that friendships and intellectual, creative activity can potentially delay or prevent the onset of cognitive decline.
Good emotional health
Connections with friends and family can contribute to a senior’s health and happiness, and make them feel needed, loved, and filled with purpose.
Studies have also shown that seniors who volunteer in their communities or are physically active are less likely to feel depressed.
Improved physical health
Socially active seniors tend to be more physically active and make healthier food choices.
Many older adults become less active over time as they struggle with injuries, illness, or chronic pain. However, any level of physical activity that is tailored to their limitations is helpful and healing.
The Kensington Sierra Madre is equipped to support our residents’ physical goals, despite any issues with mobility.
Developing close friendships
Senior living communities excel at creating friendships and building relationships.
Especially during the pandemic, more seniors have experienced loneliness and isolation.
Although our community follows all safety requirements, our loving, creative team is there for our residents 24 hours a day. Residents can still enjoy a wide variety of safe activities virtually or socially distanced.
The friendships that are built in a community setting enrich the lives of residents, which leads to a greater feeling of purpose, better quality of life, and improved confidence.
Activities to combat loneliness for older adults
At The Kensington Sierra Madre, we provide numerous life enrichment options such as music, art, cooking, golf, tai chi, and much more.
We take into account a senior’s hobbies and preferences to allow for sharing interests, and have creatively adjusted all activities via social distancing or virtually throughout the pandemic.
Activities also are always adjusted based on the unique care needs of our residents, including those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
This includes pocket programming, which is customized small group activities, as well as music or art therapy.
The following are some of the ways seniors have remained active during the pandemic, and can continue to do so as we navigate a new normal.
Video chats, social media, and email are excellent ways to allow seniors to keep in touch with friends and family, near and far.
Virtual tours and map activities also allow seniors to travel from home and fulfill any wanderlust.
Watching beloved, familiar movies or listening to music can be a helpful activity for those suffering from memory loss.
Encouraging our residents to stay active is a top priority at The Kensington Sierra Madre.
Depending on a residents’ needs, they may participate in physical therapy or occupational therapy that suits their unique abilities, take walks around our beautiful community, or participate in small exercise groups. Combined, these activities promote overall wellness in residents.
We also welcome pets into our community, so residents have the option to walk their furry friend in the fresh air.
Board games, cards, knitting, puzzles, and other activities help seniors stay physically and mentally engaged.
What does the new normal look like at senior living communities?
The Kensington Sierra Madre’s “new normal” includes continuing all recommended and required safety measures from the CDC and local department of health, while maintaining a full calendar of events and activities for residents.
This includes monitoring all team members and residents, maintaining social distancing protocols, and wearing personal protective equipment.
We use CDC-approved disinfectants, and encourage frequent hand-washing.
All residents and team members have been vaccinated and boosted, and fully vaccinated visitors are allowed close contact with residents as long as both parties are wearing masks.
We will continue to adjust our guidelines and activities as new information becomes available.
The Kensington Sierra Madre tailors life enrichment for all residents, hobbies, personalities, and abilities
The Kensington Sierra Madre Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.
Our team has delighted in finding creative ways to adjust our packed calendar of events to ensure the safety of our residents.
Throughout the pandemic, assisted living communities have been among the safest spaces for seniors, as staff have upheld all safety measures while still providing a positive, active social space.
No matter a resident’s care needs, in our community we have tailored all activities to accommodate a range of personalities and preferences.
If you’re seeking senior care for a loved one that goes above and beyond all expectations, reach out to our loving team today. In our community, seniors find true “aging in place,” where no matter how their needs change over time, they have a home with us.