If you are looking through options in senior living in downtown Denver for a family member, or even for yourself, it’s easy to focus on physical support services. These are absolutely important, but they aren’t the whole picture. A senior needs mental support in a senior living community, alongside physical support, particularly when it comes to staving off loneliness.
Loneliness is one of the most common “ailments” among older people, and also one of the most devastating. Your senior living community must be set up to encourage socialization, to maintain the mental health of its residents.
The Dangers Of Senior Loneliness
According to the last US census, more than 1/4 of citizens over 65 are living alone – that’s more than 11 million people! While it’s possible for solo seniors to still have active social lives, this level of isolation does tend to encourage loneliness, especially if they also have physical or mobility issues that discourage them from leaving home.
This can lead to numerous issues, both mental and physical:
- Reduced mental health and mental acuity overall
- Increased risk of cognitive decline or dementia
- Increased risk of depression or suicide
- Increased stress, higher blood pressure, and the possibility of cardiovascular issues
- An overall higher risk of early mortality
Simply put, seniors who maintain active social lives are typically both happier and healthier. This is something a senior living community in Denver must address!
How Senior Living In Downtown Denver Can Combat Loneliness
A great senior living community is truly a community. It’s not a collection of old people stuck in their rooms; but a thriving home for numerous older people who are encouraged to interact and form relationships among their peers.
There are plenty of ways to do this:
1 – Encourage family visits and communication
This is why a downtown location is nice – it’s typically easy for existing friends and family in the area to come to visit. If the retirement community is too far away from everything, visiting can become an inconvenience. There should also be plenty of other avenues for outside communication, including letters, phone calls, and electronic contact.
2 – On-site social programs
A great retirement community maintains constant social activities on its facilities. At the most basic, they can have community meals and shared spaces for interaction. However, they could also offer:
- Group movie nights
- Arts & crafts classes
- Musical events, or in-house bands
- Dances and socials
- Age-appropriate group physical fitness, such as aerobics or tai chi
- Educational opportunities and seminars
Events that get residents together as a group encourage friendships to form.
3 – Outings around the city
Denver offers plenty of sites for shopping, entertainment, and more. A great retirement community will sponsor driven field trips around the city, allowing their residents to safely get out and about. This also helps them maintain connections with people in the city, or even form friendships outside of the retirement home.
Senior loneliness is a major problem, but it can be prevented by a great senior living community in downtown Denver. Do your research, and be sure to visit plenty of options, before making a final decision!