Social wellness makes up one third of The World Health Organization’s definition of “health,” along with physical and mental wellness. Exercise, yoga, meditation and therapeutic practices are widely promoted and practiced in order for one to focus on the physical and mental aspects of health. Later in life, we tend to focus less and less on our social wellness as we become less mobile and more isolated from regular interaction with family, friends and strangers.
Researchers have found that the eventual effects of isolation can take a toll on both physical and mental health, including high blood pressure, higher frequency of the common cold and greater incidence of memory-loss diseases. Luckily, the positive impacts of socialization can counteract the negatives fairly quickly after actively focusing on improving your social wellness. Numerous research studies have shown a connection between social engagement and improved cognitive skills, strengthened immune system, reduced depression and enhanced ability to sleep.
To increase your social network and overall wellness, consider the following tips for remaining active and in good company:
- Join a Group – From religion to politics to entertainment, there’s likely a group dedicated to whatever you’re interested in. Check the local community centers and churches for a list of available groups to join and expand your social network. Henry Ford Village residents enjoy various groups like Walking Club, Photography Club, Travel Club and many more.
- Volunteer – Volunteering gives a sense of purpose and pride to the person who gives their time and energy to a cause. That feeling can only be topped when you make new friends while volunteering. Many residents at Henry Ford Village are actively involved in local volunteering opportunities like road clean up, soup kitchens and help with city events.
- Take a Class – Have you ever wanted to be bilingual or learn the basics of painting? There’s never a better time than now to keep learning and improving cognitive function. Community colleges and community centers often offer classes for free or at a low price for local residents. Residents at Henry Ford Village create, schedule and lead a number of classes on campus that cover a wide variety of interests.
- Reach Out – Of course, more effort is put into creating new friendships in your community. If that doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in, reaching out to an old friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while can be a great way to connect. Pick up the phone, write a letter or connect online. Sharing your life with others is as important as it is rewarding. At Henry Ford Village, residents are encouraged to get involved in as much or as little interaction as they’re comfortable with each day.
- Adopt a Friend – Some of us just prefer the daily company of a four-legged friend above all else – and we can’t blame them! Adopting a pet from the local shelter can almost guarantee you a new best friend that won’t leave your side. At Henry Ford Village, furry family members of all shapes and sizes are welcome with open arms and plenty of belly rubs.
To learn more about how Henry Ford Village encourages a healthy, active lifestyle, call us today at 877-669-0728 or schedule a tour here.
http://www.comfortkeepers.com/home/info-center/senior-health-wellbeing/social-wellness-in-seniors https://www.cphins.com/3-ways-to-get-social-celebrate-social-wellness-month/ https://www.fivestarseniorliving.com/indiana-blog/senior-living/staying-healthy-by-staying-social-in-retirement-years