Overcoming Loneliness: How Senior Living at V!VA Helps Community Members Tackle Social Isolation
Published on November 22, 2019
Recent studies show that seniors living in Canada deal with more loneliness and isolation than ever before, especially as spouses and close friends pass away and adult children begin to focus on their own lives. Loneliness and isolation can have a tremendous impact on mental health and the immune system, which is why the rise in senior loneliness has some considering it to be a public health crisis.
To help avoid social isolation and loneliness in older adults, retirement homes are striving to include more social opportunities to allow residents to spend time with others in the community and engage with their family and friends. Here’s how senior living communities, particularly V!VA Retirement Communities, help combat social isolation.
Loneliness in Canadian Seniors
Aside from dealing with the loss of spouses and close friends, there are many other causes of loneliness for seniors today. High rates of divorce and living alone (one in six adult Canadians live alone) also impact this phenomenon. In fact, single person households are now the most common type in the country, for the first time in history. In the past 35 years, the rate has doubled, from 1.7 million single households in 1981 to 4.0 million in 2016. Other factors that influence these changes include age, economic situation, transportation difficulty or disability, and cultural setting.
Tips for Avoiding Social Isolation
Important lifestyle changes must be made to avoid isolation. Here are some tips to avoid loneliness in your retirement years:
Meet New Friends
Making the effort to meet new people and build meaningful friendships is very important to battling isolation. Churches, health clubs, civic and service organizations, travel clubs, and other unique interest groups are great places to get out and meet people. Retirement homes provide an authentic and easy environment to meet new people and build friendships, plus they create socializing opportunities for residents are highly valuable in helping this process along naturally.
Getting involved in the community is a great way to stay motivated and positive about life, especially when you are helping someone in need. Look for ways to volunteer in your community or check out flyers and announcements at your retirement home for group volunteering opportunities.
Take Up a Hobby
Hobbies are very important in keeping your mind and body active. They also help you set goals and feel accomplished after you learn something new or notice yourself improving at something you’re working hard at. Some ideas include gardening, arts and crafts, building model trains, sewing, playing an instrument, writing, reading, doing puzzles, and more.
How V!VA Retirement Communities Encourages Seniors to Avoid Isolation
Even for younger people, staying fit can be challenging to do alone, but with a fitness group or friends, it can help you feel your best while having fun. At V!VA’s retirement communities, Community Members can stay active by joining our V!VAfit cardio, balance, flexibility, and stretchprograms.
Having an active lifestyle is more than exercise—it also means getting out and experiencing new things. At our retirement communities you can enjoy our Brain Gym which allows you to access a library of books, puzzles, and games. We also host healthy living lectures, cooking and baking demonstrations, and discusions on historical and current events. If you enjoy wine tasting, the library, sports events, or museums and art galleries, we organize group excursions to these fun activities, too.
Great Dining Experiences
Eating right gives you the nutrients and fuel you need to enjoy the hobbies and activities you love. Through our V!VAlicious dining experience, you can enjoy a selection of mouthwatering restaurant-quality meals, three times a day, with a wide variety of menu choices! Quality wine selections are also available with meals.
V!VA Retirement Communities strives to create a refreshing, safe, social, and comfortable environment for our Community Members. With locations in Barrhaven, Mississauga, Pickering, Thornhill Woods, Ancaster, Carleton Place, Oakville, and Whitby, we also offer a variety of programs that help seniors feel valued, productive, and healthy. To learn more about how our communities can help combat senior loneliness and isolation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org@vivalife.ca or call us at 1-888-984-8482.