According to recent estimates, roughly one-fifth of those 55 and over have experienced a mental health condition. Cognitive impairment, anxiety, and depression are surprisingly common among seniors, resulting in diminished social, mental, and physical function.
Seniors develop depression for various reasons, such as isolation from family, declining health, and the loss of a spouse. When a person relies on others to address their needs and make important decisions, they may lose their sense of purpose. In some instances, depression is caused by medication or genetics. When families have these concerns for their loved ones, it’s best to consult a mental health specialist for a proper diagnosis.
For many seniors, a memory care community provides the connections needed not just to survive, but to thrive. Here are some of the emotional and mental advantages of communal living for seniors with depression.
A Sense of Belonging
While most seniors are done raising kids and working, they still need to feel as if they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Everyone wants to feel needed, valued, and connected to others, and that’s where these communities come in.
A significant advantage of communal senior living is the feelings of friendship and belonging it provides. While seniors who live alone often suffer from isolation and mental decline, community living gives the elderly plenty of opportunities for companionship, inclusion, and fun.
A Unique Purpose
People assume various roles at different times in their lives—sibling, volunteer, parent, spouse—and these roles instill feelings of purpose and pride. Life roles allow people to make a difference every day, but seniors often lose their sense of purpose in feelings of physical and mental decline.
Senior communities, however, create supportive spaces where the elderly can regain their purpose and engagement. Whether it’s providing a sympathetic ear for a neighbor or joining a local club, the purpose provided by senior community life makes a significant difference in a person’s depression symptoms and emotional well-being.
Safety and Reassurance
For some seniors, the idea of age-related mental and physical deterioration is a tough one to entertain. People often worry about getting where they need to go, remembering to take crucial medications, or preventing slip-and-fall accidents. Older adults living alone are more likely to fall victim to these threats, but senior living communities take numerous steps to ensure residents’ safety. Knowing that these measures are in place may provide the reassurance needed to alleviate emotional stress and help seniors improve their outlook.
A More Accessible Lifestyle
Along with the benefits of having friends nearby, senior living communities provide accessibility. It can be tough for seniors to get around when they live alone. While some people can’t climb stairs, others have difficulties running their own errands. Such limitations lead to isolation, but assisted living communities keep these needs in mind, giving seniors the chance to do the things they want and need to do.
Engagement and Social Activities
When they live alone and lack social opportunities, seniors often slip into isolating, boring, and mentally draining routines. The importance of social engagement should not be underestimated, even in senior communities. Human nature drives us to seek contact with others, and as people age, they must take a proactive approach to building a healthy, solid social life.
In senior living communities, there are numerous opportunities for residents to come together and share their interests. From communal mealtimes and weekly events to field trips, parties, and volunteer opportunities, assisted living in Encinitas, CA gives seniors a chance to unite.
Mental Health Support
With advanced age comes a diminished hormonal regulation ability, which makes it tough for seniors to minimize the effects of worry and anxiety. Some hormones have adverse long-term effects on memory and depression symptoms, leading to mood swings, weight fluctuations, insomnia, and thoughts of self-harm.
Senior living supports mental health by providing social support and team members who can recognize depression symptoms and intervene when required. Giving seniors the professional help they need to deal with emotional and mental challenges is essential.
Giving Seniors Help and Reassurance When They Need it Most
No matter how old a person gets, it’s not too late to focus on their emotional and mental health. If an aging family member is suffering from the detrimental effects of isolation and loneliness, now is the right time to think of how senior living may solve these problems.
If you’d like to learn how Summerfield of Encinitas’ senior community supports the well-being and health of residents, we’re here to help. Call today or schedule a tour online.