I Can Only Imagine
Imagine yourself sitting alone in a room. No one to talk to. Nobody to just ask “How are you doing?” or “How was your day?” Life without socialization is a life without growth, a life that is stagnated, and a life without the necessary ingredients to sustain life. Many of our senior citizens are face with the grim reality of living their golden years alone and without the pleasure of just simply having someone to talk and share their concern, wants and desires.
Humans are created as a social being. As human, we thrive and have the urge to hunger for socialization. The senior citizens community faces many deficiencies and difficulties without simply someone to talk with. According to Chase Patton author of “Senior Socialization Leads to Better Quality of Life”, April 2016; reports that “Lack of social support is related to negative impacts on health and wellbeing, especially for older people. Having a variety of positive social supports can contribute to psychological and physical wellness of elderly individuals. Support from others can be important in reducing stress, increasing physical health and defeating psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. “
When considering who provides social support for an elderly individual our first thoughts are of family members. While it is true that most support does come from family members, there are many circumstances in which family members cannot be supportive (stress due to responsibilities, illness, death, financial problems, job relocation). In the United States the fastest growing age group of individuals are those 85 years and older. Due to this fact, family support will inevitably decrease for these older individuals. A need for community-based services is more important now than ever before.
Community-based services can be extremely useful for elderly individuals. Services for older persons can encompass many areas, but one of the most important areas as discussed previously is social support. Support for elderly persons can be found in many places including: senior centers, assisted living facilities, with the like of Valley Park Manor in Valley Alabama, meal delivery, religious affiliations, adult day care centers, etc. These services can provide positive social supports that can help older persons defeat loneliness and isolation. However, social support must encompass more than physical presence or conversation. Studies have shown that social support services should contain quality activities. These activities should promote positive self-awareness.
Self-awareness is key to a person’s overall quality of life and satisfaction. Many social activities can be used to help increase an individual’s self-awareness. Activities for elderly individuals may include reminiscence groups, journal writing, readings of favorite book passages, group exercise, singing groups, etc. Individuals may also feel more self-satisfied if they are part of the planning of social activities that take place.
Valley Park Manor offers their seniors quality socialization that combats the fears and chills of growing old alone. Activities that focus on socialization are made apart of our seniors daily living. Exercises, coffee breaks, board games, puzzles, crafts, spa/ pampering day, and group outings are just some of the tools used to decrease or diminish depression, loneliness, social isolation and boredom. It’s the main objective here at Valley Park Manor to keep our seniors lives full and rich of love, fulfilment, and the joy of having someone to communicate to make their wishes, concerns & wants known. Wow, I Can Only Imagine.
Written Respectfully By:
Joseph Tucker, RN