Humans are social creatures. We need to interact with others on a regular basis to maintain our mental and physical health and wellness. This is especially true for aging individuals. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “good connections and social support can improve health and increase longevity.”
Silver Comet Village, a senior living community in Powder Springs, Georgia, recognizes the importance of socialization and wants to help individuals and their families maintain their health and stay connected - even if in-person contact is not an option.
Why Does Socialization Matter?
A healthy social life is an essential part of living a long life. When we are isolated from others, feelings of loneliness, stress, depression, and anxiety can develop. Even though these conditions may seem limited to mental wellness, over time, stress, depression, and anxiety can have a negative impact on our physical well-being as well.
Creates a Sense of Purpose
Connecting with others can provide us with a sense of purpose. When we interact with family and friends or participate in group events and activities, we feel a part of something larger than ourselves.
In addition, a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine found that “social contact may be as effective as physical activity in improving mood and quality of life.”
Improves Cognitive Functioning
Socializing requires us to be engaged in conversation and activity. While simple as it may seem, this engagement provides essential mental stimulation that can help improve cognitive functioning. A conversation requires concentration; an individual must listen and process what another person is saying, remember what was already said throughout the conversation, and form a response. By actively socializing and staying connected with family and friends, you can help keep your mind sharp!
Finding New Ways to Connect
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, staying connected with family and friends has changed. Visiting and socializing in-person is limited or, in some cases, restricted. As a result, individuals around the world have gotten creative to stay connected with loved ones.
Technology that Supports Virtual Socialization
Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype
All three of these platforms allow individuals to connect through video calling. Even though you cannot physically be in the same place as your family and friends, video chat programs enable you to see one another face-to-face.
FaceTime, a feature available on all iOS devices such as iPhones, iPads, and Macs, is as easy to use as initiating a regular phone call, making it an excellent app for family and friends to use to stay connected.
Zoom and Skype, while similar, are used for slightly different purposes. Because Zoom supports 100 participants, as opposed to Skype’s 50, it is often used by companies to hold meetings and employee/client calls. However, if your primary goal is to connect with friends and family, either will work for you!
Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, enable individuals to post life updates and see photos of family and friends. Additionally, each of these platforms hosts its own in-app chat feature, allowing users to send private messages to one another. Beyond staying connected to family and friends, social media platforms serve as news sources, gaming outlets, and entertainment.
While we encourage the use of social media, we also know it’s important to practice safe habits. Read our blog, “Becoming Savvy and Staying Safe on Social Media,” to learn more.
How you connect with friends and family has taken on a new form, but this does not mean that you have to stop doing the activities that you and your peers enjoy doing in-person. Use one of the mentioned video calling platforms to host a game night or a virtual book club! Or, simply use these virtual tools to have a conversation, chat, and connect.
Family involvement and connection is a core value at Silver Comet Village. Our senior living community in Powder Springs, Georgia, provides individuals with the support they need to socialize and stay connected with the ones they love. To learn more about how we do this or our community, contact a member of our Silver Comet team today.
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