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The Importance of Social Wellness & How it Positively Impacts Your Physical and Brain Health

4 seniors having an outdoor picnic

As COVID restrictions continue to ease, people are beginning to return to a form of “normal” life. This includes socializing with friends and family again. Known as “Social Wellness,” increased social interactions are critical in achieving a balanced mind and body. Let’s take a look at the benefits of Social Wellness and how Tribute is helping its residents achieve it.

Social Wellness Awareness

July is “Social Wellness Month” and highlights the importance of supportive relationships and the impact on one’s overall health. Social connections play a significant role in physical and brain health as people age and can boost your quality of life. For people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, it’s essential as increased social interactions can help jog their memory and ease their anxiety while reminiscing about special times spent with family and friends.

Never Heard of Social Wellness?

Social wellness is our ability to connect with and relate to others in the world. Nurturing yourself by building healthy, supportive relationships with others helps build social wellness. This is critical to physical and psychological health.

What Do We Know About the Effects of Social Wellness?

We know physical fitness and brain health are important factors to living a quality life, but social wellness is just as important in navigating life changes and boosting overall health.

How to Practice Social Wellness and Its Benefits

Research shows that socially active seniors are more likely to experience a longer life expectancy, a slower decline of mental and physical health, and lower risks of chronic conditions such as depression and high blood pressure. Loneliness can lead to depression and even exacerbate confusion, so it’s important to maintain social contact with family and friends to boost self-esteem and stay cognitively stimulated. Remember, this is just as true for your loved one as it is for you.

  • Phone Calls: Nothing is more easier than picking up the phone and having a good chat with a friend or family member. It can help lift your spirits while also allowing you to engage with someone you may otherwise not be able to see in person.
  • Letters: Although most modern communication occurs via email and text, the older generations wrote letters. Writing to loved ones can be a fun return to days past.
  • FaceTime/Video Chat: In today’s world, everyone is just a click away if you own a smartphone or laptop, so there’s no easier way to interact with loved ones or friends, whether they’re near or far.
  • Physical Fitness: Social wellness is improved through valuable connections during group exercise classes which provide social and physical health advantages. When social, physical, and brain wellness is balanced, the health benefits are exponential.

Tribute’s Approach to Promoting Social Wellness Amongst our Residents

Tribute understands the importance of social support, especially for seniors in assisted living facilities and those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Our intentional programs aim to reduce depression, loneliness and reduce feelings of isolation while also reintroducing social integration. Tribute always encourages your loved one to find social support from other seniors. We also help them connect with family members through gatherings and events.

How Tribute Can Help Your Senior Loved One Practice Social Wellness:

  • Daily Activities and Classes: At Tribute Senior Living, we offer group fitness classes, including yoga, Tai Chi, aerobics, boxing, and more. Increased motion increases blood flow, which also helps with social wellness.
  • Family Events: In July, at Tribute, we have lots to celebrate. Our 4th of July celebration and Parents Day (July 25th) will take place and are intended to spark fond memories and create new moments together. o If you are hosting or attending a social gathering elsewhere, we can help arrange a video call with your loved one so that they can feel included in the celebration.
  • Phone Calls and Video Chats: Hearing the voices of family and friends can mean a lot – and being able to see their faces can mean even more. Tribute will continue to help our residents stay connected to their loved ones via phone calls or video chats.
  • Letters: Ask your friends and family to write a card or letter and send it to your loved one. It’s about more than just the act of connecting. Letters allow your loved one to receive mail and enjoy the process of sitting and reading it. If they cannot read, we are happy to read it to them and help them write a return letter.
  • Seven Dimensions Program: Tribute offers a variety of Life Enrichment Programs to help promote social wellness. An example of this is through the volunteer program generated by the local community and our residents. This program promotes intergenerational interactions amongst our seniors, which can be very uplifting for them.

Some research shows seniors who had regular social interactions had a slower rate of cognitive decline than those with low social activity. While video chatting or talking to your loved ones on the phone, encourage them to join an exercise group, find a new hobby, or take walks through the halls or to our beautiful atriums filled with live plants and natural, filtered sunlight.

Our programs, special events, and wellness support allow residents to engage in different activities, nourishing them physically, emotionally, and socially. Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can do anything to help your loved one make social wellness connections

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