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February 24, 2023

Rock Creek Senior Living Understands the Importance of Socialization and Building & Maintaining Relationships

Category: Health & Wellness

Author: Elizabeth Keislar, Resident Services Director

No matter our age, building relationships with others is fundamental in enriching our lives. Research has shown that people who enjoy healthy relationships, live longer and happier lives. Maintaining relationships as we age has numerous health benefits such as increasing our physical and mental health, increasing mental acuity, promoting laughter and more!

At Rock Creek Senior Living, I, as the Resident Services Director, play a pivotal role in helping to create opportunities for our residents to build relationships with their peers as well as helping to maintain these relationships through daily events. Oftentimes, aging adults are afraid of senior living settings. They see it as an end to their independence. Most fear being isolated from family and friends. One of the stigmas associated with senior living is, “I’m too young and active to be in senior living”. Therefore, many avoid it as an option all together. Unfortunately, this means they also lose out on the abundant opportunities to create new friendships and memories that this setting provides.

In our community, we have a group of residents who are professionals at welcoming new residents and helping them to feel at home as they settle in. We also ensure that new residents are invited to join all events, based on their preferences. Once our residents take advantage of these events, they often find themselves meeting new people or even connecting with old friends or neighbors. Through our daily events and programs, we often see close friendships form that continue. Residents begin having meals together or even take trips out of the community for shopping and family get-togethers.

It is my goal to help build and foster these relationships and break the stigmas associated with senior living communities. As Resident Services Director, I can help my residents build relationships through my daily events by encouraging socialization. I go room-to-room each day to remind them their presence is wanted, make it a point to get to know them as a person, and encourage them to share about themselves with the other residents. When they share about themselves, often, others chime in with their own stories. This blossoms friendships, understanding for one another, and confidence that they are not alone. I do my best to have a variety of events and activities on the monthly calendar, based on what I know about the residents and what they will enjoy.

We can break the stigma of, “I’m too young and active to live at a senior living community,” by having active events and showcasing them on popular platforms such as Facebook. Our hashtag #WhatSeniorLivingLooksLike is to show that we aren’t just playing bingo and napping in the corner. We’re making beautiful paintings for our apartments, having adult beverages and belly laughing, listening to a musician sing songs of our youth, listening to a presentation from the local historical society, getting together to have some delicious food and playing poker, sitting around a table drinking coffee, and reminiscing about all the good times we have been so blessed to live through. Living in an Arrow Senior Living community is a time when you can finally relax, have wonderful staff help you with the tiresome tasks, and create friendships with others who understand where you come from.

Sources: https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316

https://www.eddyseniorliving.com/latest-news/the-importance-of-senior-friendships-for-healthy-aging/

Rock Creek Senior Living in Ankeny, IA offers senior villas, independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Mercy One Medical Center with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Briarwood Golf, The District Shopping Center, Saylorville Lake Marina, Big Creek State Park, and Ankeny Community Theater.

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