Communities and The Importance of Cultivating Senior Friendships
A recent study found that friends have a bigger impact on our health and well-being as we get older. Unfortunately, more than 40 percent of seniors regularly experience social isolation, particularly those who live alone. Knowing how important social connectedness is for older adults, it’s imperative that we provide more opportunities for them to be social.
Luckily for older adults, there is a solution to help break senior isolation: senior housing in LA County. Moving to assisted living eliminates most of the barriers to isolation. Residents are able to take advantage of planned activities within their communities – no travel or planning necessary.
Residents are also exposed to a whole community of people their age, making it easy to connect with others who share the same interests. On any given day at Varenita of Westlake, you may find residents dining together, walking our outdoor paths or talking over coffee and brunch.
If you are considering a retirement community for yourself or a loved one, it’s helpful to know what benefits to expect. Senior living provides great peace of mind for caregivers and loved ones while improving health, wellness and emotional well-being.
Changing Perceptions of Assisted Living in Thousand Oaks
The first modern assisted living facility was developed in 1981, making these communities relatively new. No wonder why some people still confuse them with nursing homes, which have been around since the 17th century.
However, today’s memory care centers in Westlake Village are nothing like nursing homes. They provide mostly personal care in a home-like, social setting. Residents have their own apartments and the freedom to do what they want while getting help with meal preparation, laundry and housekeeping.
The perception that people have of assisted living is changing as well. In a recent survey, 30 percent of people said they would prefer to move into assisted living, up 13 percent from 2016. And when health declines, participants from the study said they would rather move into assisted living than live with family.
Additionally, more than 80 percent of seniors from the survey said it’s important for them to be near their community because it’s familiar. They enjoy being close to the things that are comfortable to them, such as nearby grocery stores and doctors’ offices, as well as friends and family.
Importance of Building Friendships in Later Life
Having friendships in later life doesn’t just pass the time – these connections are essential for optimal health and wellness. Fortunately, friendships come easily and naturally when residing in Westlake Village senior retirement communities. Here are some of the benefits of having like-minded peers to spend time with:
- Strengthen the immune system. Friends can strengthen the immune system and help the body recover more quickly from illness, infection or surgery. Having friends offers a sense of purpose that makes people feel better and get back to doing what they love.
- Live longer. People with strong social connections may live longer and healthier lives according to research. Specifically, a CNN study found that people who are isolated face a 50 percent higher risk of premature death compared to those with strong friendships.
- Sharpen the memory. Maintaining warm, positive friendships can boost memory and improve psychological well-being. You don’t need to be the life of the party, but spending time with other humans appears to be linked to slower cognitive decline.
- Adopt healthy habits. Friends support healthy behaviors like eating balanced meals, exercising every day and engaging in hobbies like reading or art. People have an easier time sticking to a healthy regimen with friends by their side.
- Help cope with traumas. When going through difficult chapters in life – the loss of a spouse or a serious illness – a strong social circle provides invaluable support. This empathy and reassurance can make all the difference in your outcome.
Friendships are never far away at Varenita of Westlake! Everything you need to live your best life is right here in our beautiful resort-style facility.
Senior Living in Thousand Oaks: Start Your Next Chapter
Varenita of Westlake provides endless opportunities for older adults to develop strong senior friendships. Once residents step out of their private rooms, they can enjoy a vibrant community packed with things to do and people to meet. Residents can be as active as they’d like – there’s something here for everyone!
If you are interested in our community for yourself or a loved one, contact us today for more information. We also have a number of options for touring our community online or in person. Between our assisted living and memory care in Westlake Village, we hope that you can envision yourself being a part of the Varenita family!