Most seniors who can live independently wish to do so for as long as possible. That doesn’t mean, however, that they are satisfied with solitude. The good news is that with just a few small adjustments, you can help fill the quiet hours. Below are a few tips on how your senior living community can help seniors fill their quiet hours.
- Provide and Facilitate Social Engagement
A good way to keep your residents social and feeling important is by encouraging the family and friends of your residents to visit them. Ask or help remind them to try and make regular phone calls to their loved one, email them or even have Skype dates. If your community has clubs and/or activities, encourage the seniors to join a group or two, or start one, and make new friends, reminding them that they are not alone.
- Encourage Reading Groups or Create a Book Club
According to the American Library Association, senior book clubs allow members to engage socially and grow intellectually. If you don’t already have a type of reading club or group at your community, then it is a good idea to start one for your residents so that they can read often, even to each other, and socialize with others when discussing the books that they are reading. Your book club should engage the members’ time and attention more than one hour per week. This is a great activity for volunteers too! Who doesn’t like story time? If your residents need help, consider an audio book.
- Facilitate Volunteering
Volunteering doesn’t just provide a needed service. For seniors, it can also prevent isolation and lead to increased mental and physical well-being by keeping them active and engaged in community life. Anything you can do to facilitate volunteering among seniors will pay rich dividends. In some cases, that could mean something as simple as compiling a list of local opportunities. In others, it might mean providing transportation – promoting a driver for goods or similar. Either way, it will prove time well spent and a publicity opportunity!
Though independent living can be fulfilling, it can sometimes prove lonely. Fortunately, with a little forward planning, you can help your residents develop rich, independent lifestyles that they will enjoy for years to come.