Socialization For Senior Adults – Virtual Or In Person?
Socialization for senior adults is extremely important to help maintain health and wellness. These days, there are virtual and face-to-face options available, both of which have something to offer. You can communicate with those you love to build and maintain friendships. There is also the added benefit of reduced isolation and loneliness, which can breed anxiety, depression, dementia, or heart problems.
As well as conversation, socialization can also involve recreation and fun activities for even more enjoyment. Of course, face-to-face and virtual socialization don’t offer the same type of interactions. You may get more benefits from one over the other. Let’s take a look at what these options can include.
Socialization For Senior Adults – Face-to-face
The most beneficial type of socialization for senior adults is face-to-face. As well as improving mood, memory, and cognition, there are other benefits to meeting others in person. First, you can participate in activities, like games, classes, crafts, and meals, all of which encourage socialization.
Face-to-face interactions are natural, with discussions that flow smoothly, especially with those you’re comfortable with. You feel much more connected with those around you since you can actually see and touch them. In-person socialization for senior adults can also involve getting up and moving during fitness or yoga classes or just going for walks. This adds a physical benefit to the mental stimulation that you get from interacting with others.
Of course, it isn’t always easy to get the face-to-face interactions that you want. Inclement weather may prevent you from leaving the house. There could also be too much distance between you and some loved ones, preventing in-person visits. Lack of transportation could also be an issue, so socialization options can be limited at times.
Social media and technology have made it much easier to communicate with people, including those too far to reach physically. This allows you to stay in touch with those you don’t see very often. You also have a few options from typed messages back and forth to video calling for more visual communications
The downside of virtual socialization for senior adults is that lacks the emotional connection of face-to-face meetings. Online conversations can be somewhat passive, with delayed responses. This is because both parties can get up and leave at any point with no warning. The conversations don’t flow as they would if you were in the same room, with short, shallow responses.
You also miss out on in-person interactions with virtual communication. If you’re always online sending messages or checking posts on Facebook or Instagram, you are trapping yourself at your computer. Even with smartphones, you aren’t fully present, so you aren’t focused on those around you.
At Fairview, we offer a variety of group activities that encourage socialization for senior adults. These include group activities, like games and live music. There are also physical and mental activities available that offer relaxation in a comfortable atmosphere.
We even have a multilingual staff that speaks English, Spanish, and Russian. This allows senior adults to communicate in their own language. As well as participating in our regular activities, they can even celebrate birthdays and holidays together for even more socialization.