Joyce was talking on the phone with her long-time and long-distance friend David. He lives in the northeast, and she lives in the southeast in the same town as his mother. They grew up together, and though they married and had lived far apart, they always remained devoted friends by computer or telephone.
“I couldn’t keep flying down to check on Mom every month and worry the rest of the month about how she was handling being in a wheelchair at home. I was terrified she would tumble out of it and not be able to get up. Her friend Paula stopped in every week, but though I was grateful, Mom needed more supervision than that. I finally convinced Mom to come to live in an assisted living community near me. I now visit as often as I wish and feel much better knowing she is getting the attention she needs and deserves. And by the way, she loves it! She had all the wrong ideas of what assisted living is in reality. There were too many old, out-worn ideas rolling around in her head. She knows better now, though.”
Joyce, who often volunteers to work with seniors who need help, replied with a question. “What do you think has impacted her new life the most?”
“Believe it. She has become a social butterfly! She has met like-minded friends who share her passions, especially reading, word puzzles, cards, and board games. The computer was her only companion before. Her new group eats together nearly every day. Any signs of depression have disappeared completely. It always concerned me that she was alone too much before she came north. With the help of the dietitian, she has lost 40 lbs. in a healthy manner and can now walk short distances. Her arthritis seems to bother her much less, and her breathing has improved. One of her particular friends is a charming gent who is by her side often. ” David’s smile could be heard through the cell phone.
Surveys have revealed that the social environment benefits the lives of older adults. Socially sharing meals with neighbors with the same interests develops a support network. This aids in living a satisfied life. It creates the feeling of home in the assisted living community.
Kind Dining® training curriculum teaches staff how to draw residents into the conversation, build the basis for relationships, and how to connect with residents.. The knowledgeable staff knows active seniors will bypass depression by having sharper minds in friendship exchanges. Elders who intellectually engage in mental stimulation with others lessen their risk of dementia. Daily or even weekly, sharing the comfort of the dining table provides necessary social interaction.
Be ♥ Kind Tip: Do your food servers use conversation to encourage elders?