“The way to bring about change is to be proactive and active.” – Octavia Spencer
The transition into late adulthood can carry with it both fear of the unknown and inevitable change. By understanding the physical move itself, we can acknowledge the impact of leaving one’s home and moving into a community and can learn to recognize the adaptation that must take place for the individual. A senior will typically undergo three phases during this process: the overwhelmed phase, the adjustment phase and the initial acceptance phase.
The overwhelmed phase is best categorized by feelings surrounding one’s self. The senior may process the transition and realize the impact it will have on their lives. The majority of responses in this phase are emotional, such as crying more.
Adjusting and Acceptance
Once the individual has had a chance to process the move and adopt a sense of acceptance – usually positive – the person adjusts to the reality. During the initial acceptance phase, the resident’s focus shifts from beyond themselves to a sense of overall well-being within the community. As the person becomes open to new social connections with others, they can establish their own way of taking control of their situation.
The phases outlined above only provide a basic structure. In some instances, a senior may stay in a particular phase longer than another, can experience a variety of emotions related to the move and may shift between socializing and isolating. A resident care-focused social model allows each individual to be seen and their needs identified. The approach must fit the specific individual rather than fitting the person into a model.
Living with Purpose
For seniors especially, purposeful living is significant as it provides them a familiar sense of routine in their years of leisure retirement. Whether you’re a professional or a family member who has assumed the caregiver role, it’s important to understand the benefits of your loved one’s maintaining social connections. The advantages range from improved mental and emotional well-being to better overall physical health and everything in between. Socialization enhances mental health by giving seniors a sense of belonging in their new environment. This connection gives them the opportunity to share their experiences and opinions, as well as their life stories, including details about what brought them to the community, anecdotes about their family and what’s important to them. By sharing with others, seniors can evolve emotionally or work to regain any loss of self-esteem. Social engagement in a peer setting supports cognitive functioning. It allows seniors to work together and showcase their ability to collaborate. This engagement helps to facilitate the ongoing drive to learn and share wisdom.
“Live Your Life”
Carlton Senior Living has confidence in supporting the interaction of our seniors through a social model that is resident care focused. We have partnered with the Live2BHealthy program that supports our focus on the physical benefits of socialization. Live 2BHealthy is a customized fitness program for seniors led by trained fitness professionals. The fitness classes are designed to promote both individual resident and overall group success. They strive to empower our residents through motivational reinforcement which supports a healthy lifestyle change. The classes focus on improving the core balance and strength of the individual to increase mobility independence while maintaining safety. This sense of accomplishment and camaraderie allows our residents the ability to socialize while promoting a positive experience in our community setting.