An Easier Adjustment
Moving to a senior community can be scary. For the first time the senior is no longer as independent as they once were. If they are resistant to supportive living—if it’s thrust into their lives in less than a choice-based way—they are going to have trouble adjusting. In some cases, seniors who move into assisted living may refuse to participate in group activities as a form of asserting control over their lives. Sometimes they want to hold onto their independence, so they resist being involved in group activities.
Those older adults who are receptive to new activities will find the social adjustment to supportive living easier. Getting involved with activities are among the top reasons that seniors enjoy their senior living community.
Choosing Appropriate Activities
Senior living communities typically have a full schedule of activities, enabling residents to pick and choose the ones that are best suited to their personality, their interests, and their needs. They need to try things before they dismiss them. The type of activity doesn’t matter as much as the resident realizing that it is to his or her benefit to participate.
Participating in group activities provides a form of interaction that the older adult did not have when living in his or her own home. For those who are worried that participating in activities will make them lose their ‘independence’, there are ways to assert independence even when participating in a group. For instance, residents can take a leadership role in group activities by suggesting new activities that may better suit their interests—i.e., a book club or a knitting club. Helping to introduce new activities can add to their enjoyment of their surroundings and also help them relate to other residents who share common interests.
Not Just Bingo
Some new residents think activities at a place like Sunnymere would be just Bingo. Yes, we have Bingo (with prizes twice a week) and many residents totally look forward to playing. But we have so much more. We have gentle group exercise ‘Keep Movin’, four mornings a week. We have games, crafts, even Happy Hour every Friday. We have entertainment, music–lots of fun. We’re always open to new activities.
Residents need to try out the activities. They may even like them!!