Senior living

Goodbye Loneliness – College-Style Living in Old Age

Let’s have a chat about the “good ole days”. Days were filled with crowded classroom activities, noisy team drills, family meals, movie dates, and sleepovers with friends spent whispering until 3 AM. Whether you prefer to be alone or are you thrive off a deep conversation, when we are younger, we are inevitably thrown into more social situations.

As we age, we begin to form our own individual lives separate from those around us. We are no longer signed up for events and activities by our parents or pushed to join group activities because that’s what it means to make friends in school. Instead, we become wrapped up in our own daily activities and jobs, whether that be a career, your own family, or focusing on your own needs.

Although this tends to be the natural progression of aging, it becomes lonelier as we continue to get older. Friends move, children start their own families, loved ones pass, and suddenly there is a sense of loneliness that may not have been present before.

Health risks caused by loneliness

Not only can loneliness have an impact on how you feel emotionally, but social isolation may even have a negative effect on a person’s health. Studies show that socially isolated older adults are more likely to have depression, difficulties in managing daily activities, and have at least five chronic conditions. Loneliness leads to a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, and even early death.

The solitary state of older adults is increasing, with statistics that show that a third of seniors are considered lonely. They are said to feel a “lack of companionship” and “often felt isolated”.

This sense of loneliness that older adults are feeling occurs often, but it doesn’t have to! There are new solutions to the problem and one of them just might give you a taste of what it is you’ve been lacking — the “good ole days”.

The college-style living concept

“College-style living” is a growing trend within the living sphere of older adults. In a recent New York Times article, sociologist Amy Blackstone discusses the concept in relation to living like ‘The Golden Girls’ in old age.

The concept of “college-style living” means that a group of two or more older adults meet and room together just as though you were back in college living with roommates. Living in a senior living community is very similar to that of “college-style living”. In either case, you are surrounded by a new group of people your age that can relate to you and interact with you. The sense of companionship that you gain from both experiences is unmatched by other solutions provided for loneliness. It is all about the interactions that you share with others, where just like in school, you could create meaningful friendships, or it could serve as a nice passing by chit chat on your way through the common space. Either way, you now have a support system and are now on a team.

The benefits of living a social life are unparalleled. You can read more about the benefits of senior socializing in this blog on our website.

More ways than one

In addition to college-style living, there are plenty of other opportunities for senior socializing. Some examples of this happening in the senior sphere would be programs that bring college students in to visit seniors and help them with chores, volunteers coming in for different events and interacting with seniors, joining a faith community, skyping your family and grandkids, creating social media platforms to stay connected, playing games in social settings such as bingo or trivia, or even getting active with a walk with friends or by doing some Zumba! Manors offers plenty of activities like these and can be explored on our monthly activities calendars.

A big part of happiness in old age depends on the quality of the relationships you hold and how you make use of your time with others. The key is to foster meaningful social contact and become a part of meaningful activities on a weekly basis, whether that is while living with a roommate or not.

If you would like to see a change in your social life, Manors offers just what getting older calls for, a place that you will never feel alone. With each location filled with friendly and certified staff, we are ready to help with any need that needs to be met. We promise to bring you endless activities that will never leave you bored. And lastly, what’s better than meeting and making new friends with other manors residents? Explore our website for more information about the services we provide, including assisted living, daycare for mom, independent living, memory care, and personal care.