The Importance of Community for Older Adults
- June 30, 2023
- 2 minute read
- Lindsay Pike, LCSW
As we age, maintaining an engaged and active lifestyle becomes more important than ever. Staying connected with others and participating in social activities is vital for mental, emotional, and physical well-being. For older adults, expanding their social community is an essential part of healthy aging.
Older adults who are active participants in their communities experience a variety of benefits; which may include reduced risk of depression, anxiety, heart disease, high blood pressure and improved cognitive function. Additionally, those who stay active in their community often have a better quality of life and report feeling more fulfilled and happier.
ArchWell Health understands that maintaining connections can become difficult later in life. For many, losing loved ones and close friends, lack of transportation, and scarce access to other needed resources can leave individuals feeling disconnected and alone. ArchWell Health assists in helping members combat these feelings of isolation by empowering them with opportunities to connect with others and build new relationships at one of its four centers in the St. Louis area. Whether it’s volunteering at a local nonprofit organization, taking on a part-time job, or participating in our in-center activities, such as bingo, fitness classes, book clubs, and more, seniors who engage with their community can form new friendships and maintain a sense of purpose and belonging.
In addition to these activities, ArchWell Health’s primary care centers provide old- er adults access to licensed social workers. These professionals are available to empower seniors by helping them navigate their medical benefits, coordinating care and counseling, and ensuring they can maintain independence in the community. Seniors deserve to be seen, heard, and given extra time by doctors, nurses, and social workers because great care begins with better relationships.
Staying engaged in community can help prevent the loneliness some older adults may feel. Talking with a neighbor, calling a friend, or attending an ArchWell Health in-center activity are just a few of the ways older adults can improve their happiness and physical health.
A version of this column was previously published in the St. Louis County Community News
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About the Author
Lindsay Pike, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Lindsay Pike is a licensed social worker with 8 years of experience advocating for older adults. Ms. Pike currently serves seniors at ArchWell Health St. Louis.
Pike works to connect seniors and caregivers with community resources and ensures St. Louis members have the care they need. She understands the importance of community as you age and encourages seniors to attend ArchWell Health's center events to meet new friends.