“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” is a greeting heard almost daily throughout the holiday season. However, the statement does not ring true for everyone. Seniors, especially, are often challenged during the holiday season due to many factors associated with aging. Isolation is a major concern in the senior population - often the result of outliving friends and family as well as children and siblings moving away to start their own families. Limited driving capacity and mobility also add to the potential for social isolation and seniors may face periods of loneliness and even depression. Ironically, holiday celebrations, music, movies and advertising may serve only to intensify those feelings of isolation.
The great news, however, is senior living communities understand these issues and work diligently to combat feelings of social isolation and loneliness. Opportunities to engage within the community itself as well as outings as a group provide social stimulation, laughter, excitement and holiday joy. Relationships thrive within an active senior living community as members share experiences in activities and social gatherings such as exercise groups and shared meals in beautiful dining venues.
There are many reasons to make the move to a senior living community – such as South Bay at Mount Pleasant and Shem Creek Health Center at South Bay – every day, but even more importantly during the holidays.
Isolation is no longer a concern when you have your community of neighbors surrounding you in the comfort of your own apartment. All around, there are opportunities to interact with like-minded individuals, who share similar life stages. Neighbors establish close relationships and encourage each other to participate which serves to further grow the feeling of inclusiveness and community.
Diverse Life Enrichment programs, like those at South Bay at Mount Pleasant and Shem Creek Health Center at South Bay, ensure a calendar filled with events which help residents celebrate the holidays. From traditional tree lightings and cookie decorating to live performances and musical entertainment, there is something for everyone. Residents enjoy personal decorations in their own apartments and often invite friends over to share memories while also having the opportunity to delight in the community’s elaborate holiday decor and socials.
The added value of a senior living community is that activities are varied and planned according to each individual’s ability to participate. Continuing Care Retirement Communities, such as South Bay at Mount Pleasant and Shem Creek Health Center at South Bay, provide calendars of activities for each level of care within the community. From decorating, shopping for loved ones and attending Christmas productions in Charleston for the independent living residents to memories and nostalgia from holidays past in the Memory Support Unit, each level offers those activities which best address the socialization needs of the individuals living there. Residents may be assisted in decorating, gift-wrapping and shopping for loved ones as well - activities that could not be accomplished if living at home without support.
Senior living communities understand the importance of family engagement all year long – but especially during the holidays. When a senior makes the choice to become a member of a community such as South Bay at Mount Pleasant or Shem Creek Health Center at South Bay they can have confidence that their family relationships will be supported, encouraged and facilitated. By removing any burdens of caregiving from the family, residents and their families are free to enjoy the holidays well rested and excited for the social engagement and activities offered.
When families do not live locally, the comradery and neighborhood environment of a senior living community provides a family-like atmosphere for residents. Unlike seniors living alone facing social isolation and loneliness during the holidays, those seniors choosing community living as offered by South Bay and Shem Creek Health enjoy a sense of belonging and family. Established relationships are nurtured and new relationships flourish in the setting of a vibrant Senior Living Community.
4. Mental Health
Depression is a serious side effect of the isolation and loneliness that can ensue around the holidays. A time once filled with joy and good cheer can become a difficult season for seniors facing the loss of health, family members, spouses and independence. It’s no surprise studies have proven a direct correlation between the holidays and increased depression among the senior population. Impaired mobility and decreased physical activity during the colder months increases the incidences of depression as well.
An active senior living community environment provides engaging activities, which stimulate mental and physical health, and has been proven to improve overall morale during what could be a difficult time of year. South Bay at Mount Pleasant’s INSPIRE Wellness program includes aquatic exercise classes, yoga and individualized weight lifting programs to maintain both physical well-being and mental health. Shem Creek Health Center includes mentally challenging games and activities along with physical exercise programs individualized for residents to maximize independence, physical strength and mental well-being.
For these and countless more reasons, senior living communities, and especially continuing care retirement communities, are often the best lifestyle option when deciding how to spend retirement years. South Bay at Mount Pleasant offers luxury independent living apartments and amenities in a monthly rental model with priority placement in Shem Creek Health Center within the South Bay community if the need arises. Shem Creek Health is open to public move-ins as well offering monthly rates for Assisted Living apartments and reasonable daily rates for luxury settings in its Skilled Nursing Unit. Short term rehabilitation is offered for independent living residents as well as outside admissions utilizing our professional on-staff Physical, Occupational and Speech therapists.
There’s no place like South Bay at Mount Pleasant including Shem Creek Health Center for the holidays! Schedule a tour to experience the joy of the holidays within our community and learn more about the residences at South Bay at Mount Pleasant and the Shem Creek Health Center by calling us at 843.936.2800.