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February 24, 2023

Vitalia Senior Residences at Strongsville Understands the Importance of Socialization and Building & Maintaining Relationships

Category: Health & Wellness

Author: Jill Pawloski, Resident Services Director

No matter our age, building relationships with others is fundamental in enriching our lives. Research has shown that people who enjoy healthy relationships, live longer and happier lives. Maintaining relationships as we age has numerous health benefits such as increasing our physical and mental health, increasing mental acuity, promoting laughter and more!

At Vitalia Senior Residences at Strongsville, I, as the Resident Services Director, play a pivotal role in helping to create opportunities for our residents to build relationships with their peers as well as helping to maintain these relationships through daily events. Oftentimes, aging adults are afraid of senior living settings. They see it as an end to their independence. Most fear being isolated from family and friends. One of the stigmas associated with senior living is, “I’m too young and active to be in senior living.” Therefore, many avoid it as an option all together. Unfortunately, this means they also lose out on the abundant opportunities to create new friendships and memories that this setting provides.

In our community, we have a group of residents who are professionals at welcoming new residents and helping them to feel at home as they settle in. We also ensure that new residents are invited to join all events, based on their preferences. Once our residents take advantage of these events, they often find themselves meeting new people or even connecting with old friends or neighbors. Through our daily events and programs, we often see close friendships form that continue. Residents begin having meals together or even take trips out of the community for shopping and family get-togethers.

It is my goal to help build and foster these relationships and break the stigmas associated with senior living communities. Being a Resident Services Director means I am responsible for all the joy in the building. We are constantly planning activities, events, and outings that are socially, mentally, and physically stimulating for our residents. I make sure to encourage my residents to join all activities every day and ask them all to invite a friend or neighbor who may never have come out to that specific event. Most of our residents are excited to try something new. I also make sure the event, whether it involves food, wine tasting, taco bar, a craft, or lunch outing, is something I also enjoy. If I am excited and having fun, they are likely to be as well!

I feel senior living is like staying in a house with 100 of your closest friends! Socialization is so important as we age and senior living guarantees there will always be someone to talk to, hang out with, or go out with. You will never be bored or alone! As Resident Services Directors, we know our residents are still active, social people and we plan our calendars accordingly. Sure, we play bingo twice a week, but we also go out to restaurants once a week, go shopping twice a week, have wine and beer tastings, take trips to museums, go out to see plays, spend afternoons at the casino, have exercise classes twice a day, and have wonderful live entertainment during our Friday happy hours. There are so many ways to stay active and social while living in our communities!

Sources: https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316

https://www.eddyseniorliving.com/latest-news/the-importance-of-senior-friendships-for-healthy-aging/

VITALIA® Strongsville in Strongsville, OH offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Southwest General Hospital with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Mallard Creek, Southpark Mall, Strongsville Historical Society, The Greens of Strongsville Shopping , and Don’s Pomeroy House.

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