When I was in college, the best part of my day was always dinnertime. No, it wasn’t about the food. It was about the opportunity to get together with a group of my friends and—over cheese steak sandwiches and the din of hungry college kids—share our roommate stories, class problems, information about who was dating whom, and so on and so on. All day, I looked forward to breaking bread with my friends and the relaxing 45 minutes of “social therapy” that came with it.
Senior living communities are not unlike the college experience, albeit on the other end of your life. By putting you in close proximity with your peers and offering activities and other opportunities for you to mix and mingle, these communities give you that feeling of belonging and support, which is oh so important at any age!
Although the ambiance and cuisine are a darn sight better than in the college dining hall, senior living communities also bring residents together over meals on a daily basis. During these meals, you can share your day, news about your family, and even your hopes and dreams. Many communities also organize trips to local restaurants (providing group transportation) to spice up residents’ meal options and give them a change of scenery at mealtime.
Some senior living communities are actually built on university campuses or situated in close proximity to a university to give residents easy access to continuing education as well a way to interact with a wide range of age groups. Often there are also classes about everything from art to computer technology taught onsite at communities, providing the perfect setting for seniors to become acquainted and learn from one another.
Like the dorm setting, community residents generally need only venture down the hall to find companionship. A serious game of bridge might be happening in the clubroom, while the TV room is the scene of a rousing Wii tennis tournament. If you’re interested in less competitive pursuits, you can also find friends who will garden, knit or watch a movie with you.
You may not be able to study abroad like in college, but planned outings to museums, plays and musical performances give seniors the chance to bond with their peers over a shared passion for music, art or theater. Occasionally these excursions include special perks like tours with docents or a chance to go backstage.
Tell us about how your senior living experience has changed your social life.