Did you know July is Social Wellness Month? The ability to connect with others and maintain strong relationships is a crucial part of our overall wellness and can be more difficult as we age. Surrounding yourself or your loved ones with people within your community and interacting in social environments can have incredible impacts on mental and physical health.
Older adults are at a higher risk for social isolation and loneliness due to changes in health and social connections that can come with growing older such as hearing, vision, memory loss, ability to leave their current environment and more. Were you aware that people who are socially isolated are more likely to be admitted to the emergency room on an above average basis, have a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline? Being around people and being social does not just feel good but is actively helping decrease the risk of many comorbidities related to social isolation!
Are you or a loved one at risk for social isolation?
o Live alone
o Can’t leave home
o Are a caregiver
o Have trouble with hearing, vision or memory
o Had a major loss or life change, such as the death of a partner
o Feel a lack of purpose
o Often refuses to leave room within a senior living community
EmpoweRT aims to assess and integrate social wellness in our programming in a variety of ways depending on the client's needs.
1. Integrating Family Activities: Recreational therapists intentionally include the caregiver and family into sessions to provide education on communication skills and how to include their loved ones of all ability levels into recreation/leisure activities. One of our clients enjoyed watching his grandsons' baseball games, but he was always on the sidelines. His recreation therapist was able to arrange an intergenerational adapted home run derby game, where he played alongside his son and grandsons on the field. Check out this testimonial from his family: https://www.instagram.com/p/CaR9bAmLEQ5/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
2. Integrating into Community Centers: Recreational therapists can utilize their knowledge of your local community to connect you with activities and resources that will benefit not just your body, but your mind and spirit to continue to work on your goals outside of your therapy sessions! This is especially empowering for those individuals with dementia, stroke, and/or depressive diagnoses as recreational therapy helps overcome cognitive and emotional barriers to community participation. Check out this testimonial from one of our client's daughters who is thrilled that her mom is out of the house playing bridge every week: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ca19Xs5suUe/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
3. Acclimation to Senior Living: Recreational therapists can be a valued resource to those residents who rarely come out of their rooms living within senior living communities. Recreational therapy uniquely embraces client's strengths as a therapeutic approach. Our recreational therapy team is experienced in these settings and get the "big picture" of working with the client, family, and senior living staff to improve community acclimation and quality of life together!
4. Group Outings: Utilizing client's similar interests and goals, Empower Recreational Therapy plans specialized group outings as a way to ensure we keep social isolation at bay! Check out this community group adaptive fishing outing here: https://www.instagram.com/reel/Ce7DVZrD8Dn/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Let’s work together to get you and your loved ones back into your local community.
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