May 20, 2016 • Uncategorized • By: Todd Morefield
Lack of socialization can have a significant negative impact on health and wellbeing for seniors. Access to a variety of positive social interactions contributes to overall mental and physical health by reducing anxiety and stress, improving feelings of isolation and boredom, and producing a sense of belonging.
Many seniors living alone find themselves in this position every day, not realizing that their living situation is a major contributor to their feelings of seclusion. Seniors who were previously active and engaged in the community become shut-ins when a spouse dies or they can no longer drive. This slow decline of vitality and enthusiasm for life is one of the major concerns for adult children caring for aging parents, and one of the chief problems that the care team at Provision Living at Webster Groves tackles everyday through purposeful engagement and meaningful activity.
Todd Moorefield, community relations manager at Webster Groves, understands first-hand the struggles that families face when caring for their loved ones. “It’s a fact that when someone loses their enthusiasm for life, they often neglect caring for themselves and putting themselves first,” says Moorefield. “Some seniors eat poorly – if at all – and can become dehydrated which often leads to a stay in the hospital. Others don’t leave the house for days at a time and lose contact with friends and family, prompting bouts of depression and sadness. It’s truly a sad situation for everyone involved.”
Moorefield and his colleague Kathleen Burk, activities manager at the Webster Groves-based assisted living and memory care community, work diligently to ensure that every day offers their residents a new opportunity to celebrate the power of friendship. They plan an assortment of activities, programs and outings designed to bring people together to share, learn and laugh.
The community’s most popular event is Happy Hour. These weekly events include food, refreshments and libations as well as live entertainment and are intended just for residents to get to know one another in a relaxed and casual environment. Family and friends are also invited to the once-monthly Friends and Family Happy Hour which are usually created around a theme – think Fourth of July or Hawaiian Luau – and regular attendance reaches into the hundreds.
According to Moorefield, it’s not unusual for adult children and other family members to comment on the drastic improvements they see in their parent’s physical appearance and outlook on life after just a few weeks of living at Provision Living at Webster Groves.
“There’s one particular family that will always be special to me,” reveals Moorefield. “The adult daughter knew that moving her mom into our community was the best possible decision, but she was filled with extreme guilt about it. After a little time had passed, that same daughter told me that she was finally at peace with her decision because her mother was active again, going on outings with our other residents and enjoying life. Before that she wouldn’t even leave the house!”
This story, says Moorefield, plays out on a daily basis and it’s a big part of why he enjoys his job. “When I see a senior become independent and inspired again, and I know that a family has regained peace of mind, that’s what I live for. I want everyone to know that life is for living, and sometimes we need a little support to make that happen. That’s where we come in.”
For more information about the events and activities taking place at Provision Living at Webster Groves, please contact Kathleen Burke: firstname.lastname@example.org or (314) 918-7300.