Socializing and Coffee Hour Chat for the Elderly
Socializing is extremely important to most people, and the nursing home resident is no exception. Sharing a hot beverage and conversation around the coffee cart may seem ordinary to you and me, but it can produce extraordinary results in the form of contentment and security to the nursing home resident!
Partaking in conversation about world events, everyday happenings, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or even personal problems, provides a positive channel for reducing stress and shaping connections. Still, not every person is naturally adept at being social. The list below outlines some possible suggestions for building friendships:
- Card Games. Many individuals enjoy playing cards. If your loved one was a card shark in his or her younger years, why not suggest he or she continues the trend? Maybe a poker game using tokens? Bridge tournament? Pinochle? Cards help keep the thought process sharp and encourage relationships based on a mutual interest.
- Checkers Anyone? Games like checkers, chess, backgammon, etc., foster one-on-one bonding. Although the interaction takes place in a somewhat competitive environment, individuals use their skills and socially interact during the process.
- Book Clubs. If your loved one enjoys reading, encourage him or her to participate in a book club. If one is not readily available, then perhaps recommend that one be formed? Reading feeds the mind, and the discussions following afford residents positive dialogue founded on a shared passion.
- Religious Gathering. Research has indicated people who participate in some type of religious adoration have a greater sense of satisfaction. Perhaps your loved one may wish to pray with those of the same denomination, or maybe he or she might be open to an ecumenical gathering. Whatever the situation, the benefits of worshipping together include enhanced coping skills and cohesive friendships rooted in similar ideologies.
Studies have shown people who regularly engage in social contact catch colds less frequently and maintain lower heart rates and lower blood pressure. Conversely, those who isolate themselves are more apt to possess a propensity toward chronic medical conditions and feelings of hopelessness. Supporting loved ones to form connections can result in a greater sense of well-being for everyone!