Staying social has mental, emotional and physical benefits for older adults.
Throughout our lives, we crave a sense of belonging. Studies have found that as people get older, their social capital, or connection to others, has even greater value for successful aging.
According to the National Council on Aging, social isolation can negatively impact mental performance, compromise the immune system, and increase the risk of certain diseases and depression. Research suggests that the health risks of extended periods of isolation are the equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Older adults with a healthy social network are more active, feel more independent and enjoy more fulfilling lives. Located in the Cincinnati tristate area is Maple Knoll Village, a continuing care retirement community that provides an environment for independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing where residents feel connected and engaged.
Here are some of the top ways being a part of an active community can provide a sense of belonging and keep life lively for older adults.
1. Socializing during happy hour
Residents at Maple Knoll Village regularly mix and mingle for social events, whether it is getting out to visit a local winery, clinking steins at Oktoberfest or celebrating a birthday. If you are curious what everyday life is like in this vibrant community, the Wine Down event on November 16 at 4 p.m. invites prospective residents to take a tour, sip fine wines and enjoy a relaxed meet-and-greet with Maple Knoll Village residents and staff in their newly renovated auditorium.
2. Connecting with friends over food
Sharing meals is another way that people can gather to socialize. This October, Maple Knoll Village unveiled its newly-renovated dining spaces. The vision was to provide fresh and engaging places for residents and their guests to get together and eat delicious food. The new Bistro on the Green offers expanded seating and an updated menu, including crispy pies from the pizza oven. The Market on Main is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week offering grab-n-go convenience. It is the perfect pairing of good food and good company.
3. Inspiring each other to be creative
Along with a service window to assist with events in the auditorium, the new Market on Main has a fully equipped teaching kitchen for residents to put their aprons on and try their hand at new recipes. It is only one of the many ways Maple Knoll Village inspires creativity, lifelong learning and togetherness. Another activity that residents enjoy is the monthly Art for Everyone sessions run by local Cincinnati artist Jennifer Hall. Participants have done everything from making tile mosaics to creating irreverent blackout poetry.
4. Exercising with friends and fitness specialists
Group activities have mental, emotional and physical benefits, especially when working out and staying active. At the Hemsworth Wellness Center at Maple Knoll Village, older adults can train one-on-one with a fitness specialist to build strength and boost their ability to perform everyday activities. Residents also have the option to join group classes such as tai chi, slow flow, yoga, and aqua aerobics in the 60-foot heated pool.
5. Sharing stories
Throughout the different neighborhoods of Maple Knoll Village, all residents enjoy a worry-free lifestyle in spacious apartments and villas. They can be active, healthy and independent, while having access to special events and activities with others. It is truly a unique place to call home and even has a member-supported public radio station, WMKV 89.3FM, that serves the greater Cincinnati area. Broadcasting locally and streaming worldwide, WMKV celebrates the Golden Age of Radio with entertaining live hosts, podcasts and other events.
For older adults, having a sense of community can significantly improve quality of life. There is peace of mind in knowing you are not alone and can continue to do the things you love while meeting new people. Couples and individuals alike choose to make the Maple Knoll Village community their forever home.