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reg_8728What is the key to happiness throughout the golden years of retirement? According to research, achieving happiness can be as simple as a relationship. As we age, assisted living plays a vital role in increasing happiness and well-being.

In 1938, Harvard University began a study tracking 724 Boston males from varying socioeconomic backgrounds. Every two years, the men undergo a series of questions along with a physical exam and blood work. Over the past 75 years, the study has provided data about the factors that contribute to a healthy and happy life. It reveal the positive correlation between strong relationships among spouse, friends and family on long term physical and mental health. The research also revealed that health problems lead to stronger feelings of isolation and melancholy later in life.

As we age, our social circles begin to decrease, leaving many seniors lonely and secluded within their homes. Not only does assisted living provide a helping hand in the tasks of daily life, but it fosters social interaction. The study also reported that individuals who were connected to family and friends, as well as their community are happier, healthier and live longer, more fulfilling lives.

While it can be a challenge to make friends at any age, the task becomes more difficult after our early adult years. School and careers provide many opportunities to meet people. Robert Waldinger, psychiatry professor at Harvard University and forth director of the study, states that people who continue to broaden their friend group into retirement are happier in their golden years.

Moving to an assisted living community will reduce the feeling of solitude and helps to keep seniors active and engaged. The structured environment at Riverwood allows for privacy and freedom while creating a community atmosphere. When a new resident joins the community, we conduct activity surveys with new residents to determine their interests and preferences. We then use the information to help residents get to know each other. Sharing time with others that have similar interests creates friendships throughout any stage of life.

At Riverwood, our Activity Directors plan a variety of events, outings and entertainment to keep seniors active and engaged as well as increase social interaction among residents. Rather than being home, seniors enjoy games, activities, outings and exercise regularly. A sense of community creates feelings of belonging and increases overall happiness.

Although the move to an assisted living community may seem daunting and come with anxious excitement, many soon experience a feeling of genuine belonging and a new sense of family. Assisted living can help to strengthen the social bonds that play such an important role in long term mental and physical health.

To learn more about Riverwood, please call 706-235-0807.