True Love: Senior Connections at Anthology Communities
Love is in the air! As we approach Valentine’s Day, we’re looking to our sweethearts and our loved ones. It’s often easy to overlook the profound importance of human connection, particularly senior connections. Within Anthology communities, love and friendship is blossoming – join us as we share tales of enduring love, cherished friendships and the remarkable bonds that prove it’s never too late to find love in your life.
Importance of Companionship for Seniors
Throughout our lives, we make hundreds of friends. Some of our friendships are for a short period of time, and some transcend decades. Opportunities to socialize are often more limited than they are when you are younger, and seasons of life change over time. For seniors, making social connections can be harder later in life than in earlier years.
In Anthology communities, our team works tirelessly to create socialization opportunities for senior connections so our residents can stay connected and foster friendship and companionship. The benefits of living in a retirement community can include friendship and endless socialization and also include improved mental health and cognitive abilities, reduced stress and increased sense of belonging.
Findings from a recent research study underscore the significant impact of strong social ties on the longevity and cognitive health of seniors. According to the study, seniors who maintain robust friendship and companionship tend to live longer than those who lack social relationships. Moreover, the research highlights a compelling correlation between life enrichment, social engagement and a reduced risk of dementia among seniors.
Furthermore, fostering both new and existing relationships plays a pivotal role in combating self-isolating behavior and loneliness within senior living communities. By actively nurturing these connections, seniors are provided with opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations, share meals and bond over shared interests and values. These interactions not only enhance the quality of life for seniors but also contribute to a vibrant and supportive community environment where individuals can thrive emotionally and socially.
Friendship Goals at Anthology
At Anthology of The Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri lies a truly sweet story of later-in-life senior friendship: best friends Billee and Sue. Sue, who lost her husband a few years ago and faced the challenge of mobility after two strokes, found solace when she moved in with us. Billee, who experiences both vision and hearing loss, entered Sue’s life like a ray of sunshine, and they became instant friends.
Billee fondly refers to Sue as her “eyes and ears,” while Sue lovingly calls Billee her “legs.” Together, these two besties are inseparable, sharing every meal side by side and constantly finding ways to bring joy to each other’s lives. The two love spending days participating in community activities for seniors and giggling together in the way only the best of friends can.
Since they’re neighbors, Billee often tries to sneak into Sue’s room to leave little surprises like Hershey’s Kisses, a gesture that speaks volumes about the depth of their senior friendship. They are an absolute joy to have in the community because they are always up to something fun, hand in hand!
This senior story is a great example of how Anthology communities facilitate seniors meeting seniors and the senior living benefits of living in a community like ours.
Texas-Sized Love Stories
In our Anthology of Denton community in Denton, Texas, we welcomed two new residents, Joe and Beth, each with their own unique needs. Joe found himself settling into memory care with surprising ease, embracing the engaging planned programming and activities for seniors. Beth also lived in the community but in a neighboring assisted living space.
This was the first time in their marriage that the couple had resided separately, and Joe found himself anxious without his dear wife by his side. He often asked about Beth, who missed her husband but was hesitant to visit, fearing she might disrupt Joe’s daily routine or upset him.
The Anthology team worked to create a plan for the two lovebirds to spend as much time together, safely and securely, as possible. Thanks to the ingenious intervention of the memory care community director, Beth’s visits were carefully structured, timed to coincide with Joe’s favorite daily activities like bingo and meals. This senior romance was able to stay intact even though living arrangements changed.
What started as a simple solution soon blossomed into cherished moments for Joe and Beth, ensuring their time together was always filled with joy and anticipation, with many more visits to look forward to. This thoughtful approach to adjusting their individual care plans to suit their unique needs and situation is what the memory care directors at our Anthology communities do every day. Working together to nurture both new social relationships and established connections is at the heart of what we do.
In another anecdote from our Anthology of Denton community, we find another couple that took the vow of “for better or worse” to heart: Hazel and Richard. The couple had a seemingly perfect life – a loving family, successful careers and dreams of early retirement paired with global adventures. However, their path took an unexpected turn with Hazel’s early-onset dementia diagnosis.
Despite the challenges, her husband, Richard, remained steadfast, continuing to work while ensuring she received the best care possible. As she navigated her journey, Hazel maintained a radiant smile, greeting each day with positivity. Her husband’s presence was a source of comfort, with their reunions marked by warm embraces and smiles. Together, they found joy in dancing in the courtyards and exploring the community. Through every obstacle, Richard stood by Hazel’s side, demonstrating unwavering support and love.
Find Your New Best Friend at Anthology
As we conclude this celebration of senior connections, it becomes abundantly clear that age is merely a number when it comes to the enduring power of companionship and love. At all of our Anthology communities, we’ve witnessed the profound impact of senior friendship in enriching lives, providing support and fostering joy.
These stories serve as a reminder that no matter our age, the bonds we form with others are timeless treasures that illuminate our journey through life. As we continue to collect good memories shared with our senior loved ones, let us also honor the lessons learned from their remarkable friendships and love stories, for they are a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the beauty of connection.
*Some names have been changed to protect our beloved residents!