How Social Connection Helps with Healthy Aging

how social connection helps aging

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



When you hear the words “healthy aging” you likely think about exercise, eating well, regular health checkups, and things like limiting alcohol consumption or quitting smoking. Most of us would never consider our social connections, or lack thereof, having any bearing on our health as we get older. But the reality is they have a big impact on both our mental and physical health. Here’s how social connection helps with healthy aging.

Benefits of Social Connection

As you might expect, having strong social connections as you age decreases your risk of anxiety and depression, according to the National Institute on Aging. However, there are physical benefits, too. The National Institute on Aging also states that those who have strong social connections have a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, some forms of cancer, and even a lower death rate than those who don’t. Bottom line: social connection and healthy aging go hand in hand.

The Struggle to Stay Social

Maintaining social connections as you age isn’t as easy as it may seem. There are a number of reasons why you may have less opportunity to be social at this time in life including:

  • Living alone
  • Hearing/vision loss
  • Limited mobility
  • Limited transportation options
  • Being a caregiver for someone with a serious condition
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Psychological or cognitive challenges

The good news is that it’s not necessarily the quantity of social connection you have, but rather it’s the quality that helps with healthy aging.

Tips for Creating and Maintaining Social Connection

Even though it may be more challenging, you can create and maintain social connections at any age. These tips can help:

  • Make the most of technology – It’s easier than ever to overcome distance, lack of transportation, and even mobility challenges with FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype, or even a simple phone call to stay connected with friends and family. Make a point to get in touch with at least one of these people daily.
  • Change up your daily routine – If your daily routine doesn’t involve much socialization, then consider doing something different, like starting a walking group or book club with the neighbors. Or, look at local clubs and classes that appeal to you.
  • Get involved – Volunteering is not only a way to give back, but it’s also a great opportunity to meet people with similar interests as well. Other ways to get involved in your community can include attending local events, supporting local teams, joining a faith-based organization, serving on a local board, and even shopping locally can be opportunities to connect.
  • Adopt a pet – Pets are wonderful companions at any age, and they also provide ample opportunity to connect with others, whether it’s at the dog park, cat café, or on walks through your neighborhood.

How Vitality’s Vibrant Connection Program Can Help with Healthy Aging

Should you still find it hard to stay social on your own, senior living communities like ours can help make it easier. In fact, that’s why we created Vibrant Connection as part of the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. To support our residents with healthy aging, we offer resident-led clubs, classes, social events, creative arts, and fitness and enrichment opportunities for any interest. All of which are conveniently available right outside your door (or transpiration is provided to offsite outings).

What’s more, you’ll enjoy amenities like a fitness center, pub, restaurant, beautiful grounds, and common areas perfect for spending time with neighbors, friends, and family. Not to mention we take care of chores like home maintenance and housekeeping for you, so you have more time to enjoy this social connection!

For more information about Vitality’s Vibrant Connection program, visit our Vivid Life webpage. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour and experience Vivid Life for yourself.

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