Get To Know Your Neighbours During a Pandemic

men playing pool

Nothing has cramped our social lives quite like the Covid-19 pandemic, but within Bria Communities seniors residences’ good friends and neighbours can always be found.

Seniors who have the option of living in a retirement community experience many of its advantages. They enjoy meals made by professional chefs instead of shopping and cooking for themselves. Regular housekeeping and laundry services free them up to spend their time on leisure activities instead of chores. Safety features provide them with peace of mind and confidence throughout the day.

A Social Life Extends Your Physical Life

These are very tangible benefits, but the benefits of senior living communities are far more significant than just convenience. The World Health Organization recognizes the direct correlation between loneliness and longevity. Researchers agree, social isolation puts individuals at risk the same way alcohol use, smoking and obesity do. It’s a proven that opportunities to socialize and connect with others extend our lifespans.

Making social connections becomes more difficult as we age, and seniors often experience social isolation. Factors such as mobility issues, the loss of a spouse or friend, and a decrease in energy levels can all impact a senior’s desire and ability to engage in relationships that restore and rejuvenate.

Seniors Can Get To Know Their Neighbours

Senior living communities offer the opportunity to live in a close-knit neighbourhood full of like-minded individuals experiencing similar life-stage. Whether it’s a casual conversation with a neighbour in the hallway, a rousing discussion of current events across the dinner table, joking and laughing during happy hour, or the shoulder of a good friend to cry on in difficult times—seniors living together have opportunities to connect.

“With seniors centres, recreation spaces, and even coffee shops closed down because of Covid-19 restrictions, it is more difficult than ever to find ways to get to know your neighbours,”says Janice Miller, Marketing Manager for Bria Communities. “Within our Bria Communities homes we understand and value the significance of these human connections; that’s why we use the tag line ‘get to know your neighbours’ when we invite prospective residents to come live with us.”

Safe & Social Solutions for Seniors

“Every day, our staff chat with seniors who are waiting to move into a seniors residence until after the pandemic is over,” notes Janice. “We understand their concern, but I think it’s important to consider what they’re losing out on as they wait. There’s a relational quality of life in our communities that isn’t necessarily available to a senior individual or couple who are living on their own.”

For many seniors, uncertainty about safety makes the idea of moving into a shared living arrangement concerning. Is now a safe time to move into a seniors community?  Most seniors in British Columbia have had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination. In addition, safety practices like social distancing, wearing masks, and frequent hand hygiene are part of daily life in Bria Communities. “We pay special attention to the health and safety of our residents,” notes Janice. “We’re delighted that since we were all vaccinated in early March, there have been no Covid cases, exposure alerts or even potential exposure alerts among residents. Our residents are cautious and feel safe here.”

This past year has given many of us a first-hand experience with the effects of social isolation on our mental, emotional and physical health. Seniors who can choose to live in a retirement community have an opportunity that many younger people don’t; the opportunity to enjoy a carefree lifestyle in a safe setting, surrounded by friends and neighbours.