As retirees advance in age, they will often find themselves spending more time in solitude. While socializing with others is important, below are some reasons why those residing in senior living homes need time to themselves.
Gives Time to Reflect
Taking time to reflect is an essential aspect of cognitive health. When an individual spends time alone, they will be in a better position to quietly reflect on the things they’ve achieved during their life, along with the mistakes they’ve made and future goals. This will promote the feeling of purpose which can be greatly therapeutic, as it can also give them direction.
Spending time alone also enables one to engage in activities such as meditation and mindfulness, which provides serenity and a stronger connection to themselves, their environment and other people. This is especially true for highly successful retirees who were so busy during their younger days that they rarely had time to slow down and reflect.
Encourages the Development of New Passions
The lifestyle changes and reduced mobility that often accompany advancing age can make it challenging for elders to participate in the passions and hobbies that interest them, which can in turn result in feelings of monotony and aimlessness. Solitude on the other hand can spark both productivity and creativity, encouraging retires to engage in activities which they can enjoy alone. This leads to both joy and purpose, which is a necessity for one’s happiness and overall well-being.
Assists Introverts in Gaining Energy
Psychologists state that most humans either have extroverted or introverted personalities. Extroverts are individuals that enjoy being in the company of other people, and in fact gain energy from it. When they’re alone, extroverts will expend energy and must not remain in solitude for too long otherwise it could make them feel down. Introverts are the complete opposite. They prefer spending time alone and will actually gain energy from solitude, and will expend it when around groups or crowds.
One of the greatest fears of many retirees is a loss of autonomy. This is why many are so reluctant to relocate into retirement communities. Even when they are receiving assistance from caretakers, they must be given time alone so that they can feel independent. This will help retain their dignity, which is extremely important.
Spending a certain amount of time alone will promote a sense of agency regarding their life, which is necessary during times of uncertainty or change. One of the worst mistakes a caretaker can make is treating retirees like a child. Instead, you want to encourage them to do as much as possible for themselves.
A quality retirement community is one that offers a good balance between socialization and solitude. While residents should be given the opportunity to partake in community group activities such as trips, dances, parties and other social functions, they must also be given personal time to themselves where they can reflect, and should be provided access to the best therapy and tools to keep them as mobile and healthy as possible.