Friday, October 07, 2022

Activity program provides purpose, socialization for seniors

Mens Club1 gazebo

Staying social while being a resident at Saint Mary’s at Asbury Ridge is a big benefit to prospective residents and their families who are worried about social isolation. Many seniors living at home may experience some form of social isolation often because of the challenges faced by loss of mobility, lack of transportation, living alone due to the death of a spouse or partner, or relying on the availability of their family and caregivers.

A retirement community like Saint Mary's that offers a robust activity program and opportunities for socialization can help take some of those worries away.

The story below is one example of how the social opportunities at Saint Mary's benefitted a group of men and allowed them to form connections and new friendships they may have never experienced if living alone at home.

A closer look: Fostering friendship among the men of Saint Mary's

Saint Mary's offers a full activity calendar seven days-a-week for our residents and features a variety of activities to reach everyone's interest. But in many senior communities, women often make up the majority of the resident population. While activities are always geared toward the interest of both men and women, women tend to gravitate toward certain activities more and may find it easier to mingle and make friends. It became clear that having a dedicated place for the male residents at Saint Mary’s to get together would benefit them socially and mentally as well as provide a natural way to foster new friendships.

“These guys really needed a space where they could come together,” said Tammy Pelinsky, Activities Coordinator for Residential Living. Because Tammy interacts daily with residents she quickly noticed this need and acted upon it by introducing the idea for Men’s Club. Men's Club began in the late spring of 2022 so that newer gentleman could get to know those who have been at Saint Mary's longer. “It’s just so nice to see them come to the Men’s Club activities, have a snack and bond with their peers.”

Men’s Club aims to meet a few times a month and provides an opportunity for the men at Saint Mary’s to engage with each other in a way that’s fun, familiar and purposeful. The activity team at Saint Mary's supports the group and assists with getting them to and from the activity. The guys give their input on what they would like to do and even spearhead some of the activities on their own. In fact, Men's Club has sometimes gone so well that Tammy has politely been asked to come back later so they could keep talking about "guy stuff."

“Sometimes you just need guy time,” stated Bill Bloomstine, a resident of Asbury Ridge. Whether that guy time is spent at a game of poker, hitting the putting green or sitting under the gazebo and sharing stories, it’s always nice to see the “guys” of Saint Mary’s together and benefitting from the friendships formed among one another.