July is coming to an end. But before we close this month out, we want to chat about a topic that doesn’t get enough attention, social wellness. July is Social Wellness Month and at Kane Senior Council, our mission is provide seniors the healthiest way to age in place. Often times we are quick to overlook mental or social wellness and put a focus on physical health. But with the increase of an aging population it becomes more of a relevant topic.
Kane Senior Council knows that the biggest factor in senior social wellness is combating isolation which is not just prevalent in homebound seniors. Senior isolation is now recognized as one of the biggest threats to an American senior. Side effects from isolation are not just mental and emotional but can also be physical. Isolation can harm a senior’s overall health. Signs of senior isolation include neglecting personal hygiene, cognitive decline, dramatic changes in weight or appetite and the list goes on.
You might be asking yourself, how does social wellness in a seniors life play a part in isolation? Social wellness is having a support group that you can reach out to when you are feeling blue or just need someone to talk to. The more we get out and talk to someone or interact with others, the less likely we are to suffer from isolation and the side effects it causes. We want to see our seniors living their best lives and thriving while they age in place. Our opportunities for senior social wellness are endless all of our services revolve around aging in great health.
Kane Senior Council offers a community dining Monday thru Friday in two locations in Kane County. One location is in Elgin and the other location is in Aurora! Our Community Dining Service provides seniors a chance to gather, eat lunch and chat. Getting out and making friends is one of the best ways to increase social wellness- plus what brings people together more than food?
Senior Dance Parties:
Who doesn’t love a good party! Several times a year we throw a huge dance party with hundreds of seniors from all over the Chicagoland area. The evening consists of food, dancing and great conversation. We love to throw these dance parties because it is a chance for all seniors to come together and enjoy an evening out. All too often seniors will stay in their homes because they feel there is not a place for them. When we started hosting our Senior Dance Parties we catered them to the seniors we serve. We took suggestions of music they wanted to hear, food they wanted to eat and times they wanted to be there. Kane Senior Council created something special that was for seniors of all walks of life to feel comfortable. Now that we have hosted a few Senior Dance Parties we are starting to see friendships flourish and isolation fading away.
Nothing creates a stronger social bond then banding together to help your community. Our volunteers are our life-line and we couldn’t do anything without them! Over time, our volunteers become our family and social support. The kindness we receive from them is one of a kind. Many of our volunteers start once they have retired. They have left the workforce and are ready for their new adventure. Once they start volunteering, they are hooked, making lifelong friends that you only hear about in stories. Getting out of the home every day to deliver meals helps continue healthy social wellness after leaving the workforce.
Not only are our volunteers improving their own social wellness but they are improving the social wellness of the seniors they serve. Our home delivered meal clients are home bound and often living in isolation. When they get their meal it is not just their food for the day. When a volunteer knocks on the door it is a friendly face saying hello or a caring soul checking on a neighbor. Many times our volunteers are the only people a homebound senior will see in a day. Just that quick hello makes a life impacting difference for someone living in isolation.
Kane Senior Council’s services are more than just a meal. They are what keeps seniors aging in place! Our mission is to ensure that seniors can live happy lives within their homes. Whenever we hear about a senior who has benefited from the services we provide, our hearts melt. We are glad to be an organization in Kane County that provides so much to so many. It is safe to say we are the social support system thousands with in our community!