One of the prime benefits assisted living homes tout is the friendships and close relationships that form between residents. The residents get to know each other as neighbors by sharing space and meals together. The activities offered by the assisted living community also build bonds.The families of residents prefer to hear that their loved ones have made friends because it reduces the family’s social obligations somewhat and helps combat loneliness in the resident.
The results of a study in the Journal of Applied Gerentology showed mealtime to be the most important event for building relationships between residents. Eating together provides the most opportunities for socializing in an assisted living home. The atmosphere of the dining hall affects residential depressive symptoms. The residents who said they enjoyed mealtime because of friendly neighbors and staff members showed higher life enjoyment. Residents who had more complaints about their dining experience were more likely to show signs of depression. Interestingly, all of the homes in this study (2009) designated seating during mealtime.
- Adjusting to Life in Assisted Living Facilities (everydayhealth.com)