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Independent Living for Introverted Seniors

Articles October 21st, 2015
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Socializing helps you live longer and healthier. It’s a fact. When you socialize with people, your brain activates in different areas. When you’re alone, your brain is used to the same stimulus, so it’s natural that your brain would react to different stimuli, in this case people.

But enough technical babble. Socializing is good for your health and it’s why so many senior housing communities celebrate socializing. Many host events, parties, and luncheons. There are dances, road trips, and banquet halls. All these things help foster a social atmosphere. This works well with most people who enjoy chatting with others and sharing new stories. However, not everyone likes to socialize all the time.

Most people tend to think of the “introvert” as the wallflower. Someone who doesn’t like being around people, who’s shy, reserved, bashful, etc. While those may be traits of an introvert, it’s not what defines an introvert. According to the Myers-Briggs personality test, the difference between introvert and extrovert is the difference between how you gather energy; what recharges your batteries, so to speak. For many extroverts, that means they’re motivated and inspired by the world around them. They like lively environments. This doesn’t necessarily mean more people, but it can mean simply creating an aesthetic in their own home that’s stimulating. It’s an outside force that they draw from. Introverts however gather energy from within.

Introverts do not need an outside environment to stimulate themselves, they need to be somewhere where they can reflect inward. This could be in a crowd as Fitzgerald cleverly wrote in The Great Gatsby, “I love large parties, they’re so intimate.” The idea being that no one is honing in on you, you can disappear with a friend and chat for a night.

In any case, the point of all this is to show that introverts do not need to socialize to recharge. In fact, most are adverse to that idea, and they shouldn’t shy away from senior housing options just because they’re less excited about participating in social events. Here’s why:

1. Private Rooms in Assisted Living

Assisted Living communities are apartment-styled buildings, so no doubt there will be some interactions daily, but seniors can always sign up for a private room instead of a semi-private room. The semi-private room cost less as it essentially means you’re opting for a roommate, but a private room is a space entirely to yourself.

In addition, many communities offer libraries or feature quiet group activities like painting or pottery. In any of those cases, peace and quiet is paramount and seniors can enjoy the energy within.

2. Yoga and Tai Chi in Nursing Homes

Most nursing homes offer yoga and Tai Chi as a way to speed recovery. Both these exercises are as rehabilitative as they are meditative. Introverts can find themselves right at home in these activities while still staying fit and being within a crowd.

This can help regulate breathing, flexibility, balance, and movement, as well as enable seniors to get in touch with themselves and reflect.

3. Independent Living Vs Adult Family Homes

With introverts however, it’s best to choose an option that will provide privacy where it’s needed and adult family homes may be the wrong choice. Adult family homes are residential homes retrofitted for seniors. They can be large or small, but can only have a total of 6 residents. This means that they’ll know each resident intimately. If that idea isn’t appealing, then independent living is the better route.

Independent living (or retirement homes) offer the maximum amount of independence available. Few feature shared walls or shared homes. Seniors essentially get their own house with their yard and home maintenance taken care of for them. Plus, if the community throws an event, you don’t need to hear it or be in the heart of where it’s located. Every senior has total control over his or her own social calendar. This is perfect for seniors who want to ensure tranquility without feeling abandoned, isolated, or lonely.

If you or your elder is particularly introverted and would like to find a senior housing community, then contact our advisors. Our services are free and we can find the best quality housing options for the lowest possible cost. Whether you’re looking for assisted living in Seattle, or independent living in Issaquah, we’re here for you.

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