Introverted Seniors Shouldn’t Shy Away from Assisted Living Facilities

November 9, 2020

How will your senior parent adapt to life in an assisted living facility? Perhaps your mother is an extrovert who loves to meet new people and thrives at social gatherings. Dad may be the quieter type who prefers to spend his days reading books or relaxing in his room and watching sports on TV. It’s easy to feel confident that mom will thrive in the community, but you might worry a little about dad.

Can a more reserved parent be happy in a senior community? 

Yes, reserved individuals often thrive in assisted living, especially when their loved ones and staff stay attuned to their unique needs. This blog will explain how assisted living facilities support introspective residents, and what families can do to help them feel even more at home.

An introvert’s guide to assisted living communities.

senior-woman-smiling-in-gardenAt first glance, life in assisted living might look like it’s one social activity after another, and sometimes residents feel expected to participate. However, senior communities also offer a lifestyle that meets the needs of more reserved individuals. 

At its core, assisted living provides seniors help with activities of daily living like meals, transportation, bathing, and dressing. Getting help with these tasks frees up residents to live a comfortable life doing whatever they choose, either on their own or in the company of others. 

Residents also usually live in their own apartment on a larger campus, and this private space serves as a respite from others. This is where seniors can restore their energy as they see fit, often through individual activities like reading, writing, crafting, or listening to music.

Assisted living communities always offer social activities, but more introspective seniors may find these settings overwhelming. As an alternative, they may wish to socialize in more intimate ways, such as:

  • Joining a small book club or knitting group with two or three other members.
  • Group activities that don’t require a lot of conversation, like an art or exercise class.
  • Planning one-on-one social time with friends, online or in person as health and safety guidelines allow.

At Marquis, our person-centered care model supports seniors who prefer a more inward-looking life. Our activities staff is on hand to help these individuals find their own best balance between social interactions and alone time. 

How can you support a senior loved one who prefers their alone time?

You know better than anyone else what your parents love to do, how they approach life, and where they find meaning. This basic understanding can help you address any anxieties they may have around social interactions in assisted living. 

Here are  four key steps you can take to help your senior loved one feel supported:

  1. Reflect on the things they’ve always enjoyed doing. Look for related activities in their assisted living community and share what you have learned. Sharing the information starts a conversation. This is a gentler way to broach the subject of participation. 
  2. Ask questions about how they’re feeling and what they’re experiencing, so you can genuinely understand their situation.
  3. Practice active listening so they know they’re being heard and understood. Based on what you learn, you can then gently guide them toward social and individual pursuits they might find fulfilling. 
  4. Take your time. Reserved seniors may need to settle into their new community at a slower pace than more extroverted residents. Being patient gives them an opportunity to try new things when it feels right.

Staying sensitive to a parent’s unique needs and desires in these ways will help them feel appreciated, loved, and accepted just as they are.

Marquis offers senior living and care options that fit every personality and preference.

Marquis honors each resident’s independence and lifestyle preferences. Whether your senior loved one thrives in social situations or finds comfort in a quieter life, rest assured there’s an option just right for them. Our commitment to clinical expertise and person-centered care means they will be supported through every step of their aging journey. 

Want to learn more about the types of care available in Marquis senior living communities? View our guide to discover where your senior loved one will feel most at home. 

To speak with someone about senior care options, including our assisted living communities,  contact Marquis today.