Family & Friends at Heritage Woods of Ottawa 

Robin Kakara 

Heritage Woods of Ottawa understands the importance of family involvement in resident’s lives. On the last Friday of each month, Heritage Woods of Ottawa hosts a family and friends party with music and food. This event is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend! Last month’s family and friends patio party had performer Rick Selquist’s live music for all the enjoy. There was also a food truck for everyone to treat themselves to a complimentary Tropical Sno, or two! It was wonderful to see the residents laughing and enjoying each other’s company as well as all the family and friends who visited. 

Family visits have been shown to improve a resident’s overall health and also lets them know you care. Staying mentally engaged can greatly lower the risk of dementia in older adults. Family visits not only help break up the routine of daily activities, but can also help keep them connected to the world around them. Social isolation is a very real problem for many seniors in all communities. Isolation and loneliness can greatly impact the health of seniors. One study found that lonely seniors have a 59% higher risk of physical and mental health decline and a 45% greater risk of death. Other researchers have suggested that loneliness can be as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic. 

Here are a few tips that can help prevent loneliness in seniors. First you will need to determine the “right” amount of socialization for your loved one. You don’t want to overwhelm them with too much too soon. Encourage visitors to stop in and stay awhile. Fuel their interests, if they like pets and animals for instance, bring one on your visit and let them experience that. Outdoor activities, even simple ones, can really boost mood. 

Heritage Woods of Ottawa takes all dimensions of wellness into consideration when providing individualized care. Assisted living communities are a great way to discourage loneliness in the elderly! If you know a lonely senior, please try to visit them as often as possible!