Pals, amigos, confidants, chums: no matter what you call them, friends are important to overall health. In fact, studies have shown that deep, long-lasting friendships—those outside of the family setting—contribute to a longer life with fewer health problems. And that perpetuates the cycle of making and preserving relationships.
There is also proof that social connections have positive effects on mental well-being. According to the Mayo Clinic, they lend people a sense of belonging and purpose, improve self-esteem, reduce stress, and boost happiness. In fact, friendships and socializing are considered one of the secrets to healthy aging.
At Cumberland Village, social connections aren’t just encouraged—they’re actively promoted. Relationships are the backbone of Cumberland Village, both between residents themselves and between residents and staff. Making introductions and nurturing those ties are part of the “onboarding” process for new residents.
It’s Easy Making Friends When Folks Feel Like Family
Building a social network begins before individuals even move into the community, and nobody has to do it on their own. A staff member connects with prospective residents, building a rapport so that they feel comfortable making the transition. Next, residents are introduced to the activities and daily functioning of the community, as well as to neighbors and other staff.
Marcelle James, director of Life Enrichment at the Hills of Cumberland Village, says one of the best ways for residents to get to know one another is during mealtimes. The restaurant-like dining room is designed with social interaction in mind, promoting easy conversation between diners. Staff members are strategic about seating new residents with those who may have similar personalities and interests. Sharing a meal is an enjoyable way for residents to break the ice and learn about each others’ backgrounds.
“Our goal is to make sure every one of the residents not only meets new friends, but feels like they have a new family,” James said.
The many fun and engaging activities at Cumberland Village further encourage social connections among residents. Active folks can chat over daily walks, aquacise, or yoga classes. Those with a competitive streak can join in a Bingo game or strike up a mahjong match. Creative types bond over painting lessons, crafting sessions, or adult coloring.
Events are another opportunity to forge friendships at Cumberland. Celebrations such as Mardi Gras (complete with golf cart parade), Super Bowl Sunday, and Chinese New Year allow residents to mingle and get to know one another, all while having a good time. Other fun activities include live musical performances, social hour, and good-spirited contests like “bad hair” day and “team spirit” day. And of course, just about everyone can bond over the many food-related celebrations at Cumberland, such as summer cookouts, ice cream socials, and birthday parties.
Get Up Close and Personal at Cumberland Village
Cumberland Village is much more than a senior community—it’s a family. Residents develop lifelong friendships here, and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with close social connections. Not only does this create a lively, tight-knit environment, it also improves the mental and physical well-being of those who call Cumberland Village home.