It’s All About Play

“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein

Today as I was looking over the Edenton November activity calendars, it struck me how many groups, games, and social occasions we plan for our Residents. Social connections are so important and vital.

Earlier this year, I read a report released by the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murphy, entitled “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation.” Even before the pandemic struck, there was a concern that loneliness and isolation was a major public health concern, especially for seniors. The pandemic’s restrictions on group gatherings increased the social isolation challenge. Still today, it’s hard to get back into the routine of attending the most basic gatherings in person– community meetings, volunteer events, church services, performances, lectures, parties, book clubs, and even game nights, to name just a few.

Senior living communities understand that social connections are essential to our health and well-being. Communication with and engaging with others is so important to maintain our health, mental acuity, language skills and activity levels. There can be challenges when someone’s only routine evolved around work, and they didn’t participate in other hobbies or activities. When work stops, what is that person going to do?

Independent and assisted living communities offer opportunities to connect. There are many chances for casual interactions each day, and sometimes close relationships form between Residents, staff, family members and other community visitors.

Edenton’s staff, and most especially our Life Enrichment Coordinators, work diligently to plan activities to enhance social connections for Residents. Residents who are engaged can maintain, or even improve, their physical and emotional health, mood and concentration, and have a sense of belonging.

It’s so easy to be home and not stretch and develop social connections. Don’t let that happen! Join a club. Reconnect with a group where you used to volunteer. Break out the cards or board games and invite a few family members or friends over. Plan a potluck meal with friends you have only messaged on social media. Call someone you haven’t heard from in a while – especially an older adult who may not be connecting with others like they used to. There are so many opportunities if we just take the next step.

Various board game elements on a table image Edenton takes this social activity initiative seriously every day. Look at any of the five different campus activity calendars – independent living, assisted living and memory care. If you want to join a good Yahtzee game, stop by the Garden House on Mondays. Residents are in the Manor House every day for planned exercise, games, and social events. Pokeno is a favorite at Blossom Place. I guarantee you that Orchard Terrace has a domino game every day (and yes, they keep score)! And Fiddler’s Green residents enjoy both card games and word games.

Consider what you can do. Reach out. Play.



RaeAnn Butler Corporate Portrait image

RaeAnn E. Butler, MBA, LNHA, NCCDP, CADDPTIs the President/Administrator of Edenton Frederick


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