As a senior citizen who has worked in the geriatric field for 40 plus years I know the importance of community. Thanks to some mentors with strong social skills, I have built durable memberships in a number of communities including extended family, church, former co-workers, and shared common interests. I have not done quite as well in the apartment complex where we reside part time but that can be managed with some proactive outreach.
A short definition:
Community is a “social unit with commonality such as place, norms, religion, values, customs, or identity”.
Communities are important because they contribute to your sense of wellbeing, and they are a place where you are free enough to share and secure enough to get along. In total, communities help provide a better sense of well-being, better health, feelings of security, opportunities to learn more, shared resources, stronger cooperation and better empathy and compassion.
Science has validated that human beings were not meant to be alone.
Perhaps you feel that you are part of a virtual community that is supportive. However, there are disadvantages to virtual over personal. Virtual can be challenging for people who do not have good technology skills. When you are online there are no physical cues which can lead to misunderstandings and virtual can be inefficient because of time lags.
Counselors at The Vine Wellness can help you to find courage and tools to establish or reestablish “membership” in a community that meets your needs. Some of the options you will explore include talking to strangers, taking time to reconnect and maintain friendships, becoming a volunteer, trying something new by yourself, and being patient with yourself. The benefits of community will profit you over the years with support, new skills, and education.
Want to learn more about the benefits to seeking community or to learn how to find your community? Janice is a life-long social worker/counselor that specializes in the aging population. Click below to learn more about her and her services!