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February 24, 2023

Cedar Trails Senior Living Understands the Importance of Socialization and Building & Maintaining Relationships

Category: Health & Wellness

Author: Shelbe Reibold, Resident Services Director

No matter our age, building relationships with others is fundamental in enriching our lives. Research has shown that people who enjoy healthy relationships, live longer and happier lives. Maintaining relationships as we age has numerous health benefits such as increasing our physical and mental health, increasing mental acuity, promoting laughter and more!

At Cedar Trails Senior Living, I, as the Resident Services Director, play a pivotal role in helping to create opportunities for our residents to build relationships with their peers as well as helping to maintain these relationships through daily events. Oftentimes, aging adults are afraid of senior living settings. They see it as an end to their independence. Most fear being isolated from family and friends. One of the stigmas associated with senior living is, ā€œIā€™m too young and active to be in senior living.ā€ Therefore, many avoid it as an option all together. Unfortunately, this means they also lose out on the abundant opportunities to create new friendships and memories that this setting provides.

In our community, we have a group of residents who are professionals at welcoming new residents and helping them to feel at home as they settle in. We also ensure that new residents are invited to join all events, based on their preferences. Once our residents take advantage of these events, they often find themselves meeting new people or even connecting with old friends or neighbors. Through our daily events and programs, we often see close friendships form that continue. Residents begin having meals together or even take trips out of the community for shopping and family get-togethers.

It is my goal to help build and foster these relationships and break the stigmas associated with senior living communities. When a resident first moves in, it is my job to ensure they settle in comfortably and to support them as they begin forming friendships. Right off the bat, we invite new residents to daily events. It can be hard for someone new to feel comfortable with joining an event or meeting new people. So, we as resident services directors need to encourage them and find residents with similar interests, they can spend time with. As residents experience more of the daily life in the community, they start to feel more comfortable. This is when you see relationships form. Residents will attend events together and even encourage others to attend. One of my favorite parts of residents engaging in events is when they begin to form bonds over similar interests.

The best way to break the stigma of feeling too young and active to live in a senior living community is for older adults to come and experience an event in our community. They may not know we play beach ball or that we go on outings once a week. When we can show seniors what life in our communities looks like, we can often change their mind. I try to be the life of the party, so our residents always feel a sense of excitement about the daily events. And that is just something you may not always get at home. We want older adults to want to spend time with us and that starts with the experience the moment they walk through the door.


Cedar Trails Senior Living in Freeburg, IL offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near St. Elizabeth’s Hospital with convenient access to major shopping centers, including The Orchards Golf Club, Target, Eckerts Belleville Farm, Braeutigam Orchards, and the Belle Clair fairgrounds & Expo Center.

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