February 24, 2023

The Wildwood Senior Living Understands the Importance of Socialization and Building & Maintaining Relationships

Category: Health & Wellness

Author: Abby Smallwood, 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 The Wildwood 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, “I’m too young and active to be in senior living.” 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. Often moving into senior living can be a drastic change. It is my job to make sure the transition goes smoothly and that every resident feels comfortable, welcomed, and at-home. Sometimes new residents might have a friend already living in the community, but that is not always the case. I help residents build relationships through events to ensure they are happy, healthy, and living their best life. First, I meet the residents and I get to know them. I read the preference portion of their paperwork. This allows me to suggest friendship matches or encourage engagement in specific events. Something as simple as sitting with someone new in the restaurant can blossom into a friendship. My job is to create moments that promote friendship growth!

The Wildwood Senior Living is a great place for young and active adults. As I see it, we basically aim to take the work out of living and allow our residents to focus on the fun aspects of life! No more cooking, cleaning, or handyman work. We allow residents to enjoy their lives. We offer so many events, residents can choose the ones they prefer. Residents have complete autonomy and can choose to be as engaged and active as they see fit. Senior living is not a place to come to die, but rather a place to come to LIVE. Strengthen old friendships and develop new ones. Staff and neighbors offer extra security. So many residents have shared with me how beneficial Wildwood has been in their lives, often referring to us as a cruise ship that never leaves the dock!


The Wildwood Senior Living in Joplin, MO 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 Freeman Health System and Mercy Hospital with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Twin Hills Country Club, Northpark Mall, Grand Falls, Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center – National Audubon Society, Spiva Center for the Arts, and George Washington Carver National Monument.

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