Do I Have to Eat with Others?
In our society, or any society for that matter, eating is normally seen as a communal activity. It allows us an opportunity to meet two needs at once: the need for sustenance and the need to socialize. However, sometimes we all have bad days, or just days where we feel off, or may not feel well, or we simply wish to spend some time alone. With this in mind, it may cause some apprehension to a senior if he or she thinks they’ll be forced to socialize upon moving into a facility.
For introverts, this can be a terrifying thought, so let’s put it to rest right now.
The thing is that in most, if not all, facilities, the staff understand that no one prefers to socialize 100% of the time, and therefore residents have the option of eating in the privacy of their rooms if they wish to do so. Of course, it’s generally expected that people will be sociable at least some of the time, otherwise that’d make for a nearly unbearable experience. However, by giving able seniors the option to eat on their own if they want to, they allow them to retain more of their freedom than perhaps they previously thought.
What’s more—by choosing to associate and socialize with others, it can further benefit seniors by giving them something to look forward to throughout the day, especially if they have a new friend they are particularly close to. By establishing new relationships, this can also help to relieve some of the anxiety they could be feeling at the thought of having to eat alone if they’d rather not do so.