October 23, 2019
Generally speaking, we all fall into one of two broad personality types: introverts and extroverts. The main difference between extroverts and introverts is where they draw their energy. Extroverts gain energy by being around other people. Introverts, on the other hand, lose energy by being around too many people at one time; they recharge by spending time alone.
Our personality traits tend to stay with us throughout life. However, it’s not uncommon to become slightly more introverted as we get older. With age, it’s natural to transition from being the “life of the party” to enjoying more time alone or with a few close friends.
For introverted seniors, the idea of moving from a private home to community living can be intimidating. They may fear they’ll never have privacy or quiet time to relax and recharge. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Today’s assisted living communities are well-suited for introverts and extroverts alike.
Let’s take a look at the ways assisted living communities can make life easier for both introverts and extroverts:
Comfortable, private living
In most assisted living communities, residents live in their own private apartment suites. Depending on the layout, the apartment may include a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette that can be furnished with personal belongings. Residents are free to enjoy quiet time alone or invite friends and family to visit them in their apartment.
Assisted living communities do operate on schedules, but residents enjoy a great deal of flexibility in how they spend their days. For example, while mealtimes may follow a set schedule, residents have the option of eating in a community dining room or having their meal delivered to their apartment.
Residents don’t have to adhere to a daily agenda of pre-determined activities, either. Assisted living communities have activity coordinators on staff who plan events, activities, and programs that are designed to suit a variety of interests and personalities. There’s something for everyone, so residents can choose what they want to do and skip the rest!
Socialization is available, but not required
It’s a common misconception that introverts are “anti-social.” The reality is that extroverts and introverts both need socialization; they just thrive on different amounts and types of social activity. Thankfully, living in an assisted living community makes it possible for residents to socialize with their peers as much—or as little—as they desire.
For extroverts, the numerous social opportunities offered in assisted living can be exciting. They might enjoy going to ice cream socials or happy hours, excursions to shopping malls or theatres, and big holiday parties. But for introverts, too much social time can be draining. Most introverted seniors still desire social connection, just in smaller doses. They may benefit from participating in a small book club or discussion group, attending lectures, or creative solo activities like painting or writing.
Having the freedom to choose how you want to spend your days is what retirement is all about! The best assisted living communities acknowledge and understand the differences between extroverts and introverts, and find ways to make each personality type feel welcome and comfortable. This way, no matter if you’re a social butterfly or a wallflower, you’re sure to fit right in!