Healthcare in America continues to be a hot topic. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tackle it here. Except to suggest that multifamily environments could be as effective as diet and exercise in the fight for wellness and longevity. Ridiculous? Not according to psychologist Susan Pinker. Her research has uncovered a hidden and inexpensive strategy that is a more accurate predictor of health and a long life than abstaining from tobacco or alcohol—face-to-face interactions. That’s right, frequent social encounters, intimacy and support networks work like a vaccine in the body to build resiliency and protect us from disease.
And, no, you can’t just connect via text or email. In-person interaction is the key. But even if you’re a strong introvert, you needn’t worry—the interactions can be short and even wordless. A quick smile or hello can release some of the same chemicals in the brain.
The bottom line is that increased social contact actually makes healthier, happier residents. Who knew that intentionally creating space for our residents to meaningfully connect could make so much social, physiological and financial sense!
For nearly 15 years, the CARES Program has been working in conjunction with the multifamily industry to engage with residents and help foster healthy communities. For more information or for some ideas you can implement on your own, visit our Pinterest boards.