The decision to move to senior living can be difficult and emotional. Most people prefer to stay at home as long as possible, but what they may not realize is how much senior living can improve their lives. In fact, many residents say they wish they had made the move sooner.
Here are the top five benefits of senior living.
- Social opportunities: Many older adults who live alone have too little social contact. Seniors who live in isolation are at greater risk for a number of health conditions. Having regular social contact not only helps with feelings of loneliness, but it also improves health and quality of life. In addition, evidence suggests that regular social contact helps seniors continue to perform daily tasks as they age.
- Improved nutrition: Eating is a social experience. For most of us, it’s a welcome opportunity to enjoy the company of family and friends, so it’s no surprise that studies show poor nutrition is associated with isolation. When a person lives alone, there can be a lack of motivation to eat and to prepare balanced, nutritious meals. Living in a community where nutritious food is readily available and is enjoyed in the company of others has a strong impact on well-being.
- Finding new purpose: Many people experience a loss of purpose as they age, often due to declining health or changing roles in life. But this doesn’t have to be a given part of aging. In fact, many who move into a senior living community are surprised by the engaging and purposeful opportunities they find. From enjoying hobbies and learning new things to volunteering, the possibilities are virtually endless. Research studies have shown that those who have a higher sense of purpose have lower rates of dementia and other chronic health conditions.
- Better access to healthcare: Almost all senior living communities provide some level of healthcare services or provide access to healthcare services. These can include nurses, visiting physicians, therapy services and/or daily wellness checks. This means changes in health are likely to be addressed sooner. This proactive approach can help you or your loved one potentially avoid a serious problem and/or a hospital visit.
- Safety and security: Often, senior living is considered because of concerns associated with falling, inability to perform daily tasks or even confusion and wandering. Having attentive, compassionate, full-time staff on-site to help can be a relief for seniors and their family members.
While this is one of the biggest decisions you and your family will face, the many benefits of senior living can help make the choice easier and give you much needed peace of mind. In fact, many seniors who’ve embraced senior living early on are not only thankful they did it, but also thriving as a result.