If you or your loved one is considering a senior living community, you may be experiencing mixed feelings about the move. On one hand, having the right daily support and amenities on-hand sounds wonderful; on the other hand, leaving your current residence behind is difficult for a variety of reasons.
Approximately 90 percent of adults 65 years of age and older in the U.S. want to stay in their family house as they grow older. Additionally, senior living has been portrayed as an unwelcoming environment in the media, creating negative—and often inaccurate—stereotypes about day-to-day life in these communities.
Today’s modern senior living communities aren’t the cold, sterile nursing homes portrayed in pop culture. They’re vibrant, fulfilling places that provide the lifestyle and care residents need while empowering them to live life to its fullest.
The Benefits of Senior Living Communities
Senior living communities provide plenty of amenities and perks such as delicious food, convenient services, and health-focused resources designed to meet the needs of residents and enhance their lifestyle. Let’s explore some of the top benefits of senior living communities.
1. A Sense of Community
Anyone can feel isolated or lonely, no matter where they live. As we age, this feeling often worsens as peoples’ social circles start to shrink. Isolation and feelings of loneliness can lead to depression and anxiety as well as impact cognitive health. One well-known key to healthy aging is eating well and exercising, but another essential key is often overlooked: socialization and connection.
Senior living communities are designed with social connection and relationship-building in mind. Shared spaces such as dining areas, game rooms, and community movie theaters are busy throughout the day and offer plenty of opportunities for your loved one to make new social connections while strengthening existing ones. A varied, vibrant schedule of activities, events, and fitness classes means residents can often make friends with shared interests.
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2. Healthy, Delicious Dining Options
One of the leading causes of poor health is poor nutrition. In fact, heart disease can sometimes be prevented through a healthier lifestyle. Eating healthier is easier when that healthy food also tastes good, but meal planning, food shopping, and cooking three healthy meals a day can be overwhelming.
One of the best benefits of senior living is that your loved one can say goodbye to these food-related chores. Senior living communities provide all daily meals, with delicious and nutritious dining options that cover a variety of dietary needs.
For example, at most Cedarhurst Senior Living communities, we offer specialized menu options that focus on health without compromising flavor with our Crafted by Cedarhurst℠ dining program. We work with residents and professional chefs to create a delicious and inspiring menu that includes familiar favorites (hello, breakfast all day!) as well as salads, sandwiches, soups, and more.
Our menu includes:
- Gluten-free choices for those who have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease
- Diabetic-friendly options
- Low-sodium fresh, whole foods
- Heart-healthy foods that keep the heart in good shape while prioritizing flavor
- Boost Your Brain℠ food options to promote cognitive health
3. Engaging Programming and Events
Senior living communities offer enriching activities, events, and programs that provide multiple opportunities to connect with others and learn something new. The activities vary between communities and may include concerts, creative workshops, and more.
There are generally several different options of enriching programming and events to ensure that each resident has the opportunity to engage in an activity that aligns with their interests. Whether it’s programming such as educational lectures, fitness classes, holiday celebrations, game nights, book or garden clubs, volunteering, or outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone.
The best senior living communities also regularly seek input from residents on activities and events that they’d like to experience in the community. For example, at Cedarhurst, we give each new resident a survey so we can learn more about them and what they enjoy doing. Then, four times a year, we take another survey to find out what other activities residents would like to see in the community in the future.
4. Animal Friends are Welcome
For many, a pet is more than a companion; it’s a family member. Pets offer plenty of benefits to their owners, including reducing stress and loneliness, promoting a better quality of life, and serving as a social icebreaker to help your loved one make new friends.
The best senior living communities recognize the importance of pets and welcome them. Some communities even provide dog parks and walking trails so residents and their pets can get the exercise they need. Residents who don’t have a pet but love them find it comforting and therapeutic to visit with another resident and pet their dog or cat.
In the right senior living community, your loved one has the freedom to focus on the daily activities they want to do instead of dealing with the chores and burdens of running a household. Senior living team members provide services such as laundry, housekeeping, and home maintenance so residents can pursue things they love instead.
Senior living convenience goes beyond just chores. Many senior living communities provide a great deal of resources just outside residents’ front doors, including haircuts at the on-site salon, physical therapy in the gym, and a nearby pharmacy for refilling prescriptions.
6. Care Designed to Meet Your Loved One’s Needs
Senior living communities have staff available to provide the level of care residents require while helping them live life to its fullest. For example, assisted living communities keep caregivers on hand around the clock to provide support with showering, dressing, and other activities of daily living, depending on the unique needs of that individual.
Memory care community team members assist with the unique requirements of residents with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. These communities also offer additional security to prevent residents from wandering too far away from home.
7. Support for Healthy Living
In addition to a healthy diet, exercise is key to maintaining a healthy weight, which can reduce the risk of fractures and prevent falls. Sticking to a physical fitness routine is important as we age to maintain strong bones, balance, and flexibility. Many senior living communities make implementing and maintaining a physical fitness routine easy with fitness classes, fitness centers, and outdoor spaces with sidewalks and walking trails.
Find a Senior Living Community You Love
Not all senior living communities are alike. Get our guide to explore What Makes Cedarhurst Different from Other Senior Living Communities.
Not sure if it’s time for your loved one to rightsize into a senior living community? Take our quick, free assessment to find out.