Recent statistics report that by the year 2050, more than one-fifth of the U.S. population will be 65 years or older. The growth of the senior living housing industry continues to expand, with approximately 22,000 senior living communities existing across America in 2021. Senior living communities continue to offer amazing amenities and benefits for many older adults. In fact, for many older adults, moving to a senior living community earlier in their senior years improves their quality of life than if they had waited until their care needs determined when to move.
September is Healthy Aging Month. Many seniors are surprised to learn that senior living communities can help them maintain and improve their health in their golden years. Below are four ways in which senior living communities play a significant role in the health of an older adult.
Encourages an Active Lifestyle
Most senior living communities offer a robust recreational calendar filled with fitness, educational, spiritual, cultural, social, and enrichment classes tailored specifically for older adults. Not only do these recreational programs offer a fun way for seniors to pass the time, but they also encourage holistic growth that aligns with the seven dimensions of health. Many communities provide other on-site amenities, such as a fitness center, swimming pools, walking trails, or golf courses, making it easy for older adults to pursue an active lifestyle. Staying active in older age can prevent or delay the onset of many chronic health conditions that seniors are at risk for when they remain sedentary.
Provides Healthy Meals
Another important role senior living communities play in helping seniors maintain their health in older age is providing healthy meals. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet promotes healthy aging. Many senior living communities offer nutritious meals prepared in-house by professional chefs. Menus are overseen by nutritionists, ensuring that the specific dietary needs of older adults consuming the meals are met. Nutritionists also work with chefs to accommodate seniors with certain health conditions. Seniors with heart issues can opt for a heart-healthy meal, while seniors with diabetes can choose a low-carb meal, taking the guesswork out of managing tier dietary needs.
Prevents Social Isolation & Loneliness
One of the most important roles senior living communities play in maintaining the health of older adults is preventing social isolation and loneliness. A recent survey conducted by the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging shares some astounding results. Although the percentage of seniors feeling socially isolated has declined since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, 34 percent of seniors surveyed report feeling socially isolated. Senior living communities offer many opportunities to prevent social isolation and loneliness. Recreational activities provide a place and purpose for seniors to gather and socialize. Common dining rooms encourage socializing with peers over nutritious meals. Purposefully designed common spaces give seniors a place to just be, observing the comings and goings of other seniors or initiating a spontaneous game during downtime. The senior living community as a whole promotes a sense of belonging, which is vital to combatting loneliness and social isolation.
Instills Peace of Mind
Finally, senior living communities play a significant role in instilling peace of mind, which is important for healthy aging. Many senior living communities offer assistance with activities of daily living for those who need help. Transportation is provided for doctor appointments, errands, or group outings, removing barriers for seniors who can no longer drive. Most senior living communities offer maintenance services, negating the risk of a fall or injury while hanging pictures or changing a lightbulb. Seniors have access to trained staff who are available around the clock. Families, too, experience peace of mind knowing that their loved one is in a safe and secure environment and not sitting around at home bored. The peace of mind senior living communities provide helps to reduce stress and anxiety about growing older alone.
If you are ready to make the move to a senior living community and start living your best, healthy life, Senior Living Solutions is here for you. We offer free senior placement assistance in Arkansas and other vital planning and moving services. We have already toured and vetted the many senior living communities in the area and can save you time and the headache of touring places that aren’t suited for your situation. Whether you are looking for independent living, assisted living, or are exploring in-home care, we can help you navigate your options. To learn more, please contact us today by calling 501-650-3013.