Though the years following turning 65 are supposed to be our golden years, forty-three percent of seniors report feeling lonely as they age. Loneliness and the depression that can result from it can have devastating effects. In fact, it has even been shown to shorten the lives of those who experience it. One solution is senior housing. Moving to a residence with other seniors offers more opportunities for camaraderie and can improve one’s overall physical and mental health. If you or a loved one are considering senior housing, here are a few ways the choice could positively impact wellness:
Reduces home maintenance anxiety. Though aging in place is popular among seniors, staying in a home that requires frequent repairs or is simply too difficult to maintain can be very detrimental to seniors’ physical and mental health. Trying to clean a home that presents a lot of fall or tripping risk can endanger an older person and living in a home that isn’t clean can lead to illness. Not to mention the financial burden that comes with constant repairs. Senior living communities offer residents the opportunity to downsize while also freeing themselves from the responsibilities that come with maintaining a home.
Improves social connections. For seniors without an extensive family or friend network or for those with mobility problems, finding ways to socialize with others can be difficult. But when those social connections are readily available the results are astounding. Studies show that improving a senior’s “social capital” can also improve everything from mobility to cognitive ability. Senior living communities are great ways to make socialization easier for seniors.
And while living near other seniors definitely helps reduce loneliness, it’s important to note that making the move can also positively impact a senior’s relationship with their family members. Rather than spending those interactions going to doctor’s appointments or discussing needed home repairs, senior living helps alleviate the responsibilities that family members often take on, making everyone happier and freeing seniors up for more meaningful interactions with them. So, for example, instead of spending a “visit” with your grandson alone while he picks up the leaves in your yard, you can talk with him about your shared passion for classic cars or challenge him to a game of chess.
Improves diet. Before aging affects our ability to get around, we often take for granted being able to make or go out and purchase delicious, healthy meals. But many seniors, whether as a result of physical impairments or depression, find it difficult to stand in the kitchen preparing a meal, let alone going to a busy grocery store. Senior living communities provide much-needed food prep assistance. They also provide communal eating options so that seniors don’t always have to eat alone.
Makes getting out and about easier. As we age driving becomes more difficult and our ability to walk for long periods of time decreases. These changes in mobility can make seniors feel isolated and alone. Many senior housing communities offer transportation to residents. Offering transportation fulfills practical needs, such as taking residents to medical appointments, but it also re-opens the world to seniors who may have been spending much of their time homebound. Communities often have outings, loading up residents in the community bus to attend local events, go to the movies, go bowling, and more.
Everyone deserves to be has happy as possible. It’s very unfortunate that so many elderly people feel resigned to a fate of loneliness and isolation. Senior housing offers many wellness improvements that definitely make it a choice worth considering.