5 Hidden Perks You Never Knew About Senior Living Communities
April 27, 2017
Why you wish you’d taken advantage of living at a senior community years ago
Senior living communities are everywhere and, when evaluating whether to make a move or not, today’s generation of older adults want abundant benefits that outweigh their hesitations. Senior communities know that, so they’re answering by continually evolving to deliver high-quality amenities, top-notch services, and bundled inclusions.
They’re not what you may picture if you ever visited Grandma at a nursing home years ago. They could be communities that offer a full continuum of care, a standalone service such as independent senior apartments, or assisted living. They are innovative, comfortable facilities with state-of-the-art architectural details and smart features.
And what’s even better than all the luxurious aesthetics and services that people focus on when selecting a community? The less-known but powerful ways these communities are able to enhance the lives of older adults, perhaps without them even realizing it at the time.
- Financial balance
The expenses of renting at a senior community are going to set you back in the long run, right? Not so! Most people don’t think about the unexpected ways older adults save money by living at a senior community, but the instances are real. All homeowners dedicate some dollars in their budget to property maintenance, whether it’s lawn care, snow removal, repairs, physical enhancements or regular maintenance to structures, and more. In addition, they’re used to paying the monthly cable, phone, internet, electric, and water bill. They’ve undoubtedly planned on monthly expenses for dining out, entertainment, and fuel expenses. Now imagine striking those all off your expenditures. Sure, paying monthly rent for your apartment is a sizeable expense, but when you consider that many or all of the above are included, it’s a happy realization.
- Peace of mind
Individuals who live at a senior community go to bed at night with the safety of a secure entrance and 24/7 or on-call staff should a need arise. They have the freedom to pick up and go if an extraordinary travel deal arises. They don’t need a house-sitter or someone to pick up the mail – it’s all taken care of. In a community with more than one level of care option, they know that when someday they need help with activities of daily living, they’ll have it, no questions asked.
- Strengthened family relationships
Anyone who’s cared for an aging friend or family member knows that the commitment can be a heavy one at times. There are elements of worry, restriction, and unfortunately, sometimes resentment. Loved ones of older adults who live at a senior community regularly report feeling relief and comfort of knowing they live somewhere safe. For that daughter who’s been constantly worried about mom navigating the stairs on her front porch, knowing she’s in a safe place with a strong community of peers and/or dedicated staff on hand is an extraordinary comfort. Instead time together being spent offering personal care, or helping with yardwork that mom can no longer keep up with, the time together is special. Family members are able to just be family members – not caregivers or personal assistants.
- Multiplied social network
Living in a private residence is the American dream for many. The square footage, the white picket fence, and the comfy living room that you’ve called your own for 25 years. But guess what? That home can be extremely lonely during the golden years. Studies have shown that social isolation is particularly harmful for older adults, and one way to avoid it is to live in a community-based setting. At a senior community, one trip down to the restaurant or the mailboxes will allow you to say “good afternoon” to no less than five smiling faces. For some, that’s all they need to beat the feeling of loneliness, and then having their own private apartment to retreat back to is perfect. For others, the countless clubs, groups, activity offerings, and outings offer an irreplaceable opportunity to build friendships and strengthen the peer network like they never thought possible. The benefits of having true friends and neighbors close by are very real.
- Personal growth
Older adults who live at a senior community have a multitude of leisure lifestyle, volunteer, educational, and wellness offerings at their disposal every single day. They learn new skills, pick up new hobbies, join new groups, and make a difference for others. They don’t have to look far for inspiration to exercise, to learn a new heart-healthy recipe, volunteer, or brush up on safe driving skills, for example, because these types of offerings are part of the daily schedule.
We’re willing to bet that if staff at senior living communities had a dollar for every time someone said, “Wow, I wish I’d moved here sooner,” they’d all be retired on their own private island in the Bahamas. So take it from those who’ve discovered the real perks of living at a senior community, and add it to your list of considerations for the future.