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Deupree House's Premier Senior Living Blog

Retirement Communities Aren’t Just for Seniors Who Need Care

Thu, Jan 23, 2014

A group of seniors enjoy a wine tasting

In life, changes are inevitable. Some, like the birth of a grandchild, are wonderful. Others, however, can be tumultuous and, in the case of the death of a spouse, devastating. While we may not be able to plan for, or even fully recover from some of life’s greatest challenges, finding ways to live life well is one of the greatest tasks we can undertake— both for ourselves and the memory of our loved ones.

The ability to adapt and transition into new situations is one of the greatest human abilities, but sometimes it takes outside intervention to move on. A retirement community might be just the thing you need to rediscover yourself and your zest for life.

Find healthy aging and life enrichment through community living.

These days, retirement communities aren’t the depressingly clinical nursing home of yesteryear. While most communities do offer some form of assisted care for residents who may need such services, nursing care is not the primary focus of these buzzing hives of social activity.

One of the chief benefits of living in community is life enrichment.

We’ve emphasized before how important physical activity is in maintaining total wellness as an older adult, and eating healthfully just as important, but social engagement is critical for healthy aging.

Studies have shown that the quality of senior life is greatly impacted by regular social interaction. Seniors who are the most socially active are the happiest, the least stressed, and even live longer.

And while staying socially active vastly improves senior life, social engagement tends to become a greater challenge the older we get. Left to their own devices, a majority of older adults in the United States opt out of social activities when they live alone, choosing, instead, to spend their down time on activities they can do at home.

For the average older American:

  • Watching TV takes up roughly 57% of free time.
  • No more than 5% of free time is spent exercising or playing sports.
  • Adults between the ages of 55 and 64 are slightly more socially active than older seniors, dedicating about 11% of leisure time to spending time with others.
  • Socialization drops to 8% after age 75.

The decline of social activity among seniors living at home isn’t surprising given the general unpreparedness of American cities to meet the needs of elderly adults.

At retirement communities, however, a full calendar of events— group outings to museums or theaters, educational opportunities, fine dining— and easy access to transportation means that getting involved in social activities can be as easy as waking up in the morning.

Take the first step toward a change for the better.

Making the transition to a retirement community doesn’t mean you’re giving up anything—least of all your independence.  In fact, the right retirement community can help you rediscover the active lifestyle you had before or realize the kind of life one you always wanted.

No matter where you’re starting—whether you’re socially active already or looking for a solid group of friends to connect with— finding a retirement community can ensure that you keep up the social ties that can be crucial to good health.

And finding a dynamic community can ease the pangs of leaving the old family home, and can help to alleviate the loneliness and loss that have been overshadowing your life.

Senior life doesn’t have to be dull or lonely, but living well takes more effort when you’re aren’t part of a community. The ability to find and pursue activities or hobbies you enjoy can bring a sense of fulfillment to your life that had gone missing.

A good community helps you feel connected, like you’re a vital part of life.

 

Enjoy Life after Retirement. Download Our Senior Living Guide  and Find Your Community
Bryan Reynolds

Written by: Bryan Reynolds

Bryan Reynolds is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Bryan is responsible for developing and implementing ERS' digital marketing strategy, and overseeing the website, social media outlets, audio and video content and online advertising. After originally attending The Ohio State University, he graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of fine arts focused on electronic media. Bryan loves to share his passion for technology by assisting older adults with their computer and mobile devices. He has taught several classes within ERS communities as well as at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute run by the University of Cincinnati. He also participates on the Technology Team at ERS to help provide direction. Bryan and his wife Krista currently reside in Lebanon, Ohio with their 5 children.

Topics: coping, Building Community, life after retirement, retirement community

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