Overcoming the Stigma of Senior Living Communities

By on August 5, 2016
Overcoming the Stigma of Senior Living Communities

By Elliott Hollander –

For many people, the words nursing home, assisted living, and senior community trigger images of a dull hospital-like facility with stark white walls, loss of independence, and loneliness. Despite this common perception of senior communities, this no longer represents the modern housing options available to seniors today.

The Modern Senior Living Community

Today’s senior living options are vibrant and energetic and offer a variety of luxury amenities, as well as plenty of opportunities for socialization and fitness. From resort-style spas and state-of-the-art fitness centers, to Olympic-size swimming pools, perfectly trimmed golf courses, and gourmet dining, today’s senior communities resemble an upscale hotel or cruise ship.

Arbor Terrace in Peachtree City, Georgia, for instance, offers the luxury accommodations and amenities you’d expect to enjoy on your vacation. From chef-prepared gourmet meals and beautifully-manicured grounds, to the enrichment classes, fitness and recreation activities, and resort-style swimming pool and hot tub, seniors have the upscale amenities they need to live comfortably, happily, and healthy.  

Baby Boomers Reach Retirement

While many seniors choose to age in place, many others prefer the improved lifestyle and carefree living they can enjoy in a senior living community. Due to advances in modern science and improved standards of living, Americans are living longer than ever before, which means more families will have to decide whether or not a senior community is best for their loved ones.

There are about 75 million Baby Boomers on the verge of retirement, and 10,000 more will retirement age every year for the next 20 years. Baby Boomers will have to decide whether to put their loved ones in senior communities, as well as make the decision for themselves. Research shows some Baby Boomers are choosing to move to a senior community even before they retire; 16% of buyers aged 59 to 67 moved into senior-related housing in 2014. That number will only increase as more Baby Boomers reach retirement age.

Breaking the Stigma

Despite their stigma, senior communities offer many advantages over aging in place. These communities provide seniors with the 24-hour care they need, as well as quality enrichment and nutrition services to keep them safe, active, and healthy— without impeding on their independence. Additionally, senior communities offer more opportunities for seniors to stay socially and physically engaged as they age.  Beyond the obvious benefit of personalized medical care, here are some major advantages of senior communities:

Safety

Having your aging loved one living alone in the family home may present concerns about their safety and security. You may be worried that your loved one will fall and not be able to call for help when needed. A senior community puts these concerns to rest. They are designed specifically with seniors in mind, so they are outfitted with safety measures, like handrails, wheelchair accessible ramps, no-step showers, and emergency call systems. Your loved ones will receive the personal care they need, as well as remain safe and protected. You can have peace of mind knowing your loved one is safe and cared for.

Companionship

It’s important to stay socially active as we age. Unlike living alone, seniors in a community are surrounded by other likeminded older adults, who they can engage with on a day-to-day basis.  Seniors always have someone to talk to and share the day’s events with.  Whether an informal meeting, or a planned activity like zumba, golf, or field trips, seniors have plenty of opportunities to socialize and grow their circle of friends.

Nutrition

When living alone, it can be difficult for families to ensure their loved one is maintaining healthy eating habits. Senior communities offer meal plans, which feature wholesome gourmet dining options prepared by the facility’s personal chef.  Seniors will enjoy delicious meals tailored to their specific dietary needs and preferences, and caretakers are there to ensure they are eating. 

Physical Activity

Staying physically active is equally as important as eating healthy and being social. Seniors can enjoy state-of-the-art fitness centers, as well as group exercise classes like water aerobics, yoga, and dance cardio, taught by fitness trainers who understand the fitness needs of older adults.

As you can see, senior living communities are far from what many perceive them to be. With their upscale amenities and personalized services, senior communities can offer seniors a better quality of life.

 

Elliott Hollander is the founder and CEO of SilverFox.care, an online platform helping families find the perfect senior living residence for their loved one. Silver Fox simplifies the search for senior living communities by connecting families to the options that suit their unique needs, preferences, and budget. Learn more at www.SilverFox.care.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Rachel

    August 17, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    One thing I always recommend if it’s allowed is to consider adopting a senior dog or cat. They can provide seniors with the companionship they need, and can also provide exercise opportunities. You will also be providing a loving home for a pet in need. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  2. Derek Mcdoogle

    August 23, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Recently my wife’s parents have both retired and no longer want to deal with all the maintenance for the big house they live in. You mentioned that 16% of buyers aged 59 to 67 moved into senior-related housing in 2014. Do most of these retirement living centers offer a range of different activities depending on the person physical condition? It seems that this might be a good option for them to consider.

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Overcoming the Stigma of Senior Living Communities