Dementia and Senior Living Options: Making the Right Move

Dementia and Senior Living Options: Making the Right Move

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



Admitting a parent is showing signs of what may be dementia can be difficult. It is natural for loved ones to worry about their senior loved one’s feelings and about protecting their dignity. These are a few of the reasons families often deny there is a problem until the disease has progressed to the point where it can’t be ignored.

Equally important to protecting a senior’s dignity, however, is creating a plan to keep them safe. While your loved one may not need memory care at the moment, it’s good to educate yourself so you can make informed decisions if and when the time comes.

One step you can take is to learn about the senior care options available for today’s older Americans. There are far more options today than there were just 20 years ago.

Everyone Needs a Little Guidance

You may decide to quit your job and become a full-time caregiver. Or you might decide to hire outside help. Even if you suspect your loved one will be safer in a senior living community, there are different levels of care and a variety of different communities to choose from.

Here’s a mini-guide for anyone who’s facing important decisions about finding the best care for a loved one. You’ll want to be prepared and comfortable with your options as your older family member’s need for care changes.

A Guide to Today’s Senior Living Options

Today’s seniors can select from a range of options designed to support a variety of needs and lifestyles. This quick overview of the pros and cons of the different types of senior care can help you begin to better understand your choices.

Care at Home

  • Family and friends can provide non-medical care at home or these services can be provided by a home care agency
  • Skilled home health care (nursing and therapy) is another at-home care option if the senior meets Medicare’s criteria
  • Pro: your loved one can remain in their present home
  • Con: staying at home isn’t always cost-effective
  • Con: non-licensed & bonded caregivers can present safety complications
  • Con: caregivers may be different from week to week
  • Con: 24/7 skilled care isn’t always feasible or affordable

Independent Living Community

  • Senior-friendly villas or apartments
  • Focus is typically on active lifestyle amenities versus medical care
  • Pro: residents maintain much of their independence while enjoying a safe, senior-friendly environment
  • Con: young children usually can’t visit for long periods of time
  • Con: lack of generational diversity
  • Con: there may be pet restrictions

Assisted Living Community

  • Senior-friendly apartments or suites that come with a variety of services and support
  • Pro: allows seniors to continue living a productive and fulfilling life, even when they can’t be 100 percent independent in their own home
  • Pro: assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing and dressing
  • Pro: medication management is usually available
  • Pro: maintenance housekeeping and laundry are included
  • Pro: veterans may qualify for benefits to help with the cost
  • Con: there may be pet restrictions
  • Con: only a few states allow Medicaid waivers to pay for assisted living
  • Con: living in a community that is not age-diverse

Memory Care Program

  • Care program designed to improve quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease or similar forms of dementia
  • Pro: residents receive specialized care and therapies
  • Pro: 24/7 care, safety, and security
  • Pro: specialty dining programs to promote appetite
  • Con: usually costs more than traditional assisted living

Telltale Signs That You May Need Help with Caregiving

It’s also important for family caregivers to know that everyone needs help. No one can assume this role completely on their own. If you don’t go in to your role accepting this, you might end up experiencing a case of caregiver burnout.

How do you know when it’s time to admit you need help with your caregiving challenges?

Here are a few of the signs to watch out for:

  1. You are constantly exhausted beyond what a good night’s rest can overcome
  2. Your loved one wanders or exhibits other difficult to manage behaviors
  3. Your own health is beginning to decline
  4. The strain of caregiving is putting your marriage at risk
  5. You are encountering problems at work as a result of your caregiver demands
  6. You can’t seem to find time to spend with your own children

A Resource for Transitioning to Senior Living

Finding the right level of services for your senior loved one can feel overwhelming. It’s one of the reasons we created a very special resource for seniors and their families.

Our complimentary Complete Guide to Choosing Between Senior Living Options e-book covers:

  1. What questions to ask potential senior care partners
  2. What options you have for financing
  3. How to frame the conversation when it comes time to talk to your senior loved one about moving

You can download and read our free guide today for help making informed decisions about your loved one’s care. And, as always, the team at Vitality Senior Living is happy to help answer any questions you might have. Call us today to learn more »

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