Finding Peace of Mind: Senior Living Safety Versus Home

Senior Living Safety

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. 



The home is typically the place where we feel our most comfortable and secure. However, as we age, issues with limited mobility, vision, hearing, balance, and even cognitive impairments can raise safety concerns in the home environment. At that point, we need to consider whether to make modifications at home- so it’s safer and more accessible or whether to consider a move to a senior living community where safety features are already in place. Here are common modifications you can make at home as well as standard senior living safety features to help you compare. 

What It Takes to Improve Safety at Home 

When it comes to improving safety and accessibility at home, these are some of the most common modifications you can make.

  • Reduce the risk of falls: Falls are one of the top health risks for seniors. In fact, nearly a third of U.S. seniors fall each year, and about half of all falls that require hospitalization take place at home- according to the CDC. To reduce the risk at home, clear walking paths, add handrails to both sides of the stairs, make sure to have adequate lighting, remove throw rugs, install grab bars and non-slip mats in the bathroom, and avoid using step stools or ladders (get a reach stick instead). Also, make sure you have the appropriate mobility devices to help you move around the home safely. 
  • Focus on fire safety: Behind falls, fires are the second leading cause of injury at home, according to the Home Safety Council (HSC). To reduce the risk of fire, stay in the kitchen when cooking and avoid wearing loose-fitting clothes. Keep flammable items (dishtowels, paper/plastic bags, curtains, etc.) at least three feet from your cooktop, and keep the grill 10 feet away from the house, shrubs, or bushes. Avoid space heaters, if possible, otherwise, keep them at least three feet from anything flammable and always turn them off when leaving the room. Also, inspect your furnace and/or fireplace yearly, check smoke/carbon monoxide detectors semi-annually, and have easily accessible fire extinguishers. Finally, never leave a room with a candle burning, and don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords.
  • Reduce medication errors: According to the Department of Health and Human Services, adverse drug events also account for approximately 280,000 hospitalizations annually. As many seniors manage multiple prescriptions each day, extra vigilance is critical to avoid errors. To reduce the risks, always follow the doctor’s instructions exactly in addition to reading the package insert. Also, make sure to take medications for the full duration of the prescription (even once feeling better), refill prescriptions early to avoid running out, and use pill organizers or apps to keep track of medications and dosage times.
  • Be prepared for emergencies: One certainty in life is that the unexpected will happen- at some point. And while all households should be prepared for emergencies, as you get older and/or live alone it’s particularly critical. In addition to 911, have poison control as well as your neighbors’ numbers handy. Make sure to identify at least two ways to exit your home in case of an emergency. Also, consider getting a generator in case of a power outage to keep oxygen machines functioning. We also believe a personal emergency response system that contacts first responders and/or a friend or family member in an emergency is a must.

While most of these modifications are relatively inexpensive, some of the more costly updates involve updates to make the home more accessible for mobility devices. According to Angie’s List, installing ramps can cost between $1,000 to as much as $15,000, and widening a doorway can range between $500 and $1,000 each if there are no structural issues.

Senior Living Safety and Peace of Mind

If these modifications at home sound like a lot to manage on your own, there is another option. In a senior living community, safety is a priority. That’s why communities like ours are designed not only to be completely accessible, but to also include safety features such as emergency response systems, grab bars, evacuation plans, and generators. 

What’s more, team members are onsite 24/7, we offer personalized care including medication management. Residents also have peace of mind in the fact that we offer multiple levels of care on the same campus.

For more information on senior living safety, download our Choosing a Senior Living Community Guide.

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