7 Ways Senior Living Differs from the Perceptions

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. 

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Author Wayne W. Dyer once said, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” We couldn’t agree more, especially when it comes to the misperceptions some people have about senior living. While some of these notions are rooted in the past, some are born from society’s views on aging. Still others are from a lack of understanding of the many benefits of senior living communities. Regardless, we’d like to set the record straight on how senior living truly differs from the perceptions.

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  1. You may even have more independence than at home. While the perception is that you’ll lose your independence in senior living, the reality is that communities are now specifically designed to provide just the right amount of support and assistance to help you make the most of retirement. We provide an environment that fosters independence with options for everything from accommodations to supportive services to how you spend your day.
  2. Senior living communities feel more like resorts than hospitals. In the past, senior living had a primarily clinical focus which is why the environment had a more institutional feel, like a hospital. That perception still exists despite the fact that senior living communities like ours are often on sprawling campuses with beautiful landscaping, spacious accommodations, elegant common areas, and resort-like amenities such as pools, fitness centers, restaurant-style dining, housekeeping, salons, concierge services, and transportation. 
  3. You’ll stay active and connected. Many people imagine senior living communities as lonely places with bingo as the only option for something to do. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. You’ll actually be pleasantly surprised by the number of opportunities to learn, grow, enjoy hobbies, socialize, and pursue your fitness goals. In fact, the monthly calendars in our communities are filled with events, activities, classes, clubs, and outings. 
  4. You can make your space your own. Senior living communities want you to feel at home; despite the perception that you can only move in with your clothes and a few personal belongings, you CAN personalize your residence. We encourage you to decorate in your own style and bring personal items as well pictures that are meaningful to you. You can even decorate with your own pieces of furniture. Ask for a floor plan ahead of time, and have fun planning your space!
  5. You can have as much privacy as you want. There was a time when senior living communities had mostly shared accommodations. That’s certainly not the case today! Senior living communities now typically offer a range of private accommodations, from condominiums and apartments to free-standing cottages in some cases; this gives you plenty of privacy to enjoy some quiet time in your own residence, and we offer any number of indoor and outdoor spaces on campus as well.
  6. More people are moving to senior living while perfectly healthy. There’s no requirement that you have to be sick – or in need of support with daily activities to move to senior living. As we noted earlier, communities no longer focus on the clinical. We support overall wellness with a lifestyle that’s active, convenient, and maintenance-free, so you have more time to enjoy the things you love with fewer burdens on your shoulders. Plus, you have peace of mind that support is available should your health needs change, as many senior living communities offer multiple levels of care on the same campus.
  7. Senior living can actually be cheaper than staying at home. You read that correctly; senior living is not as unaffordable as the perception may have you believe. Often, it’s just that people aren’t comparing the true cost of living at home with the monthly rent in senior living. To get an accurate comparison, you must include food, utilities, home maintenance, property taxes, insurance, and entertainment beyond just your rent or mortgage at home; this is because those costs are all typically included in the monthly cost of senior living. What’s more, the cost of at-home care and/or modifications to make your home more accessible may be more expensive than you may anticipate! 

Check out our Active Adult Decision Guide to learn more. Or, contact us today to schedule your virtual tour!

 

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