How to Prioritize Your Needs and Wants for Senior Living

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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. 



You’ve decided on a move to senior living for yourself or your loved one; now all that’s left is to choose a community, right? Not so fast! While we applaud you taking such a big step and know senior living will benefit your family tremendously; actually, the first thing you should do is to take a step back. You see, there are so many senior living features that the choices can become overwhelming if you haven’t prioritized your needs and wants before looking at communities. Here’s how to do just that so you can find the perfect fit.

Choosing the right senior living community

Start with Your Needs

What prompted you to consider senior living? Was it a health concern? Tired of cooking, cleaning, and home upkeep? Now living alone and want more social interaction? It could be any number of reasons and that’s where this checklist comes in. By assessing your current situation at home, you’ll be able to more easily prioritize what you need in senior living.

Health issues or concerns
Mobility challenges
Cognitive challenges
Challenges performing daily activities independently
Concerns about maintaining house and/or yard
Concerns about proper nutrition and/or preparing meals independently
Concerns about medication management
Transportation challenges and/or driving concerns
Safety issues in the home
Would benefit from more social opportunities
Would like to find a new hobby or learn something new

Find Your Type

You may not realize that there are actually different types of senior living. Think of it like a continuum with levels of care based on specific needs. Now that you’ve identified your needs, it’s easier to narrow your search by finding the type of community that fits them best:

  • Independent Living – A lifestyle choice for seniors who don’t typically require daily assistance, but rather are looking for ways to stay active with more social, fitness and enrichment opportunities than they may have at home as well as freedom from the hassles of chores and home upkeep. Not to mention resort-like amenities such as a pool, fitness center, restaurant-style dining, salon, and even concierge services.
  • Assisted Living – Here you’ll find a similar lifestyle with many of the same conveniences and amenities as above, yet assisted living also provides personalized care and support with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. It’s an environment designed to provide just the right amount of assistance to empower independence and help residents enjoy an engaging, purposeful life.
  • Memory Care – This type of senior living is exclusively for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Team members are specially trained in memory care and provide onsite support 24/7 as well as therapy, activities, and social opportunities that fit each resident’s cognitive abilities. It’s all in a secure yet comfortable and calming environment that’s easy for residents to navigate.

The Senior Living Features You Really Want

When it comes to senior living features, it’s like house-hunting in a way. The options are endless, but to save your budget and your sanity, the best approach is to identify your wants that are non-negotiable and those that are simply nice-to-have. Basics like meals, housekeeping, maintenance, group transportation, and activities will typically already be included in the monthly fee, but this checklist can get you started with some of the most popular features in senior living.

FeaturesNon-NegotiableNice-to-HaveNot Sure
• Private accommodations
• Washer/dryer in apartment
• Full kitchen
• Balcony or patio
• Ample storage
• Other:
• Multiple dining venues
• Outdoor spaces/walking paths
• Busy social calendar
• Offsite outings
• Range of enrichment opportunities
• Spa service
• Pet friendly
• Common areas to host family/friends
• Other:
• 24-hour onsite care
• Onsite medical
• Onsite rehabilitation
• Special diets
• Fitness center/classes
• Pool
• Other:
• Emergency Call Technology
• Keypad Entry/Exit
• Emergency Preparedness Plan
• Other:

Now that you’ve prioritized what’s most important for you or your loved one, you’re ready to research senior living communities. To get started, check out our Complete Guide to Choosing Between Senior Living Options. Or, contact us today to schedule your virtual tour!

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