Navigating Life Transitions Part Two: 5 Tips for Stress When Moving to Senior Living


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. 



Change is a part of life, but knowing that doesn’t make major transitions like a move to senior living any easier. While you or your loved one may fully appreciate the benefits and opportunities that senior living provides, a move is likely to be stressful. Stress can be detrimental to anyone; however, seniors are even more susceptible to the health risks it can create. Here’s how to manage that stress during a move to senior living.

Causes of Stress for Seniors

It’s natural to worry about the future – we all do. While our younger selves are stressed over what college to attend, job success, and rearing children, as we get older the stresses related to aging move to the forefront. In fact, some of the most common aging fears include:

  • Loss of independence
  • Declining health
  • Running out of money
  • Losing loved ones
  • Depending on others
  • Not being able to drive
  • Being isolated and lonely
  • Falling or becoming disabled

Moving from home is also a big stressor, especially when it’s to a senior living community – it’s often seen as a tipping point to many of the above fears being realized. Then there are also the stresses a move brings, like being in a new environment, being out of your comfort zone, not knowing what to expect, and in a community setting- being the new kid so to speak.

The Impact of Stress on Seniors

There are a number of mental and physical health issues that can impact seniors as a result of prolonged stress including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk for heart disease
  • Weakened immune system
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Insomnia
  • Poor concentration
  • Heartburn and/or indigestion

Navigating Stress During a Move to Senior Living

Now that you can certainly see why it’s so important to manage stress during you or your loved one’s move to senior living, the question becomes, how? These tips can help:

  1. Learn All You Can – Fear of the unknown feeds stress, so do all you can to educate yourself or your loved one on what to expect at the senior living community you’ve chosen. Visit to participate in activities, if possible. Follow their social media accounts, and talk to other residents as well as staff to get a feel for what daily life is like. Also, ask for a copy of the activity calendar and menu. And don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have!
  2. Start Planning – Along the same lines, it can be helpful to go ahead and start planning your or your loved one’s new space. Not only is it another way you can get a sense of what to expect, but it’s also a way to have a little fun deciding how you’ll personalize the space. Senior living communities often have interactive floor plans on their website, or you can just ask for a copy. By also asking for a list of what items they recommend you do or don’t bring, you can go ahead and start packing as well. 
  3. Maintain Good Health Habits – Exercise releases endorphins which can help with stress, so make sure to stay as active as you can, whether it’s making time for a daily walk or something as simple as parking further away while you run errands to get some extra steps in. Along with that, continue to eat nutritious meals, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep.
  4. Find Your Zen – We know relaxing is likely easier said than done right now. But it’s important you try to find activities that can help put you in a more relaxed state, such as taking deep breaths, meditating, connecting with your spiritual side, and/or even doing activities you enjoy like gardening or other hobbies.
  5. Think Positive – Staying positive makes it easier to cope with stress and nerves more easily. Not to say you shouldn’t fully process all your feelings about the move, but rather don’t let the negative ones get the best of you. One way to do so is to focus on what you have to look forward to in senior living, like the resort-like amenities, services that make life more convenient, a lifestyle that helps residents make the most of life, and peace of mind that support is always at hand.

Check out our guide on Choosing the Right Senior Living Community for more information. Or, contact us today to schedule your virtual tour!

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