Talking about Senior Living Options during Family Holiday Gatherings

Talking about Senior Living Options during Family Holiday Gatherings

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. 



For many adult children, talking with an aging parent about moving to senior living is one of the most difficult conversations they will ever have. Finding the courage to start the conversation can be a struggle. But delaying such an important discussion often means families aren’t prepared if or when a crisis occurs.

The holidays are a time when many families are reunited. It can provide you with a good opportunity for a face-to-face planning session with your senior loved one.

6 Tips for Talking About Senior Living with an Elder

Here are 6 tips to help you start the discussion for senior living options:

  1. First of Several Discussions: While many adult children head in to these conversations hoping to resolve the issue in one discussion, it generally doesn’t work that way. Accept that this is likely the first in a series of family meetings to plan for this transition. Unless you are in the middle of a crisis, it’s important to allow your loved one to move at their own pace.
  2. Do Your Research: Many families we’ve worked with tell us that spending time learning more about senior care before starting this discussion with a family member gave them confidence. Whether it is by exploring senior living websites or making in-person visits, it will likely help if you educate yourself before you sit down with your senior loved one.
  3. Document Your Thoughts: You will probably find it helpful if you take some time to get your thoughts down on paper. Include your fears, hopes, and concerns about your loved one’s current situation. Also make sure you include a reminder to yourself to let your family member know how important their safety and happiness are to you.
  4. Don’t Rush: One of the worst things your family can do is rush through this process and make all of the decisions for the senior. Unless they are mentally or physically unable to participate, plan this conversation for a day you can devote as much time as necessary to the discussion.
  5. Listen: In your desire to transition your loved one to a safe and positive environment, you might forget how important it is to listen. If you really listen and hear your family member’s fears and concerns, you will be more likely to help them find a resolution.
  6. Empathize: It also helps to attempt to put yourself in your older loved one’s shoes. How would you feel if your kids were forcing this conversation on you and you weren’t quite ready to hear it? Keep that thought in mind as you work your way through the search for a senior living community and the ensuing transition.

Learn the Senior Living Lingo

We know the terms and acronyms in senior living can be a bit bewildering. It’s the reason we created the Vitality Senior Living Glossary. You can download it to review as you begin your search for a senior living community for your older loved one.

You Don’t Have to Make the Transition Alone

If you’re currently in the process of exploring the options for your new chapter in life or for a senior loved one’s next step, we can help. The experts at Vitality Senior Living are available to answer your questions and help allay your concerns. Call us at (615) 538-3200 or contact us online.

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