The “Senior Homes” Conversation: Why All the Guilt?

The "Senior Homes" Conversation: Why All the Guilt

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. 



Moving your parent into a senior home or community is not an easy thing to do. However, there is a reason why you are considering it, and it’s important to remember that you are not a bad person for doing so.

Being a caregiver requires a lot of time and attention that you simply may not be capable of if it’s not your full-time job. There are facilities geared specifically toward making this transition in your parent’s life an easy and more enjoyable one.

Yes, there are many who have doubts about whether or not they could enjoy community living, but that is because they are unaware of how welcoming and relieving the experience can be for them. According to Holleran Consulting LLC, a survey conducted at a conference involving 265 senior homes across 36 states in 2013 revealed that 89.3 percent of residents rated their overall satisfaction as good or excellent!

Today’s modern facilities give residents an easier way of life they may not have realized was still possible. With the right help, you can know that you are making the best decision for your loved one. And knowing more about senior homes will help boost your confidence.

Give Yourself a Break

You are not alone. It is common for people to feel guilty in this situation. Often people feel this way because they are worried that they:

  • Failed in their duty to care for their loved one.
  • Are not as good a caregiver as they should be.
  • Should have provided an environment that would have maintained their parent’s health better without making such a stressful move.

It is very important to know that you have not failed. Actually quite the opposite. Making this decision means you are choosing to provide your parent with the level of care that he or she requires. You will still be able to spend as much time with him or her as you can and be responsible for managing his or her overall care.

The reality is that your parent needs a higher level of care that you cannot be expected to provide alone, and that is not your fault. Thankfully, assisted living in the 21st century has continued to improve and become more appealing to those whose time has come to make this move.

Changing Perspectives on Senior Homes

Parents tend to resist the move into a senior home because they see it as a loss of their independence and dignity. Yet, with today’s retirement and assisted living communities, seniors are finding happiness and an improved quality of life. This is due to the communities providing:

  • Socialization and a way to make new friends who share common interests.
  • Opportunities to engage in physical activities and games in group settings that can help elderly residents keep their blood flowing and joints moving in a healthy way.
  • Quality food options without the concern of grocery shopping and meal preparation.
  • The relief of not having to worry about yard or house maintenance, yet having the option to garden if so desired.
  • The feeling of safety and being able to rest easy knowing there are security systems set to protect them from the danger of break-ins and thieves.

This is just a general list of common benefits that come with making this move, but each individual will be assisted in finding his or her unique way to get comfortable in this new setting.

Asking for Help

The main thing to remember is that asking for help does not mean that you are giving up or have failed in any way. Taking your parent on tours, reading testimonials to him or her, and introducing him or her to caring staff members will help your parent see that this change can be a positive one.

For more assistance with introducing options for senior homes to your parent, don’t hesitate to call and explore your selections with the community that looks promising to you. Take comfort in knowing that though this would be a change in lifestyle, the outcome is bound to create happiness for both you and your parent.

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