The many benefits of moving to retirement communities

Aging in place is an important part of retirement for older adults, but for many seniors, it is not a feasible option. Whether it is due to chronic illness, injury or lack of mobility, some older adults find the benefits of retirement living actually help them prolong independence. Although they may be reluctant to do so because of concerns surrounding a perceived loss of independence or the worry they will be giving up existing activities and social connection, that will not be the case. Retirement communities of today are much different than the common image of decades past, and there are many advantages associated with making the move. Here are just a few:

Opportunities for social engagement
One of the biggest advantages of living in retirement communities is that they provide seniors with the chance to stay socially engaged as they get older. This is especially helpful to elderly individuals who may have become isolated or lonely. These feelings can have a significant impact on seniors’ health, according to recent studies. Some of the most compelling evidence on the subject comes from the University of California, San Francisco, which found that older adults who reported feelings of loneliness had about a 45 percent greater risk of passing away during the course of the study.

The risk of social isolation is especially high among older adults who live alone, but with retirement communities often providing increased opportunities to stay active and engaged, the health risks can be significantly minimized. Whether it’s simply a case of being surrounded by like-minded individuals or having the chance to participate in group activities, senior living communities and socialization often go hand in hand.

Necessary assistance
Aside from providing seniors the chance to stay socially active, retirement communities can also take care of many tasks that may have grown too difficult. For instance, seniors living with painful arthritis or those who are recovering from surgery are often not able to perform household chores, whether they be cleaning, laundry, maintenance or anything in between. Retirement community employees often take care of these tasks, leaving seniors free to enjoy whatever activities they have planned for the day without worrying about what chores they have been unable to complete.

Better health
Retirement communities offer a wide variety of care services that cater to each resident’s specific needs. While some might only need help with home making and other household activities, others may require a bit more assistance to maintain good health. Assisted living and long-term care services can help with things like activities of daily living and medication management. This is especially true given the number of seniors managing at least one chronic health issue. In fact, according to the Canadian Institute for Healthcare Information, approximately 1.1 million seniors are living with at least three chronic health conditions.

Downsizing
Not only can retirement communities give seniors the chance to maintain their health as they get older, it is also an opportunity for them to downsize. Seniors who live alone sometimes have too much space for themselves. Living in a house that was meant for a family by oneself can not only be difficult to manage, but it can also be lonely. By transitioning to a smaller environment, seniors can pare down their possessions, live a simpler live and have enough space without having too much.