The practical and emotional benefits of moving to a seniors’ residence, part 1

Seniors choose the lifestyle in a retirement residence for many different reasons. Some are purely functional—decisions made from “the head”—such as the availability of prepared meals or 24-hour security. However, other reasons may be more emotionally driven, coming from “the heart.” For example, some older adults may desire a more active social life and feel they would benefit from built-in opportunities for friendship and community through living in a residence.

Regardless, all important decisions are based on using your head and heart in the way that works best for you. Here are four top reasons to move to a seniors’ residence that use both approaches:

Your head says, “I need a home that is more accessible and safe.”

Many seniors fear falling, a justified worry as it’s the most common cause of injury among older adults.* Stairs, loose carpets or icy walkways are all potential barriers to living safely and securely in your home. A retirement residence provides a safe, accessible lifestyle with no stairs, and with layouts and features to accommodate all abilities. Living in a residence also allays personal safety fears that many seniors have, offering secure living with staff ready to help 24/7.

Your heart says, “I want to feel connected to others.”

It’s hard to admit feeling lonely or isolated when all of us strive to be independent and active. Kinship is a basic human need, and it is healthy to be with and connect with others. * Mobility issues, health challenges and the loss of a spouse or friends can limit our ability to maintain relationships while living alone at home as we age. A seniors’ residence comes with built-in opportunities to meet and connect with people on your own terms, and can re-invigorate your social life again.

Your head says, “I know eating good, healthy meals is important for my health.”

It’s not uncommon for older adults to lose interest in cooking as they age, the shopping, preparation and clean-up afterwards becoming more and more time-consuming. Yet, eating well—and with others—can contribute to a healthy physical and emotional aging process. * Seniors’ residences offer delicious and nutritious meal choices based on different daily menus. The comfortable, attractive dining rooms and bistros are the perfect settings to get to know other residents, too.

Your heart says, “I don’t want to worry about the future.”

As we age, it’s natural to feel worried about what the future will bring. Questions like, “What if I get sick?” and “What if my home becomes too much for me to take care of?” may be going through your mind. Seniors deserve to enjoy their retirement years without worrying about having to move or seek additional support during a health crisis. Retirement residences offer numerous lifestyle options, ranging from independent living, independent-supportive living, assisted living and memory care, often with a seamless continuum of options and services that adapt to changing needs.

Check out Chartwell’s “A Day in the Life of a Resident” diary to see just some of the possibilities for an active and fulfilling lifestyle offered in a retirement community.

The following sources provides references for this blog:
1. Statistics Canada. “Understanding seniors’ risk of falling and their perception of risk.” (2014), online: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-624-x/2014001/article/14010-eng.htm#a1
2. Brody, Jane. “Social Interaction is critical for mental and physical health.” (2017), online: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/12/well/live/having-friends-is-good-for-you.html
3. Government of Canada, Canada’s Food Guide. “Benefits of eating with others.” (2019), online: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/healthy-eating-recommendations/eat-meals-with-others/