Chartwell’s CEO speaks about the social benefits of retirement living

Recently, Chartwell’s CEO, Vlad Volodarski, was asked to be a guest on episode eight of Seniors Junction, a podcast discussing social isolation among older adults. During the episode, Vlad talked about the many ways the community-based lifestyle in a retirement community can positively impact a seniors’ overall wellbeing, especially in the context of social health.

“Retirement residences offer a setting where you can be with friends and build friendships,” Vlad told the hosts of the podcast. “You can develop relationships. We even have many stories of weddings—people getting together and finding their matches in our homes. And then you have supporting, caring staff there to help out when help is required. How do you create that for seniors who are alone in their homes?”

Founded by Dr. Namrata Bagaria, Dr. Paul Merkley, Dr. Robert Walsh and Dr. Shabnam Das Kar, the mission of Seniors Junction is to “end seniors’ isolation, one conversation at a time.” The co-founders strive to educate podcast listeners on ways to reduce social isolation in their lives, sharing resources that can help older adults in their pursuit of connectedness and healthy aging.

When asked to discuss a challenge that retirement living operators face, Vlad described the continued education necessary to help seniors and their families who have not experienced living at Chartwell understand the benefits of the lifestyle. “Many polls and studies showed that most people want to age in their homes and not move to retirement residences. And yet, those who do live with us tell us things like, ‘These are the best years of my life,’ ‘I wish I moved five years earlier,’ and ‘This is my home, I’m never moving.” He added, “And that last statement was made by one of our residents who won four million dollars in the lottery. True story.”

On the importance of living in a community during such a tumultuous time in society, Vlad had this to say: “Health, mental health, isolation issues…at the end of the day, everybody is isolated in their homes right now. No matter how many friends you have or how many Zoom meetings you can have, the question becomes one of purpose in life, one of engagement in life, one of interests…you need to have an environment for seniors to achieve those things.”

Watch Vlad’s episode of the Seniors Junction Podcast on YouTube now or subscribe on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and Stitcher.