The number of Americans age 65 and older is projected to more than double to 95 million by 2060.”
Population Reference Bureau
“Aging in the United States”
Your daily life is full of connection.
When you go to work, you catch up on weekend plans with your co-workers over coffee. When you spend time in your front yard gardening, you are happy to take a break to visit with a neighbor who is out for a walk with their dog. You meet friends for dinner; you call your granddaughter at college.
These daily moments of connection are crucial to your overall physical, mental and emotional health. Why not enhance your connectedness in a senior living community designed just for that?
THE BENEFITS OF CONNECTION
When you think of staying healthy as you age, you already know the basics: making exercise a part of your routine, keeping up with preventative health care appointments and choosing healthy options during meals. But did you know that your social calendar can also lead you to increased wellness? Recent research is pointing to the importance of peer connection and relationships as a pillar of wellness in adults.
CONNECTION AND WELLNESS BY THE NUMBERS
Nearly one-third of adults over the age of 45 say they feel lonely, with more than one-fourth of adults over the age of 65 classified as socially isolated.”
“Loneliness drives up the cortisol and blood pressure levels that damage the internal organs ... at all ages and stages of adult life,” wrote author Susan Pinker in her book, “The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter.”
But there’s good news here: Even though loneliness and isolation cause a litany of health complications, there is a known cure.
The cure for isolation and loneliness? Connection with others. “Interacting with people every day, people who are in close proximity, improves your resilience and immunity,” Pinker wrote.
Interacting with people every day, people who are in close proximity, improves your resilience and immunity.”
Author of “The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter”
Where can you find connections with others in a senior living setting? Everywhere.”
CONNECTION AND SENIOR LIVING
Finding a connection with peers can be more difficult throughout adulthood and into the senior years. However, finding that connection can drastically improve your cognitive, mental and physical health. The National Institute on Aging reports that people who engage in meaningful activities with others tend to live longer, have an overall better mood and feel a sense of purpose.
This is where exceptional senior living comes into play.
Senior living communities are designed to foster this connection between peers without making any interaction seem forced or not genuine. Whether you’re a social butterfly or introvert, senior living communities offer opportunities for valuable, naturally occurring social interactions that not only keep you from feeling lonely or alone, but they can also help you stay healthier and happier.
Where can you find connections with others in a senior living setting? Everywhere.
CONNECTING WITH NEIGHBORS
Living in a well-designed and intentional senior living community means connecting with neighbors is effortless. The best senior living communities are more like small towns or charming neighborhoods tucked in larger cities so that you can enjoy the comfort that comes with neighbors who know you by name and who want to hear all about your grandchild’s graduation celebration last weekend.
For Ann Mills, a resident of Westminster Gardens, connection is the opportunity to share daily life with her neighbors, such as noticing when the neighborhood ducks come back yearly or waving at one another while out and about. Finding new ways to connect with her neighbors is easy thanks to well-designed trails and pathways that literally lead them to one another.
At HumanGood, we know that connection looks different for everyone.
It’s not our job to tell you how to connect. It’s our job to give you plenty of options for you to decide how:
Pick up a new hobby with friends in the art workshop or sign up for an excursion to the newest restaurant in town.
Invite a new neighbor over for a glass of wine on your patio or say hello to someone new at a live concert.
Bring a carafe of coffee to the veranda with a few extra cups and see who stops by to chat.
Offer your binoculars to a neighbor and point out the local wildlife.
Sign up to help with the next volunteer project that you are passionate about.
It’s your life and your connections. You get to choose how they happen.
It’s your life and your connections. You get to choose how they happen.”
CONNECTING WITH STAFF
Senior living isn’t just about connecting with your neighbors. It’s also about connecting with team members that are dedicated to providing exceptional service.
Exceptional senior communities feel more like a big extended family with everyone willing to pitch in and serve one another.
Team members are there to answer questions and offer a helping hand, but they are also there to get to know more about your preferences, which can help them support you as you meet your wellness goals. Team members also provide special opportunities and the perfect touches for resident-run events.
Chuck and Susan Johnson, residents of Westminster Gardens, worked with the community’s dining team to develop customized menus for the events they planned for their neighbors. It was a wonderful partnership that ended up giving residents the opportunity to connect over carefully prepared drinks and hors d'oeuvres that complemented the events.
CONNECTING WITH FAMILY
Many adults want to plan for a future that includes their families. Fortunately, senior living offers plenty of spaces to host large and small family gatherings, and family is always welcome to visit at any time, especially grandkids.
“This place is heaven on earth for grandchildren,” Mills said. In fact, her fellow residents taught her grandson the basics of tennis after he watched from the community’s tennis court fence. “They stopped their game and taught him how to hit a ball.”
Connection isn’t just between neighbors. It’s between families too.
Connecting to others in a senior living community will benefit your health and wellness, but the opportunities don’t stop there.
Whole-person wellness is the cornerstone of exceptional senior living communities, designed to make meeting your health goals even easier than if you were living at home on your own.
While there is no one main road to wellness at HumanGood, there are many paths to get there. You get to choose what your health journey looks like. We’re here to support you on the way.
When you live at home alone, you need to stay on track with your wellness goals on your own or with the help of a few friends. When you choose senior living, you get the support of your neighbors along with amenities that make it easier to make your best—and healthiest—decisions.
When it comes to physical wellness, senior living communities make eating right, moving your body and keeping up with preventative care easy.
Neighbors as Accountability Partners
It’s easy to stay physically active when you live in a senior living community full of like-minded neighbors who are always up for joining you for a jog or a round of golf.
You get to choose what your health journey looks like. We’re here to support you on the way.”
Exceptional senior living communities are designed to make physical activity easier. With landscaped walking trails, on-site tennis courts and swimming pools, you are only steps away from making good decisions for your health.
Healthy and Fresh Dining
In addition to expansive fitness centers and access to personal trainers, senior living communities also make dining a central focus of your day—and your wellness plan. Dining in senior living communities offers a chance to socialize and connect with neighbors in addition to enjoying delicious and nutritious meals.
You always have the option to skip cooking (and cleaning up) in your cottage, villa or apartment because you know you can find a healthy and diverse menu in any of the community’s dining rooms or restaurants. Skip chopping salad ingredients or meal prepping for the week and instead meet up with friends in the community’s dining room or restaurant. Chefs have already done the peeling, chopping and planning for you; all you have to worry about is what you’ll choose to enjoy at your meal.
You are only steps away from making good decisions for your health.”
Easy Access to Preventative Care
Further, senior living offers residents more physical wellness perks such as on-site preventative health screenings, wellness lectures and even cooking demonstrations. You don’t have to worry about fighting with traffic or finding parking at your physician’s office when you can instead bike or walk to an on-site health event right on campus.
Wellness isn’t all about exercise and eating right. You can find events and opportunities designed to enhance your cognitive wellness throughout exceptional senior living communities.
Savvy adults know the importance of maintaining cognitive health and routines in older adulthood, retirement and beyond. You can find amenities such as menu entrees packed with superfoods; ongoing educational opportunities, including the chance to audit college courses; and fitness classes designed to enhance cognitive connections all within a quick walk from your home.
Mental health is also an important part of a whole-person approach to wellness.”
Exceptional senior living communities know wellness isn’t just about the physical and cognitive side. Mental health is also an important part of a whole-person approach to wellness.
Senior living communities make it easier to connect with neighbors and cultivate relationships that are built on trust and shared experiences, reducing the risk of anxiety or depression.
You can also enjoy perks such as on-site support groups for you and for family members that address common conditions or situations that arise during aging, as well as friendly faces you know are going to check in on you if you are having a rough day.
SPIRITUAL WELLNESS AND MORE
Finally, senior living makes spiritual wellness a bit easier. In addition to access to transportation that makes getting to places of worship even easier (with no need to worry about traffic or parking), you can also find fellowship with neighbors in your garden plots, by watching the sun set over the view out your window or by singing a hymn around the community’s piano.
Communities often also offer on-site worship services, a campus chaplain and special events to honor a variety of spiritual or religious preferences. Even more importantly, everyone is welcome to attend events so that you can explore your own spirituality.
Aging and retirement are full of questions and unknowns.
Choosing senior living gives you the opportunity to shape your future and make decisions ahead of time before you need it, so you can reduce the unknowns and enjoy life.
A major advantage of senior living is that it gives you the opportunity to enjoy maintenance-free living and all-inclusive fees and develop a plan for future care.
Say “so long” to the chores of maintaining a home all on your own and “well, hello” to maintenance-free living.
Enjoy the extra time to volunteer at your favorite organization or to attend that college class because you won’t have to worry about lawn maintenance, snow removal, housekeeping or other chores that can get in the way of living your best life.
If something needs to be repaired, it happens with a quick phone call to a helpful team member. For Westminster Gardens resident Dan Romero, it’s that quick response to maintenance requests that make a big difference.
“If something goes wrong, within 24 hours it is fixed instantly,” he said. “It’s absolutely amazing. We take it for granted.”
Maintenance-free living also includes safety and security across the campus, giving you peace of mind that someone is always looking out for you, your neighbors and your home.
If something goes wrong, within 24 hours it is fixed instantly. It’s absolutely amazing. We take it for granted.”
Westminster Gardens resident
BETTER BUDGET PLANNING
Senior living also makes it easier to plan financially thanks to all-inclusive costs. You don’t have to worry about surprise bills related to your home because your monthly assessment fee covers everything from your dining plan to maintenance benefits to membership at the fitness center.
For further financial security, look to nonprofit communities. Typically, nonprofit communities such as HumanGood make a commitment to their residents that if they outlive their financial resources through no fault of their own, the community’s benevolence fund will allow them to continue to live in what has become their home.
A PLAN FOR FUTURE CARE
If you’re an active, healthy adult, you might be wondering what choosing senior living can offer you. The truth is that a senior living community offers the freedom of independent living along with a full range of advanced care options, if and when the need arises.
Having a variety of health care options on one campus is priceless and offers you and your family the peace of mind and confidence that comes with knowing that someone is there to care for you should you ever need it.
Having a variety of health care options on one campus is priceless and offers you and your family the peace of mind and confidence that comes with knowing that someone is thereto care for you should you ever need it.”
HumanGood Life Plan Communities offer multiple senior living solutions right on one campus, meaning you can get everything you need from team members you trust. This includes:
So what comes next? Well, you get to decide.
You can ensure that you live your life to the fullest by making more time for the things you want to do and finding a way to have greater access to them. How can you make that dream a reality? By choosing community living.
At HumanGood, community living is designed to put your wellness at the forefront, down to the small details that make a big difference.
Ready to begin making your plans come to life?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
It’s never too early or too late to benefit from the community life and care offered at senior living communities. Residents can immediately begin to take advantage of the benefits that come along with community life such as easy access to wellness resources, in addition to social opportunities and events to encourage connection among neighbors. Moving due to a health condition or crisis can be overwhelming for you and your family members, so finding a community that suits your needs before an emergency is a wise decision.
There are a variety of features to look for in a senior living community, such as:Type of care offered
In home care, whether medical or nonmedical, is typically charged on an hourly basis. This can mean costs escalate quickly leaving adults to choose if they want the help or if they need to watch their budget. Community living, like assisted living, memory support, or skilled nursing, charges residents a monthly fee that includes all care services. This makes for a more predictable cost that everyone can plan for.
Senior living communities make it much easier to connect with neighbors and staff members daily, decreasing isolation and feelings of loneliness. Residents can participate in events or programs with neighbors as well as make new friends over a meal in the dining room or meet up for a walk around campus.