How Environment Impacts Aging
Many older adults believe aging in place in their own home is the key to staying happy and healthy in later years. But researchers are finding more and more evidence to prove this isn’t necessarily true, especially for seniors living alone.
From accidents in older homes that aren’t designed for seniors to poor nutrition, successful aging is directly impacted by where you choose to live in retirement. And physical well-being isn’t the only thing that suffers when an older adult chooses to live at home alone.
Socialization, friendships and volunteering provide seniors with opportunities to stay engaged with life and prevent isolation. Research shows that being isolated in retirement years contributes to health problems ranging from diabetes to cardiovascular disease.
Retirement Communities Promote Health and Wellness
Being part of a community of peers in an environment designed to support the needs of older adults can help you live a healthier, more vibrant life.
Retirement living communities like the Seattle area Era Living communities promote health and wellness on a variety of levels including:
- Socialization: With life enrichment programs offering residents daily opportunities for socialization, retirement communities help beat isolation. An added benefit is the interaction between like-minded adults. You have the chance to connect and bond with seniors who may be sharing similar joys and struggles.
- Wellness: Staying healthy at any point in life, but especially in retirement years, requires a focus on mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Senior living communities are uniquely positioned to help with each of these dimensions of wellness. From water aerobics to our partnerships with some of the leading researchers in active aging, residents in our Seattle area communities benefit from the latest advances in wellness.
- Nutrition: Seniors of all socio-economic backgrounds can fall victim to poor nutrition in retirement. Many find cooking healthy meals for one person to be too much time and trouble. Instead, they turn to fast foods or convenience items. Most are high in salt and sodium and low in nutrition. In a retirement community, the dining experience combines lively discussion and companionship with well-balanced food choices that meet the changing nutritional needs of seniors.
- Volunteerism: Take a stroll through a senior living community anywhere in the country and you are likely to find residents donating their time by volunteering. It might be a project that takes place right at the community or a group of residents who join together to help a local non-profit. We know volunteering helps seniors improve their health and happiness.
- Safety: With a physical environment designed to support aging, retirement communities help prevent many of the injuries and accidents older adults who live in a private residence experience. Grab bars in bathrooms, handrails in long hallways and single floor living decrease the risk for falls — the leading causes of disabling injuries to adults over the age of 65. If you live in a two-story home, you may need to install residential elevators.
The bottom line is where you choose to live in retirement might play an important role in how long and healthy your life will be.
If you are an older adult in the Seattle area, we extend an open invitation for you to visit one of our eight senior living communities in person. We will show you around, introduce you to residents, and answer any questions you might have!