The majority of seniors say they want to age in place, living in their homes as long as possible. For some, the prospect of moving to senior living is downright frightening, calling to mind fears of being “put away” in a nursing home or abandoned to a community of “old people” who do nothing all day.
Yet research consistently shows that seniors who transition to senior communities are happier, and may even live longer. Living in a community offers an antidote to loneliness and gives seniors plenty of opportunities to socialize. This counteracts the isolation and anxiety so many seniors feel as they age.
Active senior living offers so much more than most seniors can get at home, and usually for a much more affordable price than seniors expect.
So why the fear of senior living? People tend to fear the unfamiliar. And today’s senior living communities are decidedly unfamiliar, nothing like the nursing homes of the past. Most people have never visited one. So seniors make retirement decisions based on fear, not facts. That can mean missing out on one of the best and most affordable ways to live an enriched and meaningful retirement.
Active senior living offers everything you want for an exceptional retirement, yet you've probably never heard of it. Here’s what you need to know about this potentially life-changing senior living option.
What Is Active Senior Living?
Active senior living offers seniors a community of like-minded neighbors in a close-knit setting. Each senior has their own home—often a condo or apartment. The senior rents the home, along with the many amenities that come with it, such as food and activities. So everything is included in one price tag.
For seniors overwhelmed by the costs of home ownership or the endless planning involved in finding fun and meaningful activities, this is an attractive option. Every senior living community is slightly different, but one thing they all share in common is an emphasis on keeping seniors active, healthy, happy, and highly engaged.
In an active living community, you’ll have as much privacy and independence as you want or need, but with the comfort of knowing that help and friendship are always nearby when you need them. Active living communities also offer:
- Well-appointed, flawlessly maintained homes without any of the effort of home ownership.
- Beautiful public spaces such as lobbies, meeting rooms, and libraries.
- Amenities such as pools, walking paths, and stunning gardens.
- Special events for birthdays, holidays, and just because.
- Community outings.
- Transportation to local attractions, events, and stores.
- Regular classes and other events such as yoga, Bingo groups, and support groups.
- Gourmet dining in restaurant-like settings, as well as food you can take back to your room.
Who Should Consider Active Senior Living?
Active living communities are a great choice for seniors in reasonably good health who are either totally independent or who need a little extra help with daily tasks. The Arbor Company contracts with home health aides to support seniors who need help with activities of daily living, so if you need a little extra help, active living is still an option.
Some signs that active senior living might be the right choice for you include:
- You want to stay as independent as possible, but feel overwhelmed by the burdens of home ownership.
- You feel lonely or fearful at home and worry about what would happen to you if you needed extra help.
- You want to remain active, but doing so is proving difficult or expensive.
- You no longer drive, and don’t want to depend on others for entertainment or transportation.
- You’ve recently fallen or experienced another medical issue that makes you feel anxious about living alone.
- You don’t want to depend on friends or family to help you with daily activities.
- You want to meet new friends but don’t know where to start.
What If You Need Extra Help?
Some seniors worry about losing their independence because of a transition to senior living. Another concern is equally common: fear of needing, but not getting, more help. The great thing about active senior living is that it ensures you won’t be alone if you need additional support. If you fall or have a medical emergency, there will be someone there.
Even better, many active senior living communities offer a continuum of care. At Arbor, home health aides can help you remain independent, even if you find that you eventually need help with daily tasks. We also offer the option to age in place by providing independent living, assisted living, and memory care all within one community. If your needs change, we’ll still be here for you.
Affording Senior Living
Senior living offers considerable luxury in the form of excellent meals, plenty of entertainment, and a worry-free, beautiful home. No wonder so many seniors believe they can’t afford it. The truth is that senior living may be more affordable than you think. Medicaid may pay for senior living, and some long-term care plans will fund senior living as well. Other benefits programs may fund all or a portion of the costs.
Even if you don’t have senior living benefits, you’re not out of luck. The proceeds from selling your home can help to fund senior living. Moreover, paying for senior living may actually be less expensive than remaining in your home. You’ll no longer have a mortgage or home maintenance to worry about. And with everything included under a single price tag, you don’t have to worry about funding entertainment, transportation, and other expenses.
How Active Senior Living Keeps You Healthy
You’ve worked hard to get to retirement. That’s sufficient reason to justify a luxurious next act. But senior living offers more than just a cozy place to call home. Senior living may actually improve your health in the following ways:
- Senior living prevents loneliness. Especially if you live alone, it’s easy to feel isolated as you age. That isolation can grow if you no longer drive or struggle to stay in touch with friends. Loneliness is a major public health threat, and may even lead to premature death. Living in a welcoming community of caring seniors is an antidote to loneliness.
- Senior living helps you stay intellectually and socially engaged. With a wide range of activities available, you’re sure to find something you enjoy. Staying intellectually and socially active can improve your quality of life. It can also lower your risk of dementia.
- Senior living inspires you to get moving. Exercise can help you live longer. It may also reduce chronic pain and lower your risk of developing dementia. Active senior living makes it easy to get moving with exercise classes, community outings, and beautiful walkable spaces.
- Senior living helps you eat healthier. We all know that food is the body’s fuel, and that diet plays a major role in health. Eating right can be hard, especially when you’re on a fixed income. Active senior living communities offer healthy meal options, as well as special meal plans for seniors with unique dietary needs. That makes healthy eating easy and delicious.
Activities at Arbor
The Arbor Company has proudly served seniors and their families for 30 years, so we know how to help seniors build meaningful and unique retirements. We offer a wide range of activities for seniors of all interests and ability levels. We also encourage seniors to suggest new activities, and regularly work with residents to build new programs. Some of the many activities you might find at an Arbor community near you include:
- Water aerobics
- Volunteer days
- Live music performances
- Religious services
- Weekend outings to wine country
- Special events such as birthday celebrations
- Family days
- Caregiver support groups
- Gardening classes
- Arts and crafts
- And more!
We would love to help you transform the retirement you have into the retirement you want. Give us a call to learn more, or stop by one of our communities to attend an event and get to know our residents. We can’t wait to meet you!