It is a common perception that when we reach retirement age, life is supposed to slow down, which is the end. Nothing can be further from the truth. However, some of the best moments in an adult’s life can be captured during or after retirement, and they can happen in places like senior living communities.
Senior living is a different form of lifestyle that acts as an aid to daily living. And not to be misrepresented as a nursing home, let us look at some interesting facts about senior living and what makes it stand out among others!
History of senior living communities in the US
The history of senior living communities in the US goes way back to the early 18th century. The late 1700s were quite challenging for older adults, especially those without family members who could not provide the necessary care. Places like poorhouses, almshouses, and other infirmaries throughout the country became homes for the impoverished elderly. Nursing homes, home health care services, and chronic care facilities amplified dramatically in the early 1900s.
Before the Great Depression, two to four percent of the 65 and older population lived in an institutional situation. Circumstances like world wars led to shortages in family caregivers, who went off to war. Most young adults died, and many that came home needed medical and care assistance as we advanced. Hence, veteran care became part of senior living communities after such a wartime scenario.
Top 10 facts about senior living
Most people do not know that senior living is a different lifestyle for adults who are 55 and over. It is very different from nursing homes and provides special types of care depending on the category of seniors.
It is not a nursing home
Senior living is a type of housing designed for older adults who are generally able to live independently but may also need some supportive services, such as transportation or help with activities of daily living. Nursing homes provide higher care for people who cannot live independently and need 24-hour nursing and personal care.
Senior living is a customized neighborhood
Think about senior living as a neighborhood made just for you where all the residents are people near your age group. And the environment evokes activities that align with your physical and mental well-being. It can be intimidating to think about starting over somewhere new. However, today’s senior living communities often have neighborhood-like designs to make you feel at home.
Furthermore, many senior living facilities have lounges, fitness centers, libraries, in-house restaurants, barbers and salons, and even movie theaters. It is perfect for senior couples, looking to enjoy out their retirement.
Senior living is a way of life
A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health shows that an active social life could slow the progression rate of memory decline in older people. This study perfectly aligns with the lifestyle of senior living facilities, as they not only keep the elderly engaged but are highly active in physical activities and social communication. For example, memory care is a kind of senior living designed for older adults who have dementia, Alzheimer’s, or another cognitive decline. Specifically, trained memory care embers cater special care to a resident that helps in their later life journey, which is a lifestyle change from what they received at home.
There are specific specialized communities
One of the fun facts about senior living communities that most people do not know is that there are some specific, specialized communities for different groups of people. That is right! There are senior living communities, especially for the LGBT community, which require a culture and crowd exclusively like their own that they can get along with.
Furthermore, there are also high-end luxurious senior living facilities in locations like New York, Los Angeles, and other prime cities for a select group of people who wish to continue living the luxury lifestyle they are used to. Finally, if you are religious and looking for a niche in the religious community for senior living, that is also available.
Privacy is always ensured
Staff and community members can empower your dear elderly ones to continue being themselves and living life as they prefer in such environments, and privacy is always a top issue. For example, a resident who prefers a private life, and is an introvert, can choose to live alone, while an extroverted person can choose roommates. All residents are free to invite family and friends over, eat the foods they prefer, and even have and engage in activities like brain games.
Senior living is not just for the elderly who are sick
With assisted living facilities, seniors can have the best of both worlds. Senior living is not just for the sick but for everyone. In fact, assisted living residents often enjoy many of the same activities and amenities that memory care residents enjoy.
Some residents require more assistance with daily living than others due to their medical conditions. Still, in fact, senior living can be beneficial to all since it helps encourage independence. In addition, seniors having help with daily activities such as bathing, shopping, and more, is essential for all adults over a certain age, something that independent living, memory care, and assisted living to provide.
Pet-friendly senior living is on the rise
Though the verdict is still open on whether pets should be allowed in senior living communities, guess what? Their acceptance is on the rise.
Having a pet can be great for the mind, as per many medical experts, and when it comes to older residents in senior living communities, living with a pet can be beneficial. Please read here if you want to know more about how a pet-friendly senior living environment can be helpful.
Senior living keeps your mind and body active
It does not matter whether an elderly has a medical condition or not; senior living communities can be very engaging for the mind and body. There are many ways to keep patients or seniors active with either activities or games. Caregivers in senior living communities understand the environment the elderly are seeking in this new kind of home and are well-trained to provide precisely that.
Moving to senior living facilities can be suitable for the kids
If you and your senior family member are looking for a win-win solution, then senior living is the best option. One of the most exciting and fun facts about senior living is that it can be suitable for the elderly to move, and the decision will not hurt their children (adults). As the number of seniors living with their adult children is increasing and many adult children would welcome their parents moving in, numerous seniors still prefer to remain independent. In fact, research conducted by the American Psychological Association shows a strong preference among this population for an independent lifestyle.
Utilizing a senior living community can solve the dilemma faced by both seniors and their kids; those opting for this type of arrangement can have individual autonomy and still be able to spend time with family on their own terms.
It can be affordable
With the proper medical and financial planning, it can be affordable. Even though many argue senior living is expensive (which in some areas it can be), senior living communities and how much they cost vary from state to state. There are many ways you can make senior living affordable. Better financial planning before heading off to assisted living facilities can really save your bank. Furthermore, it is also good to change your location. For example, senior living costs in Georgia are significantly cheaper than in other states.
If you want to learn more about how affordable it can be, especially by protecting assets, read here.
Now that you know the most interesting facts regarding senior living communities, be kind to share these intricate details with friends and family. Please read here if you want to know what makes senior living a unique experience for elders or patients with medical conditions.
What are seniors looking for?
At some point in a senior person’s life, they would like a better form of living than nursing home facilities. That is where senior living arrangements come in. They require a bit of community, but at the same time, they want to have a sense of everyday life while also enjoying the benefits of particular care from caregivers.
What are the disadvantages of senior living communities?
One of the main disadvantages of senior living is that it can be expensive. That, too, depends on the state where the senior living communities are. Sometimes senior living arrangements can lack diversity and tend to have some restrictive rules.
What are the most common types of senior living options?
Aside from nursing homes, the most common forms of senior living options are assisted living, age-restricted communities that require one resident to be of a specific age, CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Communities), and independent living. Another unheard-of senior living option is the village concept, which is still relatively in the niche.
Is there a difference between a nursing home and senior living?
Though many people think nursing homes and senior living are the same, they are not. Nursing homes are made to be more of a medical environment with older residents that have to live in a reserved or semi-private room. Whereas in senior living communities, it is more connected. They are a community for retirees or those seeking ADL (Assisted Daily Living) services.
At what age do seniors go into assisted living?
Many people move into senior living communities after the age of 65. Depending on the state, the average minimum age is generally about 65. but most make a decision to shift to senior care somewhere around the ages of 75 to 84. The average assisted living resident is around 87-year-old who needs help with two or three daily activities. One example is medication management.