Seniors may not always be excited about the prospect of leaving their homes, but it is crucial for them to plan for the future or think about the best solutions to their current problems. While there are many misconceptions and worries that may cause some seniors to dismiss the idea of a senior living community, the reality is that a wealth of data supports the advantages of this choice.
Numerous factors, some of which are beyond our control (such as heredity), affect healthy aging, according to the National Institute on Aging, and many of them may be influenced by the choices we make. Join us as we examine some of the fascinating studies that NIA and other organizations have funded that pinpoint these important aspects of healthy aging. Find out how the advantages of senior living communities complement these factors as well.
According to a number of recent research, older persons who experience social isolation or loneliness are more likely to develop heart disease, depression, and cognitive impairment. Loneliness was linked to a higher risk of heart disease, according to a 2021 study of more than 11,000 persons over the age of 70. Another recent study discovered that older people who were socially isolated had higher rates of chronic lung diseases and depressed symptoms.
Seniors are better positioned to attain their goals of aging well by increasing interpersonal interaction, interacting with people more frequently, sharing meals and activities, and taking use of different human touchpoints.
Their access to this kind of social assistance is one of the biggest differences between seniors who live alone and those who reside in a senior living community. In terms of social engagement, daily contact, chances for relationship-building, and a feeling of safety among residents and staff, senior living communities provide real benefits.
"Scientific evidence indicates that regular exercisers not only live longer but also may live better, meaning they experience more years of pain- and disability-free life."
Even though seniors should make an effort to incorporate reasonable levels of physical activity into their daily life wherever they reside, some settings make this goal easier to achieve. Living alone can make some older individuals less motivated to exercise because they may feel lonely or unhappy.
Seniors must be inspired to get up and be active in their environment for exercise to become a regular. Because of this, people who live in senior living facilities are more likely to get the appropriate amount of exercise. By providing access to organized programs, equipment, events, and activities as well as nearby neighbors and staff who can inspire and instruct, this type of setting naturally promotes healthy exercise.
Making wise eating choices may even assist to enhance brain function and prevent you from some health issues as you age.
Age-related variations in dietary requirements and realities necessitate a senior nutrition strategy that takes these changes into account. The aging process necessitates a strong attention on body-related issues, from changes in bone mass and muscle to increased risks for chronic diseases and health disorders. In order to prioritize such issues in a way that promotes sustained independence, a healthy nutritional strategy is essential.
However, cooking for oneself can be a lot of labor for many seniors, especially those who live alone, especially if they have medical concerns to take care of. It can be challenging to maintain a strict diet when dealing with conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
Seniors who live in senior living communities have access to cooked meals that satisfy their dietary and nutritional demands while also offering variety and choice. Access to shrewd food options is not a concern, and there is no pressure to buy for and prepare meals several times a day, multiple days a week.
According to a study from 2021, routine checkups can help people lower their chances of developing diseases like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and can also help doctors detect chronic diseases early. Regular medical visitors also reported higher quality of life and feelings of wellness.
Getting to medical appointments when a senior is no longer able to drive or doesn't feel safe doing so can be difficult, especially if family and friends are not always available to help. Many senior living residents value having access to transportation services, which provide lifts to, among other locations, medical appointments.
Having access to medical care seven days a week, often in the form of on-site nurses, is another advantage of assisted living for seniors. A senior can be confident they get the care they need immediately away if nurses are available on call and close by to assess an emergency scenario. All of this contributes significantly to staying ahead of health changes and preserving general wellness.
According to research, ongoing stress can alter the brain, impair memory, and raise one's risk of acquiring Alzheimer's disease or other associated dementias. Stress and disorders associated with stress are particularly dangerous for older persons. A recent investigation looked at the alterations in cortisol levels over time. After reaching middle age, cortisol levels in the body rise gradually, according to research, and this age-related rise in stress may be responsible for changes in the brain. The National Institute of Mental Health-funded meta-analysis lends credence to the idea that anxiety and stress alter brain structure in ways that may affect memory, judgment, and mood.
Our brains' capacity to control hormone levels declines with age, making it particularly difficult for seniors who experience extreme anxiety or stress to lessen the physical effects. These hormones may have negative long-term effects, including impacting critical parts of mental health like memory and causing depression. Sleep deprivation, weight loss, mood changes, and even suicidal thoughts can be brought on by anxiety, sadness, and loneliness.
Senior living facilities assist mental health by offering not only a network of friends and family, but also a staff that can identify signs of stress and take appropriate action. When a senior is dealing with mental and emotional issues that affect daily living, getting competent professional help is vitally crucial.
"Research demonstrates that older persons can benefit from social engagement. Making new social contacts was linked to better self-reported physical and psychological well-being, according to a research of over 3,000 older persons.
The general state of health may start to deteriorate when a senior's movement is restricted or when they are otherwise unable (or unwilling) to go out and meet new people. However, there are many simpler, more common ways to meet neighbors and form friendships on a regular basis in a senior living community.
Through planned social events, a range of opportunities to engage with others are often available. Residents are invited to participate in regularly scheduled events and ongoing programs that are specifically created to inform, inspire, and amuse, all with a focus on individual interests and the desire to socialize.
Senior living facilities ultimately allow seniors the chance to embrace a more active and worry-free way of life so they can enjoy this phase of their journey in the most positive, healthy way possible.