It’s estimated that more than one million seniors live in assisted living communities. Furthermore, as the U.S. population continues to age – according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are now more than 40 million individuals over the age of 65, up from 31 million in 1990 – the need for good assisted living centers will only increase.
When considering whether assisted living is the right choice for you or your loved one, look carefully at the range of activities available to community residents. That’s because one of the benefits of assisted living that you’ll hear many a resident boast about is the easy access to a whole range of activities, events, social functions and outings. Activity choice is a key part of the philosophy of person-centered care now followed at more enlightened assisted living communities.
Here are six reasons why activities help the assisted living resident feel content and proud of the community:
1. Activities provide a sense of purpose.
Residents want activities that are meaningful, such as those that produce or teach, says a study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid; such activities contribute to a resident’s positive self-image, which enhances their overall wellness.
2. Activities foster connectedness.
Many studies show that socializing benefits seniors in multiple ways. Spending time with other residents helps keep minds sharp, and lowers depression that can result from a sense of isolation. The assisted living resident who makes meaningful connections with other residents feels like the community is home, and that adds immeasurably to well-being.
3. Activities enhance physical welfare.
We all know how important physical activity is for maintaining health. This is vital for seniors and a key reason to investigate what sorts of activities are available at any assisted living community you consider. Many include walking clubs with beautiful onsite walking paths, exercise classes and even yoga classes. Most communities include fitness rooms and staff on hand to help each assisted living resident develop a customized exercise plan.
4. Activities sustain lifetime interests.
Most residents bring a lifetime of interests, hobbies and abilities with them to their new community. The avid gardener still wants to garden; the gourmet cook wants to share recipes and try new ones; the scrapbooker wants to continue arts and crafts. Enabling residents to keep doing those things that they’ve always enjoyed is another key reason for a strong activity program.
5. Activities promote mental growth.
Even old(er) dogs can learn new tricks. The senior living community that offers a variety of activities to residents helps engage them and stretch their mind. Residents take pride in learning something new and get to brag about it to their kids and grandkids.
6. Activities foster a sense of exploration and fun.
People who are having fun feel better and smile more often; and we know from numerous studies that happiness is a huge component of overall well-being. Fun activities like bringing in a magician or having a sing-along can greatly enrich the life of the assisted living resident.
Activities designed to meet the physical, mental and psychosocial well-being of each resident should be high on the priority list at any assisted living community. Tell us about your favorite activities and why they’re important to you.
Do you want your loved ones to maintain pride and a sense of ownership?
Assisted living and independent living doesn't have to be the stereotypes your loved ones are afraid of. It can be a rewarding and positive experience for the family. Learn how we've combined world-class care with the best practices in assisted living.