A recent study by Mather Lifeways Institute on Aging found that nearly 70% of residents stated moving into a Life Plan Community “somewhat or greatly improved their social wellness.” The survey also found residents of Life Plan Communities (offering independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care) scored higher on five of six facets of wellness. The five facets are: greater emotional, social, physical, intellectual and vocational wellness.
This study, along with a study conducted by Juniper Communities, found what has been intuitively suggested by not only professionals, but residents within senior communities for years. Living in a community setting with daily access to friends, personal health assistance, dining, wellness and social programs, housekeeping, maintenance and transportation services – may not only improve quality of life for those age 75+, but add to it.
Facts supporting the importance of services offered by Life Plan Communities include:
- Lack of socialization is a major source of depression, with nearly half of women age 75+ living alone.
- 44% of older adults 75+ report having at least one physical disability that impairs their ability to live independently.
- 14% of adults age 71+ and 32% of adults age 85+ suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementia.
- Drivers age 80+ have the highest rate of fatal crashes per miles driven of any age group.
- More than 34 million Americans are serving as unpaid caregivers for an older adult parent, spouse, other relative, friend or neighbor. The majority of whom are age 75+, for an average of 24 hours per week.
What may stop older adults from moving to a senior living community?
The largest factors are cultural and based on stereotyped perceptions. First, older adults in the “Silent Generation” were raised to put a roof over their head and never give it up. Additionally, they have an ingrained responsibility to never be a burden on anyone. Second, many older adults continue to assume a senior living community is a place for “old people” representing the institutional “nursing homes” of years ago.
More and more studies show senior communities enhance the lives of the residents, who report higher levels of socialization and overall wellness, proving senior communities are better for your health!