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High school seniors and elderly seniors have one thing in common: they look forward to the amenities and opportunities available at their new communities whether they are the college dorms or a senior living community.
Today’s senior living communities are not the same as they once were. It wasn’t too long ago that these types of community were only for the severely mentally or physically disabled elders. Now there are a variety of senior living communities with services and housing specific for independent living, assisted living or nursing home style with full medical staff and monitoring. Some communities even offer a combination of these services to be available for any mental or physical decline.
The biggest change, of course, is independent living that is provided with all the amenities possible to promote active aging. Here you can find fitness training, golf courses, arts and craft classes, and much more!
Let’s explore some must-haves senior living communities need to offer for active aging, friendship building and enjoying life!
When a community can offer a fitness center, it encourages individuals to stay fit and work on weakened muscles. It’s especially helpful if they have set times and days for personal trainers or physical therapists to teach certain conditioning movements to help fight arthritis, osteoporosis and muscle recuperation after any injuries or surgeries.
Seniors also love to play golf and swim. Look for facilities that offer golf courses or putting greens, as well as a recreation center for indoor pools and ping pong tables.
Meal options also make a difference for seniors. They are tired of making single-serve meals. Our elders love diversity and dining out, so look for facilities that offer a variety of options, similar to a mall food court or even catered food. Cafeteria style dining is appealable to some, but if the food is fresh and styled by skilled chefs, even cafeteria dining can be enjoyable! Look for senior living facilities that offer meal packages to offset costs that would otherwise be spent on dining on nearly every meal.
Walk into any Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or JoAnn’s, and you’ll typically find seniors participating in classes there, or at least buying materials to make DIY crafts, woodworking or model airplanes or cars. Senior resident communities often offer classes such as crochet, painting or tool workshops. This is a great option for seniors to make friends and enjoy their time at the facility!
After downsizing from their long-time home, the remaining possessions seniors have at their new home are extremely valuable for them. Look for facilities that offer 24/7 security detail complete with video monitoring of the premises to deter and catch any theft. Families will feel more secure for their loved one’s care and tracking of their whereabouts if their loved one is showing mental decline.
Because health issues and falls are common among seniors, facilities with on-site medical staff can quickly address any health concerns. Quick attention to any falls, cardiac arrest or respiratory failure can save lives.
Medical Appointment Transportation
A great perk that some senior living community centers offer is transportation to/from the facility for doctor’s appointments. This cuts down the need for residents to pay for gas. Some actually even forego owning a vehicle after transitioning to an independent living facility because they have no need for a one with all the amenities within the very center. This can save a lot in car insurance payments as well as any car maintenance costs.
Why should seniors stop going to performances just because they’re living at a senior living community? Look for facilities that actually have an on-campus community center that is designed for family-oriented events and must-see performances. Many love music and live theater, so some senior living communities work out partnerships with local universities and performance troupes to perform at the facility. Not only does this generate community interest, but it’s a great perk for seniors living at the facility. Did you know most community centers offer discounted fares and even free admission for seniors attending shows?
Senior living communities don’t need to be like the resented “Shady Pines” as Dorothy called it on Golden Girls. Today’s facilities offer many amenities that actually encourage seniors to stay active and keep in tune with their hobbies while cutting costs elsewhere! If you want to learn more about what is offered at your local facility, take a tour or give them a call!
Attitudes Senior Care of San Diego, CA has three beautiful locations designed for active aging and great senior care. We accommodate seniors of all physical and mental handicaps with spacious facilities. We invite you to take a tour to see how we will provide great service and community for you! Call to schedule your tour at 858.922.9906 today!
If it is time for your loved one to make the move to a senior living community, recognize that this an emotional time for both you and your beloved elder. Because emotions will run high during this transition period, you will want to be more selective with what you say and do as you assist your loved one with the move.
Mentally establish why the move is necessary. For many, assisted living communities are able to meet needs that family members can’t. For others, making the move to a senior living community is a balance between financial convenience and social needs.
If an elder remains in their current home that is too large to maintain, thy may become depressed as they feel unable to do certain functions for home upkeep and entertaining like they once were able to. Also, in a standard detached home setting, it’s less likely that they will remain social with others in their neighborhood. However, in a smaller home that is surrounded by people in the same age group, it can be invigorating and inspiring to stay active.
However, when moving into a smaller space, there is often the need to downsize simply because not everything will fit in the new home. Parting with beloved possessions can be a bittersweet experience, and it can be hard to differentiate function and sentimental value.
Here are some tips to consider as you help your beloved elder downsize.
Make a must-have list. Sit down with your family member and ask them to write down must-haves that need to be moved into the new space. This will help differentiate the most valued items and also can be a determining factor in selecting a senior or assisting living community based on space needs. This can include pictures, books, family heirlooms, and even holiday décor.
Be practical about space and safety. Make scale drawings of the new living space’s dimensions to help compartmentalize which furniture and accent pieces will be able to fit into the new home. Gently remind your loved one that too many pieces or bulky furniture can create a claustrophobic feel and pose a trip and fall hazard.
Purchase a storage facility. Some pieces have such great sentimental value that your elder wants them to stay in the family. Purchase a storage facility to house these items until someone in your family has space for these items to keep them in the family.
Sometimes, however, keeping items in the family means potential misuse or disrespect for them. Minding Our Elders author, Carol Bradley Bursack, recommends researching local thrift stores or charity organizations that accept furniture and other pieces and provide them to families in need. Sometimes just knowing their once-loved possessions will go to another family who will actively use them is enough to subside the sentimental value.
Include them in the move process. Definitely do not just move items and select what goes and what stays for your senior family member. They need to be a part of the process to help them emotionally and physically process function and possession value. Making decisions for them devalues them and makes them feel like even they are being tossed aside.
Take your time and get permission. Let’s face it. Your elder loved one is still in charge. They took care of you and their home for many years. They need to be able to gradually detach from the home and remaining items. Therefore, don’t be in such a rush to throw away items and sell off the house – that would be like ripping off a band aid too soon.
Encourage participation in community events. As your senior transitions into their new space, encourage them and even accompany them to the community events. This will help establish friendships and inspiration to stay in their new space because they will feel invigorated again by new experiences and friendships. They will also value your visitation because it helps them feel like they’re still involved in your lives even in a different home than they established.
Downsizing for any kind of move is an emotional process. For your senior, it’s especially hard because they worked to make memories with their long-time home and possessions between raising you, having friends over for dinner and so much more. The transition will be shaky, but you can be there for them physically, emotionally and mentally as they breathe life into their new space.
Attitudes Senior Care offers three scenic locations for assisted living in the San Diego area. We value your family members and help them feel right at home in their new community. We offer many services including meals, housekeeping, 24/7 security, transportation for medical appointments, and much more! Get a free tour of our Del Mar, Solana Beach, or Mt. Soledad communities today!