Many of us dream of retirement, when we no longer rise early to fight traffic and deal with another day’s problems. But for some seniors, the relaxed pace grows boring. Friends and family call but are still busy with their own work and chores.
Without the social outlet of the workplace, retirement can feel lonely. Health or mobility challenges can intensify this feeling of isolation. Community homes are a smart solution for more and more seniors, and experts agree that regular socialization is a crucial element of healthy aging.
What To Expect From Community Homes
Community homes are large residences or campuses where both single seniors and married couples live independently in apartments or a studio-type area with a private bath.
Residents gather for meals in a communal dining room where the friendly atmosphere encourages meeting and socialization. This way, even folks who enjoy more solitary activities like reading, watching TV or working at the computer can get the physical and mental health benefits of being with others.
Community homes have plenty of common space on porches and patios or in libraries or recreation rooms where residents can chat, read the newspaper or just enjoy the time with someone else.
Never a Dull Moment
Group activities abound. Residents who drive can come and go as they please. Buses or vans transport residents to shopping, restaurants, cultural activities and even planned excursions. Some community homes also offer transportation to doctor appointments.
As with traditional apartments, residents pay a monthly fee. The big difference between apartments and community homes is that community living is geared to people who want to talk, share meals and even plan fun activities with neighbors.
A Sense of Security
Everyone thrives in environments that feel safe, and community homes can provide a feeling of security. An on-duty nurse or health aid can help if someone gets sick or needs help with medication.
Limited-access entrances, good lighting, security systems and personnel ensure that only residents and their visitors come and go. By their very nature, community homes create a space where the residents look out for one another.
The Benefits of Community Homes
Even though many handle it with ease, retirement is a major shift, and socialization plays a key role in health and well-being at any age. Research shows that older adults with strong social networks live longer and enjoy better quality of life.
Social networks keep seniors mentally and physically active and help them cope with the changes aging brings. Community homes can put successful aging right in a senior’s hands by bringing it to his or her front door.
Written by senior housing writer Lisa Logan, PhD.