Five reasons to make the move to senior living

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The decision to move to senior living can be difficult and emotional. Most people prefer to stay at home as long as possible and might not realize how senior living can improve their lives. In fact, many residents say they wish they had made the move sooner.

Here are the top five benefits of senior living:

  1. Social opportunities. Many older adults who live alone have too little social contact. Seniors who live in isolation are at greater risk for a number of health conditions.

Having regular social contact helps with feelings of loneliness and improves health and quality of life. Evidence suggests that regular social contact helps seniors continue to perform daily tasks as they age.

  1. Improved nutrition. Studies show poor nutrition is associated with isolation. When a person lives alone, there can be a lack of motivation to eat or prepare balanced, nutritious meals.

Living in a community where nutritious food is readily available and is enjoyed in the company of others has a strong impact on well-being.

  1. Finding new purpose. Many people experience a loss of purpose as they age, often due to declining health or changing roles in life. This doesn't have to be a given part of aging.

In fact, many who move into a senior living community are surprised by the engaging and purposeful opportunities they find. From enjoying hobbies and learning new things to volunteering, the possibilities are virtually endless. Studies have shown that those who have a higher sense of purpose have lower rates of dementia and other chronic health conditions.

  1. Better access to healthcare. Almost all senior living communities provide some level of healthcare services or access to healthcare services. These can include nurses, visiting physicians, therapy services and-or daily wellness checks.

This means changes in health are likely to be addressed sooner, and serious problems or hospital visits can potentially be avoided.

  1. Safety and security. Often, senior living is considered when there are concerns associated with falling, inability to perform daily tasks or confusion and wandering. Having attentive, compassionate, full-time staff onsite can be a relief for seniors and their family members.

While this may be one of the biggest decisions you and your family will face, the benefits of senior living can help make the choice easier and give much-needed peace of mind.

In fact, many seniors who've embraced senior living early on are not only thankful they did it, but also thrive as a result.

Carol Cummings, BSN, RN works in the corporate office of Brookdale Senior Living

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