The Social Security Administration reports that around 27 percent of U.S. seniors over the age of 60 live alone. While some seniors enjoy the added quiet time in their golden years, many older Americans find themselves living alone despite their best laid plans. The retirement years can be a time of new adventures, new hobbies and more time for family and friends. However, for seniors living alone, there are some additional challenges to be considered, including:
- Increased risk of social isolation
- Holding responsibility for household chores, lawn work, errands, etc.
- Reduced access to nutritious foods
- Increased risk of anxiety or depression
- Higher risk of medical emergencies
To combat these risks, and create new opportunities for engagement, enjoyment and building new relationships, many seniors opt for one of the types of senior housing. Once you understand the options for senior care it is easy to see the benefits of a senior living community can positively impact health, life longevity and overall enjoyment of each day.
Benefits of Senior Living Communities
Strong connections with family, friends and neighbors are a key part to helping maintain our mental and emotional health as we age. Senior living communities, such as Mount Prospect Senior Living, are excellent options for senior care. These communities are designed to help seniors enjoy the company of their friends and neighbors, while reducing the risk of injury or a medical emergency and providing daily activities that engage the mind, body and spirit. Here are a few additional benefits of senior living communities:
- Access to new hobbies and continuing education
- Social time and leisure activities, such as card games and Bingo nights
- Exposure to arts and entertainment
- Time and space to connect with friends, visit with family and spend time with peers
- Access to transportation
- Medical and nutritional support
- Fitness programs
How to Choose Where to Live
With more than 50 million senior citizens living in the U.S. today, the senior housing industry is rushing to catch up with demand for elder care options. There are many questions to consider when it comes to selecting a senior living community. When researching your choices, take your time, keep an open mind and be prepared to ask questions.
Here are a few easy steps to follow to begin exploring your options for senior living and identifying the place that will be the best fit for you and your family:
Explore the community and the grounds. This journey is about finding a new home; so, you want it to feel like home. Do you like open spaces? Garden areas? Picnics? Find a community that looks and feels like a place you will enjoy.
Consider safety. Many senior communities, like Mount Prospect, offer different levels of care. Safety measures may differ depending on the level of care you are researching, but it is important to consider what is available. Are there wide doorways for wheelchairs? Zero-threshold showers? Uplifting colors and comfortable furniture?
Understand the staff make-up. What is the staff-to-resident ratio? Is there medical staff on-site? What kind of training does the staff receive? Who manages medications?
Know the community’s culture. To feel like a part of a community, you have to enjoy the community. What activities are offered and what do you like to do? Overall, how active are the residents? How active do you want to be?
Find the programming you need. Different communities specialize in different programs. At Mount Prospect Senior Living, we offer the Vibrant Life® program, which allows residents to create their own agenda each day, rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all activity calendar.
Identify the meal plans and nutrition considerations. How many meals are provided daily? Are special diets accommodated? What type of nutritional support is available? The Elevate Dining program at Mount Prospect combines your favorite meals from home with the very best of Chicagoland cuisine! We create excellent dining experiences based on your tastes and nutritional needs.
Measure long-term and short-term needs. The care and support you need now may not be the same level you need a few years down the road. Be sure you understand what levels of care are offered and how changes in care are handled by the community.
Finding Your Future
The very best way to know if a senior living community is the right fit for you is to visit! At Mount Prospect, we would love to invite you and your family to visit our community and learn more about our programs, our culture and our care. Have questions before you make the trip? Call us at 847.250.6029 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today and we are happy to answer any questions you have!