Right now, thousands of older adults in America are making a choice to downsize to a senior living community. Reasons include freedom from the mundane chores of homeownership, better quality of life, more opportunities for fun and friendship, a desire to feel safe and secure, and so on.
Whatever the reason, these seniors are choosing a lifestyle designed specifically to give older adults the support and opportunity they need to thrive. Here are some top reasons why they aren’t waiting—and why you shouldn’t either.
Downsize to senior living: sooner is better
Some of the benefits of making the move:
Enjoying maintenance-free living
Most older adults have done more than their share of what “has” to be done: cleaning the house, doing the laundry, repairing the roof, unclogging the sink, raking the leaves, and on and on. But deciding to downsize to senior living replaces all that with something wonderful: free time. No more daily tasks. Just lots of ways to have fun, socialize, learn new hobbies, travel, and enjoy more quality time with friends and family.
Starting fresh with less to worry about
Downsizing means decluttering, decluttering means less stuff, and less stuff means less to clean, less to store, and less to move. Read Declutter and Downsize: 4 Tips for Older Adults to learn more. Less clutter also means lower risks of falls, which is important for seniors since more than one in four older people falls each year. All of that translates to less stress and a simplified lifestyle. You can start fresh, free of the mental and physical burdens of possessions that you might not even realize are weighing you down. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that, as your care needs change, help with daily living is at hand.
Having more friends for socializing
Isolation is not healthy for seniors, in fact, it can be quite harmful. Studies have shown that social isolation can significantly increase a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, and increases the risk of dementia and heart disease. But deciding to downsize to senior living means regular contact with neighbors, team members, families, and visitors.
There’s always someone around to provide company for a meal, activity, special outing, or just an afternoon stroll. And those residents who consider themselves introverts can still enjoy their privacy and solitude, with the added reassurance that someone is close by if needed.
Pursuing new adventures
Everyone experiences boredom occasionally. But for an older adult living at home alone, boredom can lead to depression and loneliness, which can then lead to serious physical and mental health issues. Such as higher rates of insomnia and memory loss, loss of appetite and diminished energy levels.
Today’s older adults want more than the same-old-thing. Instead, they choose to downsize to senior living and take advantage of a robust calendar of social and physical activities, special outings, classes and lectures, concerts, parties, special events and more. For many, senior living lets them embrace their independence and benefit from a fun, supportive community environment filled with resort-like amenities and engaging community programs.
Having a sense of safety and security
COVID-19 certainly heightened everyone’s focus on safety, and the entire senior living industry responded with strict guidelines and sanitization procedures to help keep everyone as safe as possible. But for older adults, safety is also about feeling safe and secure in one’s home. Knowing assistance is always available day or night. Not having to worry about clearing icy sidewalks or driving at night on unsafe roads.
Additionally, older adults who choose to downsize to senior living are choosing an environment designed for their safety, with features and details that most private homes do not have. The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) says that only 1% of American homes have five basic universal design features that make a home accessible, and therefore safer, for seniors: single-floor living, extra wide hallways and doorways, no-step entry, electric controls reachable from a wheelchair, and lever-style handles on faucets and doors.
Keeping a sharp mind
Older adults who want to keep their brain at peak level are attracted to the many lifelong learning opportunities available in senior living. According to brainmd.com, regardless of a person’s age, mental exercise positively affects the brain. And for the maximum benefit, you need to be challenged with something new. Because that’s when the brain forms new connections, and neural pathways are strengthened. It can happen your entire life.
Opportunities for learning new things abound in senior living…the sooner you start, the sooner your brain will benefit.
Staying physically active
For many older adults, it can be difficult to stay physically active at home. The gym’s too far away. Or there’s no one to walk with in the evening. But the choice to downsize to senior living provides the added bonus of a fitness reboot. Whether an older adult has never exercised, or needs to get back in the game, a senior living community can offer a comprehensive fitness and wellness program with senior-friendly equipment, classes and information, and professional instruction.
And maybe the best part? The motivation that comes from being around others who share your goals—and who can be great at prodding you to join them for a Zumba class!
Securing a plan for the future Worrying about tomorrow can eat up a lot of time and energy. Making the choice to downsize to senior living gives many older adults the reassurance of a plan for the future. They know that assistance is always close by, night or day. They know they are relieving their children of worries about their wellbeing. And they can relax knowing they’ve made a decision that will help them maintain their independence for as long as possible.
Why wait to have it all? There are many ways to ease the process of moving to a senior living community easier. To learn more, read How Senior Move Managers Make Transitioning From Your Home Easier. Don’t wait to start this robust lifestyle!
Contact a Clearwater Living community near you to learn what senior living options are available and local resources to assist with downsizing.