How to Stay Independent in a Senior Living Community
Many older adults hope to remain as active and independent as possible for as long as possible. For this reason, they may shy away from the idea of moving to a senior living community. They are uncertain of how the change will affect their lifestyle. They may worry it will feel regimented or that they will lose certain freedoms.
Though these uncertainties are normal, senior living communities are designed to enhance independence, not infringe upon it. These communities provide opportunities for individuals to discover new interests, foster relationships with neighbors, and stay healthy. If needed, a senior living community can also provide memory care services or assistance with daily activities of living. Most importantly, staff are always available should a medical emergency occur. If you are still skeptical, keep reading. This article discusses how you can stay independent in a senior living community.
Tips for Staying Independent in a Senior Living Community
For many older adults, moving to a senior living community is liberating. Since housekeeping and laundry services are included in monthly expenses, the day-to-day responsibilities of maintaining a home vanish. That means more time to nourish hobbies, explore new interests and meet with friends. However, the change of pace doesn’t have to mean a complete change in lifestyle. Here are some other tips to stay independent in a senior living community:
Expand Your Horizons
Step outside your comfort zone. Get to know your neighborhood by participating in clubs, attending lectures, joining special interest groups or volunteering for a holiday event. Heritage of Brookstone, for instance, hosts events such as their Concert on the Green, a musical hour of entertainment provided by the Kennesaw State University Band. Similar social engagements will help the new community feel more like home.
Expand Your Circle of Friends
Maintain your existing friendships once you move, but also make an effort to build new friendships and associations. Join clubs or take part in special interest groups. At mealtimes, choose to sit with a new neighbor or ask to share a morning cup of coffee.
Stimulate Your Brain
Take an online course, attend educational lectures, join a book club, or work daily crossword and sudoku puzzles. Heritage of Peachtree, for instance, hosts virtual webinars covering topics like music therapy while Heritage of Sandy Plains offers regular painting lessons.
Cultivate an Active Social Life
Aging-in-place can be isolating. That being said, one of the best aspects of living in a community setting is just that: the community. There will be plenty of opportunities to join others for a drink or dinner, a card game, or a casual walk with the dogs. You might be surprised at how busy you will be.
Maintain Your Connections
Moving doesn’t mean you have to let go of your former community. Stay connected with your church and continue participating with local organizations. Know that many fraternal, business, and veterans organizations have active chapters in senior living communities. Seek them out as a way of settling into your new home.
You don’t have to be a star athlete, but physical activity contributes to overall well-being, both physical and mental. Good health is one of the primary ways to remain independent. Daily exercise, particularly a brisk walk in the fresh air, will help you retain physical strength, flexibility, and mobility. It will also alleviate anxiety and depression.
Even if it’s just a day trip, be open to new experiences. If your community provides transportation for shopping or events, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a day away from home. Take advantage of the scheduled events in your community, whether it’s a weekend cookout, a weeknight movie, or a simple dinner with friends.
Volunteer to tutor students at a local school, work part-time at a pet shelter or community library, tend a patch of the community garden or teach a cooking class. There are endless ways to give back to your community.
Remain Independent at Heritage
Stay in control of your life’s purpose at Heritage. The talented team at our assisted living and memory care communities near Atlanta, Georgia, encourage interaction and collaboration in order to personalize your experience, so you can live with purpose.
Heritage has three Georgia senior living communities in the Atlanta area—Heritage of Brookstone, Heritage of Peachtree and Heritage of Sandy Plains. While each community has its own charm and character, all three are committed to creating a fulfilling, engaging and exciting environment where residents can thrive. To learn more about Heritage, contact us today.