Many older adults prefer staying home and aging in place rather than moving to a senior living community. Unfortunately, this may leave a senior with limited transportation and connections to needed care services.
Although downsizing and leaving your home of many years — or perhaps decades — can be overwhelming, the challenge can be worth it for the improved mental health and overall well-being you’ll likely gain in a senior living community.
In fact, most residents in our Otterbein SeniorLife Communities say they wish they had moved sooner. Explore 10 top reasons senior living may be better than living alone in this blog curated by our senior living team.
Benefits of Living in a Senior Living Community
1. Socialization Opportunities
Living alone may limit your ability to socialize and stay connected with friends and family. Senior living communities offer private living spaces but also common areas to gather, meet new friends, and enjoy activities and special occasions together.
2. Wellness Classes
Staying fit and active can be difficult if you are isolated or no longer drive. Senior living communities typically have an on-site fitness center with personal trainers and experienced instructors leading exercise classes. In addition, many communities have walking paths where you can run, walk, or ride your bike safely and join others for outdoor activities and camaraderie.
3. Lifelong Learning Activities
Lifelong learning can help prevent cognitive decline and can improve mental health. Senior living communities focus on providing lifelong learning activities and avenues where you can pursue new and old hobbies and interests.
4. Maintenance-Free Lifestyle
The maintenance and upkeep that comes with owning a home can be difficult for anyone, but it can be particularly challenging for older adults with limited mobility or other health concerns. Senior living communities have maintenance teams that ensure all appliances are in working order, along with handling snow removal, yard work, and different maintenance needs that arise.
5. Transportation Services
Seniors who no longer drive, avoid driving at night, or don’t travel long distances may find themselves isolated from loved ones and activities they enjoy. Senior living communities frequently offer transportation services to appointments, stores, and banks. You’ll usually also find that senior living life enrichment teams coordinate fun outings to nearby attractions, restaurants, and shops.
6. Emergency Support
In case of an emergency, senior living communities typically offer a 24/7 emergency response system where you can pull a cord, push a button, or use a voice-activated feature to call for help. Trained staff will respond quickly and can also notify your loved ones. In addition, emergency support can offer invaluable peace of mind to both you and your loved ones.
7. Nutritious Dining Options
Older adults living alone may find it difficult to keep fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods on hand. Sometimes preparing meals for one person can be expensive and time-consuming, leaving seniors eating less often or dining on unhealthy snacks and meals. Senior living communities often focus on ensuring meals are nutritious, freshly prepared, and varied. And if you’d rather not dine with others, you can usually have meals delivered or pick up a meal to go.
8. Safety and Security
Safety and security can be a concern for anyone living alone, but seniors may be especially vulnerable and fall victim to scams, thefts, or other crimes. Living in a community can be a safer option. Most senior living communities have security teams or cameras — or both — to keep everyone safe. Often, main buildings are locked and require a key or code to enter. Senior living also adds reassurance that someone is always there to help when needed.
9. Continuing Care
Older adults may experience a sudden change in health or a fall or injury. Senior living that offers continuing care can be highly beneficial when situations like this occur. As a resident of a senior living community, you’ll typically have priority access to additional care services like assisted living, rehabilitation, or long-term care. In addition, you and your loved ones won’t have the stress of searching for a place you can go that offers high-quality care — instead, you’ll find those services located on the same campus.
The cost of aging in place can be considerable, especially if your changing health needs require you to modify your home for accessibility or pay for regular care services. Fortunately, senior living is often all-inclusive, where monthly fees cover utilities, activities, maintenance, meals, transportation, rent, and more. It’s important to compare the costs of remaining in your home with moving to a senior living community. Many people are surprised to find that senior living is often an affordable option.
Learn More About Senior Living Communities
Learn more about the benefits of living in a senior living community by visiting our helpful resource page. You’ll find information about common continuing care retirement community amenities, accommodations, dining options, costs, and more.