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Senior Living Can Help Maintain Health & Independence

Shelli Bakken | Aug 24, 2015

There is a lot to think about when it comes to considering senior living. What exactly is senior living? When should you consider moving into a senior living community? Most importantly, can you maintain your independence after doing so? Senior living is a broad term for services that can help you maintain your health and independence.

What Exactly is Senior Living?

Senior living is a broad term that applies to a range of services geared towards enabling older adults looking to maintain a healthy, independent lifestyle. Senior living is used to describe both physical settings that you can live in, as well as services you can enjoy in your own home.

Examples of senior living communities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Retirement Communities: Independent living communities where you maintain your own residence, but enjoy on site services that support healthy, independent living.
  • Care Suites: These option typically offers 5-to-1 customer-to-staff ratios in order to provide excellent 24/7 healthcare services to residents as needed.
  • Long-Term Care: Healthcare and personal services in a community that also offers social events, outings, high-quality dining, and customer service that makes life more comfortable as you age.
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community: CCRC communities combine lifestyle accommodations and healthcare services in one setting, with a variety of independent living apartments and homes, offering the best of all worlds from assisted living, nursing home, and memory care.
  • Transitional Care: These communities are designed to assist you with short-term healthcare and rehabilitation services, generally following an acute health-related event, while you regain your full health before returning to your previous living situation.
  • Memory Care: Communities designed to meet the unique social, physical and safety needs of residents dealing with dementia and other memory conditions.
  • Parkinson's Care: Supports the needs of those dealing with the physical and mental challenges of Parkinson's disease.

In some cases, senior living can include services that you enjoy in your own home. Whether you still live in a home with your spouse or an apartment-style community, you can often contract with senior living providers that offer in-home nursing, cleaning, or assistance with other non-emergency needs.

How Senior Living Aids Health and Independence

Whether you decide to remain in your own home with the assistance of senior living providers, or move into a senior living community, there are many ways that you can maintain your health and independence as a result.

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If you are mobile and physically healthy, and determined to remain in your own home, you can contract with senior living providers to have a nurse visit your home for regular checkups to help manage conditions such as diabetes. It is also possible to have meals delivered and access cleaning services to help maintain those unused rooms in your home.

Should you choose to move into a senior living community, you'll find a variety of options that help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, while still exercising your independent spirit. Senior living offers residents the choice to enjoy prepared meals on a daily basis, leaving you free to cook for yourself if you choose, or join your fellow residents in a dining room for a meal.

Remaining physically active is good for your health, both physically and emotionally. Spending time in exercise classes geared toward older adults keeps your body in better shape, and the chance to socialize with other members of your senior living community helps support emotional stability. All of these activities are voluntary, which means you have independent control over your daily routine.

Senior living allows you to remain in control of your life, but also provides a safety net for those times when you feel burdened by certain responsibilities related to maintaining a home. If you live in a cold-weather climate, like those of us in Minnesota, and don't want to go out for groceries, you can count on meals in the dining room rather than venturing out in the cold and snow.

Don't Wait to Learn More About Senior Living

One of the biggest mistakes you could make - in terms of senior living - is waiting until the service is something you desperately need. Wait lists due to the rising demand for services and care make choosing your ideal senior living community a process. Plan for the future today so you have a clear road map to make the transition into a senior living arrangement easier in the future. It not only takes the hassle out of doing so, but also provides  you with peace of mind that supportive services will be there when you need them.


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