Submitted by Holly Hall, CDP, CMP, CPASRM, Executive Director, The Village at Mercy Creek
Most people want to stay active, healthy and independent as they age. In an ideal world, everyone would be able to stay in their own home well into their 80s and 90s without experiencing a health crisis or decline in physical or mental ability. However, the truth is that it is very common for an unexpected health event to occur—a serious fall, a stroke, a medical diagnosis, the death of a spouse—and suddenly, a person is simply not able to care for themselves. Then everyone is scrambling to try to find a senior living option that is a good fit, not to mention one that even has space available. When this happens, family members and the person who has to make this major life change have little time to plan or prepare.
However, many seniors are not waiting for a health crisis and instead are choosing to move to communities that allow them to enjoy their senior years in a community-based setting that allows them easy access to everything they need to continue to stay healthy, active, social and cognitively sharp long after retirement. Being a senior isn’t what it used to be. Advances in medical treatments are helping seniors live active and healthier lives longer than the generations before them. Additionally, this newest generation of retirees are more mindful of taking steps to make healthier lifestyle choices, such as eating better and exercising regularly to help them stay strong and age healthy.
With winter on the way, now is a good time to think about the future and have a plan. Start looking at Senior Living Communities—even if you aren’t planning to make the transition for several years—or maybe never. It’s smart to consider all the options and be prepared. Following are five benefits of moving to a Senior Living Community sooner rather than later.
- No yard work or home maintenance. Many retirees simply don’t want the responsibility of keeping up with a large home. Yard work and other home maintenance projects can be a burden, taking up time and money. A senior living community fosters a maintenance free lifestyle, so they can focus more on enjoying activities and hobbies.
- There’s always something to do. Staying active and trying new things is essential to healthy aging. It can also help reduce your risk for cognitive decline and the development of certain types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. From wellness programs, to social events, to recreational and leisure activities, at a senior living community, you’re never without something to do or something new to try.
- It’s easy to meet new people. Regular socializing is another key aspect of healthy aging. In fact, studies show that seniors who partake in regular social engagements are less likely to develop feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, and isolation as they age. Senior living communities make it easy for seniors to make new friends and develop new relationships. Shared common areas, regular social events, on-site activities, and community dining mean you’re never far from meeting someone who shares your interests.
- No need to cook (unless you want to!). Love to eat but hate the process of cooking and cleaning? Senior living communities offer healthy, home-style dining options that ensure residents eat well, without the hassle. Still like to cook occasionally? Not a problem. There are full kitchens available so you can bake or prepare what you like, when you like.
- You have peace of mind for the future. No matter what steps you take to stay healthy as you age, there may come a time when you require more assistance with tasks you once did on your own. Moving to a senior living community while you’re still active and healthy, is far easier than moving and making this adjustment in crisis mode. And it gives you peace of mind that you’ll have access to the assistance you need, should you ever need it in the future.
At the Village at Mercy Creek, they believe joy should exist in every aspect of daily life. Each day is filled with possibilities and good times because that’s how they choose to live and serve within our community. They offer Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Respite Care services designed to meet the specific, often changing needs of their residents. To tour or learn more about the Village at Mercy Creek, located at 1501 Mercy Creek Drive in Normal, call 309-268-1501 or visit www.villageatmercycreek.org.