Can living in a retirement residence improve your health? It turns out a number of the reasons seniors choose to move into a retirement community are the same factors that can provide a multi-faceted health boost for both mind and body.
You choose a retirement residence because you want to stay socially active
The health benefit: Being social leads to better health
Some retirees choose a seniors’ community because they want to stay socially active, spend more time with the people they love, and continue to do the activities they enjoy. This can sometimes be a challenge while living in your own home, especially if you have mobility or transportation issues.
A retirement residence can provide on-your-doorstep opportunities to see friends (old and new) through shared activities, a meal or an organized outing—and it turns out that regular socialization is good for seniors’ physical and mental health. Studies show that people with more social supports:
-Live longer, even when accounting for overall levels of health.
-Enjoy better physical health, particularly through lowered blood pressure and a stronger immune system. That can mean a reduced risk of stroke or heart attack and fewer colds and the flu.
-Have better mental health. We are programmed to be social creatures and spending time with others improves our mood and decreases feelings of depression.
-Decrease the risk of dementia. Neuro-scientist Dr. John Cacioppo, who has been studying social isolation for over 30 years, is one of several researchers who found that loneliness may contribute to faster cognitive decline and the onset of dementia.
You choose a retirement residence because you no longer have the desire or energy to cook for yourself
Health benefit: Seniors who dine with others are shown to eat more nutritious meals and are less likely to feel lonely
Retirement residences offer nutritious and delicious meals options in a social setting, removing the chore of daily meal preparation if you’d prefer not to cook However, many suites at retirement communities are also equipped with full kitchens or kitchenettes for individuals who want to prepare some meals on their own as well.
You choose a retirement residence because you can no longer get out to the activities you love
Health benefit: Staying cognitively engaged through mental and physical activity means a healthier brain
It’s the “use it or lose it” philosophy that says people who stay active through hobbies that engage both mind and body have a lowered risk of dementia.
Retirement residences offer a myriad of activities to choose from, including book and gardening clubs, fitness programs, outings and much more—all designed for brain and body health, not to mention friendship and entertainment.
At Chartwell, we are dedicated to providing seniors with a healthy, happy and fulfilling lifestyle in our retirement communities across Canada. To learn more about life at Chartwell, or to find a senior living residence in your area, call our Contact Centre today at 1-855-461-0685.