Benefits of Living in a CCRC
In the years you spent in your home, you have formed fond memories that can be hard to separate from. But, performing your daily routine might be getting more challenging, and staying at home may be putting yourself at risk. Aging is a normal part of the human experience, and it might be time for you to transition to a healthier, more fulfilling living arrangement. You may be a family member who notices your loved one struggling to keep up with the day-to-day. In either scenario is it never to late to look into the benefits of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and begin discussing a lifestyle change.
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Did you know there are nearly 2,000 CCRCs in the United States? A CCRC is a community for adults 60 years and older that supports independent living, offers personal care and provides skilled nursing care.
CCRCs are a chance for older adults to redefine “home” and make new memories while receiving the emotional, physical and medical support they need. At a CCRC, older adults will benefit from the following:
1. Social Connections
Studies find that as we age, our social connections lessen, potentially leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Feelings of loneliness and isolation have similar negative effects as smoking cigarettes. These effects may lead to functional declines and premature mortality.
At a CCRC, residents will feel supported by a community of other older adults and compassionate healthcare professionals. They’ll have access to amenities and social services, like:
- Interest clubs, like railroad or knitting clubs
- Club rooms
- Recreational rooms
- Gift shops
- Social cafes
- Beauty shops
At home, older adults may feel constricted to their space. At a CCRC, residents find endless opportunities to strengthen their support system and practice a healthier, more social lifestyle.
2. Home Maintenance and Repairs
Owning a home also means owning the responsibility of home maintenance and repairs. You or your loved one may have positive memories of mowing the lawn, changing a lightbulb or fixing a leaky faucet. But doing so at an older age can lead to high-risk scenarios, such as falling. Maintenance responsibilities can also cause stress and anxiety, which could impact older adults’ mental health and functioning.
At a CCRC, the community’s staff will take care of the yard work, home maintenance and repairs, keeping residents safe and their schedule open for other activities.
Falls are the number one cause of injury for older adults over 65, accounting for almost 1 million hospitalizations in 2018 alone. CCRCs take this higher risk of injury into account. They provide appropriate living arrangements and experienced faculty who administer timely care in an emergency, in addition to other medical and consultation appointments.
Residents in a CCRC benefit from the peace of mind knowing that they as well as their belongings are safe and secure. Plus they’ll have access to a safe community where they can walk around and explore without fear of exposure to danger.
Older adults may feel dependent on others. Even going to the grocery store or visiting loved ones can feel like a large task that requires them to use unreliable transportation services and maneuver around other obstacles. A retirement community restores residents’ sense of independence. They’ll have the freedom to choose their schedules and take part in what matters to them, like establishing a healthy social routine and being able to consistently attend medical appointments.
Plus, most retirement homes offer transportation services, so residents can visit local destinations, family or friends according to their schedule.
With their newfound independence, CCRC residents will enjoy the flexibility to live life their own way. Senior living communities supply community members with a number of opportunities. Older adults can dedicate more of their time to learning new skills, pursuing interests and passions, and bonding with their community and family members.
Among the opportunities at a senior living community, volunteering is beneficial for older adults because it:
- Improves mental health: Studies show that volunteering decreases the chance of developing depression. It also aids in treating mental health and other chronic illnesses, such as chronic pain.
- Prevents feelings of isolation: Volunteering often involves working with other people and supporting community members in need. This ultimately helps combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.
- Promotes physical activity: Volunteer opportunities often require gross motor movement, and promote better physical and mental health by keeping seniors active.
Volunteering isn’t a requirement at CCRCs, but the opportunity will be there for residents to participate in.
7. Stay Healthy
Just because older adults have more life experience doesn’t mean they have to feel “old.” In fact, many people between 65 years and 74 years old say they feel 10 years to 19 years younger. Retirement communities help older adults maintain their youthful spirit. They’ll enjoy healthy meals, exercise programs, access to medical care and adult education classes to support their mental, physical and emotional health.
If you’re a family member who wants to talk with your loved one about the benefits of moving to a CCRC, consider these tips to help introduce the subject:
- Educate yourself: Have information prepared for your loved one when approaching the situation. Remember not to load on too much information at once, or it may provoke more stressful emotions than positive ones.
- Focus on the positives: Once you’ve introduced the topic of retirement communities, focus on the positives of moving, like listing the benefits outlined above.
- Acknowledge their feelings: The transition between independent living and a CCRC will likely stir a range of emotions in your loved one. Start an open conversation with them, and encourage them to express their positive and negative emotions so you can help them through the decision-making process.
- Listen and express your love: Validating your loved one’s emotions shows them you’re listening and valuing their feelings. Meet them in the middle by being equally vulnerable and sharing your feelings and concerns in an empathetic and meaningful way.
Depending on the needs your loved one expresses, the next step is to reach out to CCRCs and inquire about their unique services, amenities and living arrangements.
Since 1949, our passionate team has worked diligently to form the new nature of senior living. Cornwall Manor is a not-for-profit community that values independence and high-quality housing, healthcare and related services.
Located in South-Central Pennsylvania near Lebanon, our progressive community is surrounded by nature. We’re close to destinations like Hershey and Lancaster, where residents can explore and enjoy their senior living environment.
We’d love to help you make arrangements for a smooth transition to a healthier lifestyle at a CCRC. Learn more information about our community by contacting us online, or by calling us at 717-274-8092 for immediate guidance.