January 10, 2019
If you’re just beginning the search for a senior living community for yourself or an older loved one, you might be wondering what to expect. Like many people, you may assume that senior living hasn’t changed since the “nursing homes” of years past. Actually, senior living has evolved a great deal over the last few decades!
Modern senior living communities are more than a just place to live; they are a place where older adults can make new friends, try new activities, and thrive throughout their retirement years. Best of all, senior living providers are always striving to improve and tailor their offerings to meet the needs of the next senior population. Take a closer look at some of the top emerging trends you can expect to see in today’s senior living communities.
Tech driving personalized care
In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in the use of technology within senior living communities to help improve seniors’ health, safety, and wellbeing. For example, most communities now use advanced security monitoring and medical alert systems to ensure care staff are notified and act quickly in the event of an emergency. Many communities are also shifting from paper records to electronic records to track residents’ health and information, using the technology to provide more accurate and dependable care.
Today’s senior living communities place an emphasis on providing residents with healthy, nutritious meals that offer variety and flavor. Along with professionally-trained chefs, most communities have nutritionists and dieticians on staff so that residents with special diets or restrictions are accommodated for every meal. Dining in a senior living community is also a fun, social experience that leads to new friendships. In most communities, residents have access to multiple dining options including community dining rooms and on-campus restaurants and cafés where they can enjoy meals with family and friends.
Another trend among senior living facilities is a focus on creating a welcoming, community-oriented atmosphere. Some communities are adjusting their layout and design to provide common areas and lounges designated for things like crafting, card or book clubs, or family visits. Many senior living facilities are also creating flexible spaces that are equipped to host a variety of activities for the community, including worship services, live speakers, and music performances.
Animals have an important role in many people’s lives. Research shows that pets can even improve our mental, physical, and emotional health. Recognizing the incredible benefits of animal companionship, many senior living facilities allow residents to bring their pets when relocating. Some senior living communities also feature aquariums and bird aviaries in common areas and facilitate visits with therapy pets from local organizations to give residents the chance to interact with animals on a regular basis.
Participating in meaningful activities helps older adults maintain social connections, combat loneliness, and continue exploring their interests. That’s why senior living communities provide a range of fun and programs, activities, and social events to ensure all residents stay engaged and involved. Some of the most popular activity trends include group fitness and wellness classes, continuing education classes, and hobbies such as painting or drawing.
Of course, senior living options come in all different shapes and sizes. As you begin researching, you’ll soon learn that no two communities are exactly alike. Before making a decision, be sure you visit and tour several senior living communities to find the one that matches your needs and preferences.