Five Reasons Why Now is a Good Time to Move to a Senior Living Community
Is it smart to move to a retirement community?
Many adults are reluctant to consider moving to a senior living community. They may be connected to a home where they have lived for many years, built relationships with neighbors and others nearby, and perhaps raised a family. Why would anyone want to trade that for an unfamiliar place where they may need to start all over making friends and learning how to fit in to a new community?
For others, moving to a senior living community may signal a decline in independence cutting older people off from a diverse environment that includes younger adults and children. But that certainly need not be the case, and the benefits of a senior living community can significantly outweigh any sense of loss that might come with such a move. For many adults, a senior living community offers many opportunities to optimize quality of life as they age.
In fact, many older adults aren’t living idyllic lives surrounded by family and friends and become quite isolated. In May 2023, the office of the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory describing social isolation as an epidemic that threatens public health, especially among older adults.
With age, older adults lose friends more frequently through illness, disability, and death. They often begin to feel more vulnerable and/or experience chronic illness that may limit mobility, leading to becoming homebound and restricting interaction with the greater community. As a result, older people often move either by choice or out of necessity from a familiar to a new environment that offers supports and opportunities for social interaction.
We know that older adults today are looking to live in communities that support their entire well-being—physical, social, emotional, and spiritual. They want to live among people who share their values and interests. Senior living communities have spent the last years adapting, innovating, and engaging with residents. Those that do it best are, more than ever, some of the most fulfilling places for an older adult to live. That’s why we believe now may be the smartest time to make the move.
As a collaborative care advisor for Hebrew SeniorLife, New England’s largest nonprofit provider of senior health care and living communities, I continually see first-hand the many advantages of senior living communities. For older adults, moving to a senior living community can be helpful in maintaining and developing new social relationships and interests, pursuing hobbies, accessing on-site services and supports, and remaining active. Senior living communities are a place to grow, not just a place to live.
Here are five benefits of a senior living community, and what you can look for if you’re thinking of a move:
Necessities handled for you
Think about winter: Shoveling snow, hiring a plow driver, navigating icy sidewalks . . . that’s the reality of maintaining a home in New England. At a retirement community, you’ll never have to worry about snow removal again! And you won’t have to drive through a storm to see your friends or get to your favorite activities.
Senior communities offer some home maintenance (appliance repair, back-up power, etc.) and a built-in 24/7 support system of dedicated on-site employees like IT support, housekeeping, and security. The staff is there for your specific needs, reducing your need to rely on adult children or other family members. Should you be unable to leave your home, whether that’s because of a snowstorm, illness, or injury, delivery services for food, medicine, meals, and more are available.
Wellness and health care services on-site
Some senior living communities, including Hebrew SeniorLife’s NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham, MA, and Orchard Cove in Canton, MA, offer access to a medical clinic on-site for primary care, medication management, prescription refills, and even specialty services like physical therapy. Fitness centers are staffed by professionals who are experienced at helping older people gain and preserve function. Having health care and wellness services fully integrated into the living community, with staff who take a whole-person approach to care, provides an extra layer of reassurance and convenience.
Personal growth and fulfillment
The best senior living communities are vibrant places full of options for you to build a meaningful life. They offer diverse programming, life-long learning, and the opportunity to build new relationships. At Hebrew SeniorLife, we believe that the later years in life can be among the most fulfilling, and our senior living communities offer ample opportunity for you to live according to your wishes and values.
For example, our award-winning wellness program pairs residents to work one-on-one with a coach who will help you set and achieve meaningful goals. Residents are also active in their community and engaged with the world around them, whether it’s a sustainability committee working to decrease our impact on the environment, food and clothing drives for charity, or volunteering with local young people.
Peace of mind
When considering a move to a senior living community, one significant source of peace of mind is the knowledge that more extensive care options, such as rehabilitation or higher levels of care, are readily available should the need arise. This allows residents to stay within their familiar community, even as their care needs evolve. For couples, it means the possibility of staying together and continuing to support each other.
And you can rest assured that a dedicated team is consistently looking out for your best interests and well-being. This commitment allows you to focus on what truly matters: Enjoying your life and the company of your fellow residents.
Beyond the reassurance that staff can provide, senior living communities like Orchard Cove and NewBridge on the Charles offer a built-in network of neighbors who look out for each other and offer support for any circumstance that life might bring.
One of the key aspects of financial peace of mind in senior living communities is the certainty that your costs are fixed, with no surprises or unexpected expenses. You can leave behind the worries of home maintenance and the uncertainties of property values. Instead, you gain the reassurance of knowing exactly what your financial commitments will be, allowing you to plan your future with confidence.
In contrast to the unpredictability of homeownership, where property values can fluctuate, and unforeseen repairs can arise, senior living communities offer a clear and stable financial path. You can budget effectively, knowing that your living expenses are well-defined, and you won't encounter unexpected financial burdens.
This financial stability allows you to focus on enjoying your retirement years to the fullest, without the stress of financial uncertainties. It offers you the freedom to engage in activities you love, build new relationships, and make the most of your time without the distractions of financial worries.
Hebrew SeniorLife offers a variety of senior living options, including independent living, assisted living, and enhanced living. There are options for every lifestyle and budget.