Senior homes have changed dramatically over the last decade. Many provide a luxurious or homely atmosphere, which is a far cry from the institutional rooms of old. A part of this change has been driven by what people want and need from senior homes. It’s no secret that what people expect from their living facility is a lot different today than even a year ago.
What do people look for when choosing a senior home for themselves or a loved one? Here are the top 3 things residents expect from their modern-day senior home.
Security & Safety
The need for security and safety has not changed much over the years. But residents expect more from their senior home than simply having doctors on call or experienced nurses. Having a medical professional on-site was once an added bonus, today it is an expected feature.
Residents want their homes to be equipped with the latest safety and health technology. A senior living community should have at least a few of the following safety features:
Quite a few seniors use smartphones to keep track of doctor appointments, checkups and their overall health. Even residents without memory issues appreciate getting medication reminders via email or phone. The Cōv system can also send alerts to a resident’s caregiver or assigned clinician.
Daily presence calls
Pull cords are practically a standard requirement in senior homes today but not all communities have implemented them. Another commonly expected feature is daily presence calls to residents, to ensure their well-being and safety.
Staying physically active
Doctors recommend physical activity for seniors as long as they’re not limited by health issues. Why? Staying active has been shown to have a number of positive benefits on senior health including:
- Reduce the risk of falling and breaking bones
- Alleviate the symptoms and effects of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure
- Helps improve stamina, muscle strength, and flexibility
Physical activity can also help mental health by reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety .
As awareness of the importance of physical activity grows among seniors, they look for options available in a senior community. For more ideas on keeping residents active in a safe way, visit our previous blog post.
Group fitness classes
Group fitness classes offer both physical activity and a chance to socialize with others. many seniors like to attend group classes with friends better than walking alone. It is a source of motivation and can help them stay active for longer. Learning tai-chi or playing Wii sports offers more fun when doing it with friends.
Many seniors are limited by their health when it comes to physical activity. They may not be able to manage a huge backyard on their own. But residences can set aside a common space for seniors to grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers. This alternative also encourages socializing as well as exercise.
Low-impact fitness programs
Low-impact fitness activities like yoga or water aerobics are suitable for those with joint pains or mobility issues. Seniors prefer communities that offer a variety of options to choose from, according to their ability or even mood.
Many people look forward to retirement and taking a step back from the pressure of working. But many seniors also find that retirement brings boredom and isolation. They no longer have the stimulation of intellectual conversation with colleagues or meetings to look forward to. Friendships based on professional interests can also come to an end with retirement.
Hence seniors want and expect learning opportunities at any senior community. The absence of job responsibilities means they finally have the time to pursue old hobbies or explore new interests.
Guest lecturers are a great way for residences to offer unique learning opportunities for seniors. Rotating the subject matter keeps the audience engaged and attentive. It also exposes residents to new subjects that they might be interested in researching further.
Hobbies and clubs
Creative hobbies like art, pottery, crochet, and card making are popular among seniors as they provide an opportunity for community engagement. They might like to pick up old hobbies after retirement or pursue new ones they never had the time for. Art and craft classes, weekly or monthly clubs as well as competitions are an added attraction for seniors when it comes to retirement communities. Residences may even partner with a local college or university to offer classes in various subjects.
Residents expect senior homes to prioritize their health and safety, offer physical activities along with learning opportunities. For many people, the decision to move into a senior community is a choice rather than a forced decision. Accordingly, senior living is making a transition from needs-based features to more lifestyle-specific services. While medical services are still required, retirees expect so much more from their senior home.