Community is one of those words that has taken on diminished meaning in recent years. As people move to more insulated lives with mobile phones and home computers, society has lost its sense of community. As people age, though, it becomes even more important, which is why community is more important than you might realize when choosing senior care services.
Why Does Community Matter?
Aging in place has taken on new importance as many seniors seek to live in one community as their care needs change over time. This means they seek to transition from independent living to assisted living and full nursing care in one single location. They prefer this because they are able to enjoy a sense of community, make connections, and build friendships along the way.
These social connections are essential to experience quality of life, health, and happiness as people age. They help to foster feelings of well-being, avoid depression, and eliminate a sense of isolation that often presents itself among aging adults who do not live in community environments. That is why being in a community is such an important concept for senior care facilities.
How Can You Tell If a Senior Living Center Fosters a Sense of Community?
There are many signs that indicate a specific senior care center takes the "community" aspect of its name seriously. One of the easiest ways you can tell at first glance is by taking a look at the community calendar and asking the following questions:
- Is it filled with multiple daily activities?
- Is there a variety of activities?
- Do the activities address diverse interests?
- Do the activities invite social interaction among participants?
Beyond that, though, it is important to visit and look around while touring the facility. Specific things you're interested in are the following:
- Public gathering spaces.
- Indoor and outdoor conversation areas.
- Activity centers throughout the facility.
- Community gardens.
- Active resident councils.
- Smiling residents who appear happy and healthy.
While your first priority is to ensure that a loved one is safe and well cared for in a senior living community, you also want to ensure that your loved one will be active, happy, and healthy. Finding one that focuses on fostering community is a great indicator that they take all aspects of senior care seriously.
Senior care services come in all shapes and sizes. It is worth your while to devote some of your time and attention toward finding a senior care center that stresses the importance of community for your loved one.