As people age, they have different options to consider when selecting a place to live. The goal is finding somewhere they will feel supported physically, mentally, and emotionally during the later years of their lives. For some people, the decision may be heavily influenced by health needs and financial considerations. Others simply stick to what they know.
When comparing life alone at home vs life at an senior living community, however, there are numerous benefits of living in a 55-and-over community that combines housing with optional care and support services, according to research recently published by ProMatura International. The move to a retirement community may initially be intimidating, but in the long run, community members feel happier, healthier and more secure.
Housing, Health and Care
In exploring where the elderly generally prefer to live, ProMatura gathered roughly 2,800 surveys from current residents and about 1,110 from prospective residents across 81 retirement communities. Here is a closer look at some of the main findings from ProMatura’s research into a variety of facets related to senior living.
1. Access to Senior Activities
Members of retirement communities enjoy having increased access to a range of activities, events, and opportunities for socialization, as indicated by these statistics:
● Residents participate in social events ‘frequently or much more frequently’ than they had in the past about five times more than non-residents, or 54% compared to 11%
● In terms of dining experience, members of retirement communities are three times more likely to frequently ‘eat with someone else’
● More than 40% of residents reported getting together frequently with friends, as opposed to only 13% of non-residents
● About 32% of residents were exercising ‘frequently or much more frequently’ than they used to
● 89% feel positively about access to communal facilities where you can spend time with other residents
2. Increasing Quality of Life
In general, retirement communities provide plenty of services, amenities and facilities that are designed to support independent living while addressing daily needs. These stats show how communal living can contribute to a higher quality of life:
● 90% of respondents said they appreciate having 24-hour onsite staff to provide support when needed
● 89% feel there is less need for property maintenance
● More community residents said they have ‘often enjoyed life’ in the past week compared to non-residents (71% versus 48%)
● Even at retirement homes, 97% of residents ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ they had the privacy they wanted
● A majority of residents, or 55%, said they agreed or strongly agreed their quality of life was higher now than one year ago, while non-residents were more likely to disagree or strongly disagree that their life had improved
3. Perception of Overall Well Being
At the end of the day, residents at community retirement facilities feel less lonely and isolated. They also experience a greater sense of physical, emotional, and mental well being. For example:
● About 60% of respondents felt their health was the same since moving in, while 10% felt their health had improved
● More than 90% of residents felt they had a safety net in place in case something went wrong as opposed to only 40% of non-residents
● Residents were nearly twice as likely (53% to 27%) to strongly agree they felt generally more safe and secure
● About 69% of residents felt happy ‘often’ compared to 49% of non-residents, and only 2% of residents ‘hardly ever or never’ felt happy while 7% of non-residents did
● Overall, approximately 89% of residents are either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their retirement community
Options for Independent and Assisted Living in Seattle
Although the percentages in ProMatura’s report are based off data collected from thousands of residents at retirement communities in the United Kingdom, the information still provides valuable insight into current trends and perceptions pertaining to retirement community living in general.
To further explore your retirement living options, take a look at The 7 Best Retirement Communities in Washington State and learn how to compare your options with our blog on How to Choose a Retirement Community.
“Housing, health and care: The health and wellbeing benefits of Retirement Communities.” ProMatura, Associated Retirement Community Operators Ltd (ARCO). Accessed online at https://www.arcouk.org/sites/default/files/ProMatura%20report%20summary_0.pdf