Common Myths of Senior Living Communities
MYTH #2: “My current home is the best option to continue an active social life and to stay connected with friends in the years ahead.”
Remaining in your home can result in growing isolation and loneliness in later life. Retirement communities offer opportunities to build new relationships and social connections with like-minded people.
Friendships and social connections can help you live a longer, happier and healthier life. Studies show that having low social interaction is as bad for your health as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day, is as dangerous as being an alcoholic, is as harmful as never exercising and is twice as dangerous as obesity. Those who live in traditional single-family homes often confront growing solitude as friends move away or pass on, family members relocate to different parts of the country, or when they are widowed. Over time, many can feel trapped and isolated in their own homes. As you plan for the years ahead, choosing a place where you are able to create and enjoy new friendships can be crucially important. Three misconceptions behind this worry:
- “I won’t fit in or make new friends.” During initial visits, people often focus on the buildings, grounds, services and amenities as the top potential benefits of living at a CCRC. But residents told us that it is the opportunity to meet, learn from, and engage in new activities with positive, stimulating, like-minded people that can make life at a CCRC brighter and fuller. Residents often describe the staff as an “extended family,” which, together with visits from family and opportunities to meet family members of other residents, helps to create a dynamic, multi-generational social environment.
- “I will lose connections with family and current friends.” One resident described how she was concerned she might lose contact with friends when she moved to a CCRC. “I find that’s not at all a problem,” she explained. “I visit my friends now just as often as before I moved. I also invite my friends to have dinner with me, and there are so many classes and fun activities here that I invite them to join and visit with me.”
- “I won’t have privacy when I want.” Said one resident, “One of the things people are worried about is the idea that everyday I’ve got to see a lot of people.” However, residents can always choose the privacy of their own home. They can have their meals delivered to their door or even schedule massage or salon treatments at home when they don’t feel like socializing. “I had concerns that there would be an intrusive atmosphere,” said another resident, “but that isn’t true. It’s the best of both worlds: You can socialize and have time alone when you prefer it.”
Explained one resident, “The number one benefit is you’re surrounded by interesting people. You have a pretty good chance of finding people who may make an impact on your life.”
“5 Myths and Realities of CCRCs”
authored by Age Wave