“Why didn’t I do it earlier?”
It’s a question Margaret A. Wylde, PhD, president and CEO of ProMatura, a market research company specializing in consumers 55 and older, frequently hears from residents now living in Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). “It is a change,” Wylde says. “But a CCRC is a place where you’re actually more alive and active than you would be at home.”
Deciding to make the move can be difficult. But consider this: Research suggests older adults who live in CCRCs are happier and healthier than those who don’t. One possible explanation for these findings could be the ways in which CCRCs approach both physical and mental wellness.
Promoting a Social Environment
CCRCs encourage residents to interact with one another and participate in community events. “We learned that one of the advantages for people living in CCRCs are much less likely to be lonely than others in their age group,” Wylde says. “And obviously, if you’re not lonely, you’re much more likely to be happy.”
Promoting Physical Health
Wylde also has discovered that residents in CCRCs are more active than their friends who live in their homes and more likely to exercise. Residents typically have access to on-site exercise facilities, equipment, and classes. Other benefits include nutritious menu options that feature sugar-free foods and heart-healthy meals.
Promoting Mental Health
According to Wylde, many CCRCs offer programs designed to keep seniors’ minds sharp and active. At Sagewood, a retirement community in Phoenix, Arizona, residents have access to DAKIM, a computer-based personal brain fitness program. “You have to keep challenging yourself in order to stay mentally fit,” says Sagewood’s marketing director, Ellen Devine.
Promising Peace of Mind
Wylde often hears residents express relief knowing they won’t be a burden to their families should their health deteriorate and they need special care. Residents of CCRCs don’t have to stress about what’s to come. “If they do need care in the future, it will be taken care of,” Wylde Says.
Sagewood is a Life Care Services community in Phoenix, Arizona. To find a Life Care Services Community near you use our Community Locator tool.