Research shows that continued cognitive functioning in addition to many other physical, mental and emotional health benefits stems not only from habits like being active but also from taking on challenges, making social connections and enjoying small indulgences. Your engagement in your senior assisted living activities can help you integrate these four key components into your life. For some individuals, their enjoyment of the opportunities provided in senior assisted living are even greater due to the added bonuses of no longer having to do all the organizing, scheduling, shopping or cleaning! However, for those who enjoy helping to design or host activities or events, ask about getting involved as you evaluate potential senior assisted living communities.
It’s important to note that not all senior assisted living communities offer the same variety or frequency of activities. As part of your search process, it’s important to investigate the opportunities available to you in advance, which can help you in your decision-making process. Anticipating the same or increased level of engagement can also be beneficial in easing the transition to a new community and celebrating the excitement this move may offer. Support your health and happiness by using these strategies to evaluate the activities available at potential senior assisted living locations.
How to Evaluate the Senior Assisted Living Community’s Activities
Retirement living in senior assisted living communities can make life even more special. One reason for this joyful time is that individuals can benefit from both community-curated and independently-facilitated activities. After all, friends can still visit for an afternoon of cards and catch-up, and children can continue to take their parents out for dinner just like they did before! At a senior assisted living community, existing happiness habits, like enjoying the sounds of birds or smelling fresh laundry, are only further complemented by an activity calendar with both new things to try and familiar favorites. Here are four ways to discover the possibilities of a potential residence.
Take advantage of the promotional and informational resources!
- Scheduled events may appear on TV monitors, paper handouts or posted calendars, or through online platforms, like community websites and social media pages. For example, at Arbors of Hop Brook, prospective and current residents can explore the offerings for the day, week and month using the community calendar which includes a monthly overview, as well as the monthly newsletter. While only current community members will be able to enjoy the day at the local farm and winery, visitors may be able to check out onsite concerts or a crafting event.
- If this information isn’t available to non-residents (a potential reason to take a location off of your list), talking to a member of the wellness team or exploring the service and amenities may provide some insight as to potential offerings. Knowing that a property has an auditorium, garden beds and billiard and game rooms may also point to movie nights or guest performances, nature walks or horticulture clubs, and a variety of physical and mental gaming opportunities.
Visit the senior assisted living community, especially the activity spaces!
- Try to schedule a tour during a time slot when a preferred game or event is taking place! This experience may give you an idea of the community participation level, general atmosphere and facilitator engagement. It is also the perfect time to ask questions of the staff or residents who are running or participating in the event.
- Explore the number of different activity spaces. Are they all held in one single location or is there a variety? What do the different set-ups look like? Is there enough space for all and are they well-maintained? You may also be able to discern how accessible and supportive these locations are for individual healthcare needs.
Chat with the coordinators!
- Schedule a call or ask to meet with the activity coordinators. This conversation is the perfect time for those who want to be involved in both the hosting and participating to ask about opportunities. It’s also a time to ask in general about how residents may provide feedback about the available activities and events and make recommendations about future options.
- This interaction is also an ideal time to ask about specialized programs or support for existing health concerns. For example, is there a nurse or care team available to help reduce those with existing fall risks during onsite or offsite event participation? Are there activities designed to support brain health or memory care for those in different stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s?
Talk to your future neighbors and/or read their reviews!
- Either virtually or in person, the experiences of current residents can illuminate a senior assistant living community’s approach to communication practices both generally and specifically with regard to activity coordination, promotion and engagement.
- Furthermore, insight into the quality of the programming and the activity staff provided by potential future neighbors is priceless. They can clarify the accuracy of posted information and share their own experience during opportunities on campus and in other locations. In addition to the activities, they can answer other questions that you may have about the assisted living apartments or the availability of comprehensive care.
For many individuals, residing at a senior assisted living facility improves their access to multiple activities and to connecting with more people on a more regular basis. Becoming part of a community, like Arbors of Hop Brook, is about more than the increased support for one’s physical health. Senior assisted living activities are a vital part of a community’s holistic approach to your overall health and of your continued ability to thrive!