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Finding the Right Balance in Senior Living: How Unit Choice Influences Independence and Activity

As we navigate the journey of aging with our loved ones, one of the pivotal decisions we face is choosing the appropriate living environment in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

These communities, like ours at SALMON Health and Retirement, are designed to cater to various needs, offering levels of care that adapt as residents’ requirements change over time. However, it is not just the level of care that is important. In the realm of senior and assisted living, the choice of a living unit can significantly impact the residents’ daily lives, especially for senior couples who want to maintain a semblance of their earlier lifestyle while getting the care they need.

Senior couple smiling while moving out of their house

The Tale of the Smiths: Space vs. Engagement

Consider the story of the Smiths, a couple who moved into a spacious unit within a senior living community. Their primary consideration was comfort, leading them to choose one of the larger units, albeit located at a distance from the community’s central social areas. Initially, this seemed like a wise choice, giving them ample space reminiscent of their previous home. However, this larger living space encouraged Mr. Smith to make a conscious effort to stay connected with the community. The distance from the communal areas became an opportunity for him to enjoy regular walks, which not only enhanced his physical health but also increased his daily social interactions. This active engagement in the community enriched his life, highlighting a crucial aspect of senior living: the need for a balance between personal space and accessibility to social hubs.

Mrs. Jones’ Experience: Convenience Over Activity

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Mrs. Jones, who opted for a unit that was very close to the community’s amenities. Her choice was driven by the desire for convenience – to be near dining areas, the medical center, and recreational spaces. While this did provide ease of access, it also led her to creatively integrate physical activity into her routine, like joining walking groups and participating in outdoor events. This increased engagement with the community not only kept her socially connected but also compensated for the reduced need for physical movement in her immediate surroundings. Mrs. Jones’ story is a beautiful example of how prioritizing social connectivity can lead to an active and fulfilling lifestyle in senior living communities.

apartment view

Making the Right Choice

These stories underscore a vital lesson for those considering senior and/or assisted living options, particularly for couples. The ease and comfort of a living space can sometimes lead to reduced physical movement, which is essential for maintaining health and independence in the senior years.

When selecting a unit, it’s crucial to ponder over several questions:

  • What does independence mean for my loved one, or for us as a couple?
  • How can the living space encourage necessary physical activity?
  • What are the essential factors that balance convenience with the need for regular movement?

Reflecting on these questions can help in identifying a living space that promotes an active, engaged lifestyle while providing necessary support. The goal is to choose a living environment, be it for individual seniors or couples, that meets immediate needs and fosters long-term health and independence.

Embracing the Continuum of Care: A Key to Longevity in Senior Living

At SALMON Health and Retirement, we understand the intricacies of these decisions. Our Continuum of Care philosophy is instrumental in allowing seniors to age in place, adapting to their evolving needs over time. We ensure that residents can transition smoothly between different levels of care within the same community, from independent living to more comprehensive care options.

This approach is not just about meeting the current needs but also about anticipating and adapting to future changes. It ensures that each resident can enjoy a fulfilling and vibrant life at every stage.

Your Journey with SALMON Health and Retirement 

Visit salmonhealth.com to learn more about our communities and how we can help you or your loved ones find the perfect balance in senior living.

Written by Andrew Salmon, Chief Future Officer

SALMON Health and Retirement