Why Single Seniors Thrive in Assisted Living Communities

While married couples do more in assisted living communities, single seniors particularly thrive in these types of long-term care settings. In this article, we discuss some of the key reasons why senior singles tend to thrive in assisted living communities.

Before diving into some of the specific reasons seniors enjoy good lives in assisted living communities, some preliminary information is necessary to set the stage for our discussion. At the heart of this preliminary data is noting that about 43 percent of people over the age of 65 in the United States are unmarried, divorced, or widowed. Many of these people live alone, sometimes without their children or other family members living nearby.

Broad Social Connections in an Assisted Living Community

There is a broad opportunity for senior singles to socialize and make friendship connections in an assisted living community. This begins with a group of similar people living together in this community.

Beyond the fact that similar people live together in a common facility, myriad activities, programs, and events bring residents together. One of the key times for social encounters is at meals throughout the deal. Of course, assisted living communities provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner – served in a common dining area (or areas at particularly large assisted living facilities). While residents are not required to take all their meals in the common dining area, they certainly are encouraged to eat in these locations as much as possible.

The reality is that most assisted living residents – including senior singles – enjoy the idea of regular meals with others in a common dining area. They often develop specific groups of friends and neighbors with whom they enjoy meals regularly. For example, a group of residents may plan to gather for lunch in a common dining area on specific days of the week.

Meals and dining are just some of the outlets for senior singles in assisted living to have occasion to connect with others. There are also other types of programs, activities, and events that include such things as:

  • Fitness classes
  • Arts classes
  • Reading or book clubs
  • Adult enrichment classes
  • Social events
  • Guest speakers

Some assisted living communities work to develop more unique socialization opportunities. For example, an assisted living community in California called Mom’s Garden offers its residents the space to cultivate their gardens. While each resident can tend to their own garden, overall, it is a communal activity with multiple residents engaged in a shared experience.

Shared Experiences Outside an Assisted Living Facility

Beyond a wide range of activities within the walls and grounds of an assisted living community, residents usually have opportunities for adventures and excursions away from facilities. These can include a wide variety of different activities that include:

  • Dining out
  • Movies
  • Theatre
  • Musical entertainment
  • Shopping
  • Museum visits
  • Sporting events
  • Recreational activities
  • Park visits
  • Art galleries

Volunteering When in Assisted Living

A noticeable number of assisted living residents become involved in different volunteer activities. This is another opportunity when senior singles can come together – in this case, in support of a common cause to better the lives of others in one way or another.

Health Benefits to a Single Senior Living in a Community

Beyond being able to establish meaningful friendships in an assisted living community, single seniors also enjoy some tangible health benefits by socializing on a regular and recurring basis. Research demonstrates that senior singles enjoy mental and emotional health benefits from socializing regularly that includes:

  • Reduction of risk of depression
  • Reduction of risk of anxiety
  • Enhanced sense of satisfaction
  • Decrease in risk of cognitive impairment (or at least delaying onset)

According to medical researchers, there are also considerable health benefits associated with regular socialization for a single senior. Examples of the types of benefits a person over the age of 65 can enjoy by having the opportunity to socialize regularly (as happens in an assisted living community) include:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Reduced risk of stroke
  • Reduced risk of cancer
  • Reduced risk of diabetes (or better balance of glucose levels if diagnosed)

What a Single Senior Should Look for in an Assisted Living Community

There are several primary considerations a single senior needs to bear in mind if he or she is considering moving to an assisted living community. When it comes to considering assisted living facilities, there are many factors to take into account. It can be difficult to know where to start, but the most important thing is to make a list of priorities and stick to them. At the heart of the consideration is determining what is most important to you in finding an ideal community.

Location: One of the most important considerations when choosing an assisted living facility is its location. You’ll want to find one that is close enough for regular visits but also situated in a desirable area. For example, if you’re looking for a rural setting, you’ll have different options than if you’re looking for something in the city.

Amenities: Another key consideration is what amenities the facility offers. This includes everything from basic needs like food and shelter to more specialized physical or occupational therapy services. The more amenities a facility has, the more expensive it will be.

Price: Price is always a concern when considering assisted living facilities. The cost will likely be a prime factor in your search, if not your major consideration. Be sure to get quotes from several different places before making a decision. Keep in mind that price often reflects the quality. The more expensive facilities usually offer better care than those less expensive. With that said, there are moderately priced options that may have all of the amenities and other options you may desire.