If you are like many people, you might worry that moving to an independent living community will detract from the quality of your life. You might be surprised to learn that living in a retirement community can actually boost your quality of life.
About Quality of Life
Quality of life is multi-dimensional, affecting your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. As Merck Manual says, quality of life often depends on an individual’s health and the health care they receive. Quality of life is determined by many factors, including an individual’s:
- Emotional well-being, particularly in regard to happiness and the absence of anxiety
- Ability to carry out activities of daily living and enjoyable activities, such as hobbies
- Close interpersonal relationships, especially with family members and friends
- Participation in and enjoyment of social activities
- Satisfaction with medical treatments and the financial aspects of those treatments
- Control over personal finances
- Environment, particularly if it is well-maintained, located conveniently and safe
Other factors can influence how you perceive the quality of your life and some can negatively affect health-related quality of life. Chronic pain, disability, reduced life expectancy, cognitive impairment and decreased functional status that prevents you from engaging in activities of daily living or hobbies can negatively affect life quality. Social isolation and lack of accessible medical care can also decrease quality of life for older adults.
Ways Independent Living Can Improve Your Quality of Life
Greater financial control
Independent living can provide you with greater control over your finances. This is particularly true for independent living communities in which you pay a monthly rental fee that covers your residence and the majority of services, versus a major buy-in fee. Communities that offer a number of affordable options, apartment floor plan choices and associated services and amenities give you extra control over your money.
Independent living makes bill payment easier too – you don’t have to worry about a flood of utility bills, lawn maintenance contracts, home repairs or other recurring costs.
Better living supported by an integrated wellness philosophy
The finest independent living communities embrace a wellness philosophy dedicated to improving quality of life and take special measures to help you stay healthy, active and socially engaged.
A truly holistic wellness philosophy focuses on the potential of each resident to achieve his or her goals through a personal wellness plan. Your personal wellness plan may include good nutrition and physical activity, ways to develop new social connections and strengthen the ones you already have, learning initiatives to keep your mind sharp and faith-based involvement, volunteerism and service that gives your life meaning.
Amenities and services at your fingertips
The right amenities and services can improve the quality of your life, especially when compared with those you have within walking distance of your current home. Amenities of some independent living communities feature chef-prepared meals served in a restaurant-style setting, concierge services, fitness and wellness programs, entertainment and education programs, a library and business center, beauty and barber salon and convenience stores – all within easy walking distance of your senior apartment!
All the aesthetics of a well-maintained home without all the work
One of the best things about living in a retirement community is that you get to live in a beautifully maintained home without having to do home maintenance.
Imagine never having to mow the lawn, shovel the drive or worry about plumbing!
Providing a pet-friendly atmosphere
Pet ownership can greatly improve your quality of life, but with all the challenges of living alone, it can be difficult to give your animal companion the quality of life it deserves. Finding a place to live that allows pets can be tough, and the thought of leaving a pet behind can be even tougher.
Many independent living residences are pet-friendly, so these communities welcome your pets and provide safe and comfortable outdoor spaces both you and your four-legged friend will enjoy.
Enjoy fine dining and nutritious meals
Good nutrition is important at any age, but many older adults find it challenging to prepare nutritious meals that taste good. The effects of aging, depression, isolation and limited income all make cooking challenging. In addition, many older adults are on special diets that restrict salt, fat or sugar.
Malnutrition negatively affects quality of life, according to the American Journal of Nursing, while increasing health care costs and increasing the risk of short-term mortality. Mayo Clinic says that malnutrition in older adults can lead to a weak immune system and increased risk of infections and weaker muscles and decreased bone mass that can lead to falls and fractures. Older adults who receive poor nutrition also have an increased risk of hospitalization and a higher risk of death.
Independent living communities can provide delicious dining options and improve the quality of your nutritional intake. You can enjoy healthy chef-prepared dining served in a comfortable and beautifully appointed dining room, just a few steps from your home. The highest quality supportive living environments use seasonal, locally sourced ingredients to prepare meals that taste great and accommodate most special diets.
Opportunities for social engagement
Social interaction improves quality of life, but many older adults enjoy fewer opportunities to interact with like-minded people as they age. Independent living communities offer the chance to meet new people and build upon existing relationships.
Studies show that social participation improves quality of life. The authors of one study concluded their paper by saying that “activities that involve the art, sport and leisure subscale of social participation can result in quality of life improvement” for older adults.
In addition to the proven social benefits, research shows that independent living can improve overall quality of life for older adults. In fact, one recent survey mentioned by Senior Housing Forum showed that residing in an independent living community could improve quality of life.
Independent living provides an environment that improves the quality of life for older adults who desire the freedom and amenities of living independently without the hassles. For more information on how independent living improves quality of life, contact the experts at Pine Ridge Villas of Shelby. Our passionate team looks forward to sharing information about the many benefits of living at Pine Ridge Villas of Shelby, an independent living community in Shelby Township, Michigan.