The landscape of aging is in a metamorphosis. Aging is no longer seen as a sentence of house arrest, thanks to the more than 28,000 assisted living communities in the U.S.
By 2030,there will be a projected 74.1 million Americans that will be 65 or older. Gone are the days of bingo every day.“Communities are moving away from the traditional mainstays of an activity program — what’s known in the industry as “the 3 Bs: bingo, Bible, and birthdays,” says Charles de Vilmorin, cofounder and CEO of Linked Senior.
Today’s assisted living communities are changing the definition of activities by taking a holistic approach to activities. They are offering activities such as Ballroom dancing, walking clubs, yoga, and fitness programs. Innovators in the field are implementing new and unusual activities by offering college-level continuing education classes as well as pet therapy programs. Cultural outings are on the rise; most assisted living communities have their own bus to take their residents to art museums, musical performances and even tour local historical sights.Engaging in meaningful activities has been shown to help with depression.
Exercise, improves mobility and helps overall health. Participating in activities can offer cognitive and social stimulation, which can help lessen feelings of loss and loneliness. When you are looking at assisted living for yourself or a loved one make sure to meet with the activities director to discuss preferences and interests. Ask to see the activities calendar so you can get a sense of the type of activities that are being offered. Assisted living communities are no longer places to live quietly, they are places to live loud. Aging Gracefully does not mean Aging Quietly.