Importance of Community Living

Studies have shown that Assisted Living homes provide a positive impact on our quality of life as we age. Across the United States, and in other countries, there has been a lifestyle change occurring. Since the 1980’s naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs) have increased significantly. These communities exist in apartments like those found in an assisted living community. It is believed that these communities provide greater health benefits than regular neighborhoods because their physical and social environments have a positive impact on the health of retirees. The environment enables retirees to be more physically and socially active and fosters a sense of community and well-being.

NORC’s that share similar professional backgrounds (musicians, social workers, teachers…) are common and successful since socialization is such an integral component of healthy aging. “In the Galveston area, I knew of a group of social workers who purchased a Victorian home together. They got together every evening for dinner, socialized together when they wanted, otherwise lived very independent lives, apart from each other” says Terry Hornikel, Executive Director of the new assisted living opening in Fairfield, Connecticut – Sturges Ridge: a Benchmark community. “They raised their families around the dinner table and wanted to end their day with peers and friends. Their families were scattered and they didn’t want to age alone. As social workers they understood the value of community and the importance of interacting daily with people who had a significant impact on their lives” continues Hornikel.

ProMatura, a global market research firm, recently concluded a study of assisted living resident and family members that details the impact assisted living is having on the lives of California seniors. Dr. Margaret Wylde, PhD, ProMatura’s President states “that the study makes it clear that, even as residents face the physical challenges of aging, they can enjoy a good quality of life when they feel safe, have control in their lives, and are recognized and part of a caring community.” This study demonstrates the positive impact assisted living and memory care communities, such as Sturges Ridge of Fairfield, have on the lives of their residents and the community at large.

This article was submitted by Terry Hornikel, Executive Director at Sturges Ridge of Fairfield. For more information about Sturges Ridge and healthy aging contact Terry may be reached at 203-774-9740.