For many seniors, staying in the family home makes more sense than moving into a Life Plan Community such as Plantation Village. Some of the prime motivators include maintaining a connection to the feeling of comfort provided by the family home and a lack of understanding about the quality of life that is offered by Life Plan Communities.
The simple fact is that choosing to remain in the family home is not as safe a choice as it may seem. Much has been written about accessibility and other issues; the subject of how isolation can bring about a range of negative issues is something that often slips below the radar.
Many seniors who choose to stay in their homes live alone, and many have lost the ability to drive. Being retired is great, but an unfortunate side effect is that there is no longer the forced “hangout” of a work environment or the chance to interact with colleagues and friends.
As a result, many seniors report feelings of loneliness and isolation. It may not be a revolutionary idea to say that being isolated can make you depressed. What is more interesting is that feeling isolated can actually damage an individual’s physical health. In fact, a number of new studies point to isolation and a lack of socialization as being as bad for an individual’s physical well-being as habitual smoking or heavy drinking.
On the flip side of the equation, a Gallup poll published recently showed that seniors who have active social lives experience higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress, compared to their peers who didn’t spend time socializing. According to the poll, all it takes is about three hours a day. Those who socialized for at least that much time reported levels of happiness that were 20 percent higher than those who reported they rarely had any social time.
With all of the amenities, activities and life enrichment programs we provide, our residents have many opportunities to socialize. We have an array of dining options available at our on-site restaurant, where it’s not uncommon to find our residents chatting about a recent appearance from one of their favorite entertainers or musical artists in our auditorium that seats more than 350 people.
Many of our residents enjoy taking part in the group fitness activities that can be pursued in the on-site fitness center or the heated saltwater pool. They also appreciate the fact that we have a full-time wellness coordinator, who can design a wellness program to specifically address the needs of our residents.
Of course, there are many other things to do at Plantation Village. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, there is a woodworking shop here, an arts and crafts studio, and a beautiful garden that is attended by our horticulture enthusiasts.
Having weekly maid services and property maintenance creates more opportunities for socialization. Instead of having to waste countless hours on the interior and exterior maintenance associated with owning a home, our residents have ample time to engage with their neighbors and make new friends.
For more information about why Plantation Village is about more than just outstanding health care, please call 910.319.1416, or visit www.PlantationVillageRC.com.
Lisa Polanski is the director of marketing at Plantation Village. Plantation Village is a non-profit continuing care retirement community that offers independent living on a 56-acre campus in Porters Neck, just minutes from downtown Wilmington and area beaches. Residents enjoy first-class services in a wide variety of home styles, from one- and two-bedroom apartments to cottage homes and two-bedroom villas. Plantation Village is managed by Life Care Services™, the nation’s third-largest elder care management company. For more information, visit plantationvillagerc.com.