Today’s senior living communities not only provide care and a safe space, but also activities for enrichment, camaraderie, and fun. We’re not just talking about Bingo anymore! Senior communities are attracting those in the 55+ crowd who not only need to be residents but want to be residents!
Our team at Ideal Organizing + Design eases the move into older adult communities by helping seniors declutter and downsize. We also have firsthand experience with loved ones who have resided in the many wonderful facilities in the Virginia Beach area.
Ideal Organizing and Design’s own organizing coach Jennifer Dwight recalls, ‘My Dad lived at First Colonial Inn the last three years of his life and had an amazing experience. They had chair yoga and meditation, fashion shows, poetry writing and reading, gardening, etc. We couldn’t believe how much my Dad participated. He had been living alone and I’m sure he was lonely. He was also very shy, but the community really brought him out of his shell. Those last years were some of his best!’
A good activity director will enjoy getting to know the likes and dislikes of their residents and creating custom experiences that provide another level of enriching senior care. If some community members enjoy cooking, they might arrange for cooking classes, chef demonstrations, wine pairings or schedule a trip to a specialty restaurant. For seniors who are physically active, yoga, tai chi, water aerobics or a hiking trip may be offered. Others may enjoy a book club, an art class, or a lifelong learning course. Participation in a bell or vocal choir, onsite live performances, or a concert excursion enhances their music experience. Technology classes, geared toward those who are not tech-savvy, are encouraged to avoid isolation.
Not all communities are the same, so do your due diligence to find the right fit. Talk to some of the residents and definitely try the food! This is a big decision so don’t allow yourself to be rushed if at all possible. Start early, before there is an emergency. Staying safe, connected, and engaged is so important to the well-being and happiness of aging baby boomers and many communities in the industry are doing a good job providing a place to thrive and enjoy this phase of life.