One of the main reasons seniors consider moving to a retirement community rather than living alone at home as they age is for the social and emotional benefits that come from the supportive environment and close proximity to peers, caregivers, and staff members.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily impacted daily operations at senior living communities in Federal Way, Washington, and changed how life on campus looks for residents, there are still advantages to choosing that housing option for yourself or a loved one.
What Are the Disadvantages of Living Alone?
Living in isolation can take a toll on anyone, but seniors are particularly at risk of experiencing a low quality of life as a result. Isolation and loneliness can contribute to a host of physical and mental health challenges, from anxiety and depression to high blood pressure, heart problems, and cognitive decline.
As you age, you experience several major life changes, such as retiring from a fulfilling career or having your children move out of the house and start more separate lives with their own spouses and children. Additionally, you may find it harder to get around or establish new social circles, which can lead to a detrimental cycle of becoming increasingly withdrawn and isolated when you age in place in Washington.
For others, even daily activities, such as preparing meals and maintaining personal hygiene, become more challenging. If you have no one around to assist with these tasks or check in on you, you or your elderly parent could be in danger of more severe health risks.
Retirement communities in Washington help mitigate these negative effects of senior citizens living by themselves in a variety of ways. Those who need more help on a daily basis to experience a full life can choose assisted living. Even active, independent adults, however, benefit from residing on a campus filled with other individuals who are experiencing a similar stage of their life. There are beautiful grounds for walking, communal areas for socializing with other residents or your family members who come to visit, and a variety of classes, events, and other programs that make it easy to strike up friendships with like-minded people. These are just some of the factors that can enhance your quality of life and decrease your risk of feeling isolated and lonely.
Benefits of Independent Living in Federal Way
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the Washington State Department of Health, have issued guidelines and considerations for retirement communities to help them keep residents and staff safe. As a result, these establishments have incorporated temporary social distancing measures and curtailed their normal social gatherings, activities, and events. As it may be awhile before these programs are reinstated in their original format, you may be wondering whether it’s still advantageous for you or your loved one to transition to independent living housing.
The answer can be found by considering the measures that Federal Way senior living communities, such as Village Green Retirement Campus, are implementing to make sure you still feel connected and cared for while adhering to health and safety guidelines. Here are some of the unique ways Village Green is helping residents so they don’t feel lonely or isolated during this time:
Connecting You with Family
While you can't host a group of visitors at your residence for the time being, you can arrange one-on-one outdoor visits with your loved ones. Additionally, staff members are doing what they can to assist residents in setting up Zoom, Facetime, and other video calls to communicate with their friends and family on a regular basis.
You can also interact with multiple staff members each day, whether you live in a cottage or apartment. Everyone including the dining, activity, and care staff is playing a part in maintaining a sense of community during COVID. Through special events, such as doing strolling happy hours or going door to door with tea and cookies, to everyday wellbeing checks, you are still receiving support and connection. At a minimum, residents are safely interacting with others four to five times per day.
Attending to Your Needs
Additionally, staff members are doing individual meal and snack deliveries for residents in independent and assisted living. They are also offering a personal errands service, through which you can request a book, puzzle, or item from the store be brought to you. Even during this unprecedented time, your needs will still be met on Village Green Retirement Campus.
Interacting from Afar
While you are out in your garden, sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee, or walking one of the trails on the Village Green campus, you can still say “hello” to your friends, and it’s not uncommon for neighbors to share a discussion from outside their adjacent cottages or apartments. Although these interactions aren’t quite as intense or lengthy as the normal ones that transpire at social events or over the dining room table, they still fulfill the craving for connection and help you manage feelings of isolation.
Finding a Sense of Community at Village Green
Social distancing makes personal connection more difficult but certainly not impossible. Our staff at Village Green has implemented a variety of strategies and procedures to continue caring for retirement living residents and enhancing their quality of life, under any circumstances. You will receive a high level of attention and connection that helps combat loneliness and isolation and is often unachievable when you live alone.