Why Senior Housing Improves Health for Older Americans

As people age, the question of whether to stay at home or move into a senior community becomes increasingly important – and often, very stressful for all family involved. Many older adults prefer the familiarity and comfort of their own homes, however, a recent study indicates that senior housing can offer clear benefits.

A study by NORC at the University of Chicago, funded by NIC, shows that older adults in senior living communities experience better health outcomes than those who remain at home. Key findings include decreased vulnerability, increased healthcare services at home, greater longevity, and better overall health outcomes, such as lower rates of inpatient hospital admissions despite higher emergency department utilization. These highlight the vast benefits to assisted living communities.

The study examined outcomes one year before and one year after moving into a senior community. Researchers found that frailty levels increased prior to the move but began to decrease months after relocation. This improvement is attributed to the quick access to healthcare that is typically not available when living at home. Access to physicians significantly enhances the well-being of older adults. Additionally, senior housing residents have lower rates of inpatient admissions from emergency departments compared to their peers in the broader community.

The study further highlights the health and wellness advantages for older adults who move into senior living communities compared to those living at home. According to research by NORC at the University of Chicago, older adults in senior living:

  1. Experience decreased vulnerability to adverse health outcomes.
  2. Receive more healthcare services, including primary and specialty care.
  3. Have increased longevity, living more than a week longer and having lower mortality rates.
  4. Experience better health outcomes with lower rates of inpatient hospital admissions despite higher emergency department utilization.

Overall, senior living communities can significantly improve access to safe and high-quality care for older adults.

Why Senior Living Communities Promote Better Health in Older Adults

The NIC study puts on display unsurprising research that confirms what’s well known on an anecdotal level. Senior living communities which offer assisted living and sometimes memory care services provide numerous benefits that go beyond those the study notes.

Social Engagement

Living in a senior community provides ample opportunities for social interactions which in turn, reduces feelings of loneliness. This can help stave off depression, which contributes to poor health outcomes. Regular social activities foster a sense of belonging while improving mental health.

Safety and Security

Senior living communities are designed with the saftey of residents at the forefront of priorities. Features such as emergency call systems, secure entrances, and watchful staff around the clock helps provide a peace of mind.

Nutrition and Meals

Balanced, nutritious meals are a cornerstone of senior living. Professional chefs and dietitians work together to create menus that meet the dietary needs of older adults, promoting better overall health and preventing malnutrition. Seniors living at our memory care and assisted living community in Vernon Hills not only have access to amazing food, but they live in a thriving community that has lot of amazing senior activities.

Fitness and Wellness Programs

Many senior living communities offer fitness and wellness programs tailored to the abilities and interests of older adults. These programs encourage physical activity, improve mobility, and support a healthy lifestyle. Our senior residents in Canton, Ohio certainly thrive from these programs.

Access to Transportation

Reliable transportation services are often provided, making it easier for residents to attend medical appointments, run errands, and participate in social activities without the stress of driving.

Senior living communities not only provide a safe and supportive environment but also significantly enhance the health and longevity of older adults. By offering quick access to comprehensive healthcare and reducing vulnerability to health issues, these communities ensure that residents can enjoy a healthier, more fulfilling life.

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