The 3 Fundamental Ways Senior Living Improves Quality of Life

Senior living is good for you in more ways than we can count, and too many to list here. Instead, Sonata Senior Living compiled the three fundamental ways that senior living communities improve health and quality of life for older adults and their loved ones. 

1. Better Nutrition in Senior Living Communities

As we age, maintaining a healthy diet and nutrition can be challenging, particularly for older adults who live alone. Senior living prioritizes the health of older adults, customizing menus to meet their unique nutritional needs.

Many older adults struggle to get enough nutrition in the diet, including fresh, whole foods. For some, preparing meals is difficult. For most, preparing healthy meals is even more challenging.

Older adults who live alone often have limited access to fruit, vegetables, and other whole foods. Processed foods, while easier to access and prepare, can lead to poor health. What’s even more alarming, processed foods have been linked to a faster rate of cognitive decline in older adults. The study, published by JAMA Neurology, demonstrates just how important nutrition is to both the mind and body. Other studies suggest a direct link between diet and dementia.

The trend to consume processed foods has been widely covered in the media. According to an article in The Atlantic, more than half of what Americans eat today is considered “ultra-processed.” Processed foods are cheap, easy, and often quite tasty, but linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other dangerous health conditions.

In short, nutritional needs change with age. The natural aging process causes physiological changes in the body that make it more difficult to get the nutrients we need to maintain good health. For example, some older adults have difficulty absorbing nutrients, making them more vulnerable to illness.

Senior living is the ideal solution for maintaining a healthy diet in older adults. Independent living and assisted living communities like Sonata help older adults maintain a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, proteins, and heart-healthy foods.

While essential vitamins occur naturally in food, a large variety and assortment of foods helps seniors to get the nutrients they need. For example, older adults need more calcium, magnesium and potassium to support healthy aging and longevity. The menus in senior living change regularly, presenting older adults with lots of options, flavors, and nutrient-dense foods that make healthy eating easier.

Learn more about dining and senior nutrition essentials at Sonata Senior Living. Or for detailed guidelines related to senior nutrition, the National Institute on Aging publishes these recommendations for older adults.

2. Physical Fitness in Senior Living Communities

Like nutrition, physical fitness needs change with age. Senior living communities are one way to assure the physical activity needs of older adults are met.

Staying active in your 70s and 80s is a strategy for lowering one’s risk of developing metabolic diseases and other common health conditions that affect older adults. A daily regimen of movement and activity, no matter how intense, offers significant advantages to your long-term health and quality of life.

Research has shown that even low to moderate levels of physical activity have health benefits, indicating the importance of exercise on healthy aging. The study, published in the Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests that adding even low doses of physical activity every day can extend your life.

Exercise has a statistically significant preventive effect. As an intervention, daily exercise is often recommended by physicians to prevent and manage chronic disease. It is one of many reasons why fitness programs are so popular in senior living communities.

Many senior fitness programs are designed to specifically improve heart health. Heart-healthy activities in senior living strengthen the heart muscle and help it pump blood more efficiently to move oxygen and nutrients to muscles, tissues and organs.

Physical fitness activities in senior living communities also focus on exercises that improve strength and balance. Many chronic illnesses cause pain and stiffness and exercise is a natural pain reliever and mood booster.

Some exercise can put more stress on joints, which may discourage some seniors from participating in daily exercise. Assisted living communities like Sonata Senior Living offer activities that don’t require standing or walking and are perfect for those with limited mobility.

Learn more about the importance of heart health in this article by Sonata Senior Living.

3. Social Fitness in Senior Living Communities

Just like nutrition and exercise, social fitness has a direct impact on the health and longevity of older adults.

Social fitness is rooted in the idea that social connections keep us not only happy, but healthier, and better equipped to handle stressors in life. And there’s science to prove it!

A relative new concept, “social fitness” correlates socialization to health. And when it comes to the health and wellness of seniors, social fitness is just as important as physical fitness. In recent years, science has shown there to be health consequences to social isolation. Social isolation and loneliness are linked to numerous health risks, including anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and heart disease, to name a few.

Social support is foundational to social fitness, and nothing provides a more supportive environment than senior living communities in Florida. What’s more, in 2019, The Journals of Gerontology published a report that found older adults were more likely to stay active and have better mental health when they interact with people beyond their immediate family.

By its very nature, senior living lifestyles come equipped with an expansive and varied network of social supports, including friends, neighbors, caregivers, dining services, cleaning and maintenance staff, lifestyle directors, nursing supervisors, and administrators. At Sonata Senior Living, in addition to a full staff, a concierge director is available to provide support whenever it’s needed!

There is also an emotional component to social fitness that addresses the need to feel a sense of belonging. Meaningful and lasting relationships are built with other residents and staff in a senior care community. In this sense, senior living provides something that aging in place at the family home can never replicate, that is, daily opportunities for older adults to engage with their peers.

Group activities, group fitness classes, volunteer opportunities, interest groups, group games, parties, social events and group dining are commonplace in senior living facilities of all types. The wide variety of events and activities make it easy for older adults to make friends and participate in social activities while providing a sense of belonging, purpose and fulfillment.

We’ve identified three fundamental ways senior living improves quality of life, including nutrition, physical activity and socialization, but in truth, there are numerous factors that influence healthy aging according to the National Institute of Health. You’ll find all of these and more in senior living.

There are so many benefits to Florida assisted living and too many to list here.
Schedule a tour today of a Sonata Senior Living community near you to learn more.

Information provided on this page is for informational and educational purposes. The information provided should not be considered a substitute for individual medical assessment, diagnosis or treatment by your medical provider or physician. In you or someone in your care has a medical problem, contact your doctor or mental health provider.

Expect More At Sonata

Visit a Sonata community and find out why putting service first has allowed us to continually raise the bar in senior living and exceed our residents’ expectations.