If you ask a senior where they would like to grow old, chances are they’d probably say they want to remain in their current home for the rest of their lives. This is referred to as aging in place, and although it sounds attractive when you’re an active and healthy adult, it’s usually not the best choice for you to live a high-quality senior lifestyle.
“Loneliness is a real problem for today’s seniors,” says Marie Dunn, Director of Sales and Marketing at WhiteStone, a Masonic and Eastern Star Community in Greensboro, NC. “As we get older, it’s common for friends and family to move away, and it becomes harder to make friends and get out and do things with them. Being lonely causes depression, anxiety and stress in older adults, all things that can significantly affect your overall health.”
How many senior citizens live alone?
According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 27% of adults ages 60 and older live alone. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but that actually translates to close to 13.8 million individuals.
In an interview, Dr. Karl Pillemer, Professor of Gerontology in Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medicine, stated that he believes it’s better for older people to age in a community. “A real killer is the amount of social isolation and loneliness that affects older people,” Pillemer states. “People become lonelier, and that makes them less interested, less energetic, and that leads to more depression and so forth … There’s an enormous mind-body connection there.”
What can seniors do to keep from getting lonely?
That being said, it is possible for seniors to age on their own without getting lonely. There are many things that older adults can do these days to stay active, stay connected and be engaged in their community. Here are a few suggestions for how to keep from getting lonely:
- Join a club or hobby group. There are many options these days – both virtual and in person.
- Get out and explore nature. Being in the great outdoors is an excellent health booster and can be a great social event, too.
- Volunteer for a favorite cause. Studies have shown that seniors who volunteer are happier, healthier, more active and have better mental health than seniors who don’t.
- Adopt a pet. Having a small furry friend is one of the great joys of life.
What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community?
A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is also known as a Life Plan Community. These forms of senior living communities are designed to help older adults age in place in the best possible way. They offer access to different levels of care: independent living, assisted living, memory care, short- and long-term skilled nursing, rehabilitation and in-home care.
Life Plan Communities are dedicated to helping seniors not just live but live their best possible lives. To that end, these types of communities are dedicated to whole-person wellness, helping to nurture all the dimensions of wellness. Here’s how we do that at WhiteStone:
- Our community makes fitness and wellness a top priority. We do that by offering fitness classes, exercise opportunities, nutritious dining and more.
- Our events calendar is filled with opportunities like monthly speakers, lifelong learning classes, book clubs and more.
- WhiteStone is like a family, and we support each other, look after each other and care about each other unconditionally. When you’re here, you know you’re loved.
- Our community is designed for connection, whether that’s drinks with friends, dinner parties, special-interest clubs, outings, movie nights, game competitions … you can be as active and social as you want to be!
- Older adults have a wealth of knowledge that should be shared, and at WhiteStone, we encourage them to volunteer, lead groups or teach others in the community (or in the community at large).
- From providing green spaces and gardens to adopting green initiatives like recycling, we create a healthy environment for our community.
- We are open to worshipers of all faiths, and we offer services in our chapel, provide meditation opportunities, religious studies and more.
- Health Services. As a Life Plan Community, we offer a range of services that help our residents support their health at every stage.
“Moving into a Life Plan Community helps you remain active, socially connected and healthy overall,” says Marie. “Plus, it’s just more enjoyable than aging alone. We invite you to contact us and see how our community can provide a healthy environment for you or a loved one now or in the future.”
Founded on Fellowship. Inspired by You.
WhiteStone is the first and oldest Life Plan Community in North Carolina. Founded in 1912 as the first Masonic Fraternal Home in the U.S. created solely to care for the elderly, WhiteStone is open to everyone looking for a secure retirement in a comfortable, welcoming setting.
WhiteStone offers residents a host of amenities and services designed to make life easier, healthier and happier. In addition to independent living, WhiteStone offers a full range of senior health services, if and when the need arises, including memory care, in-home care, short- and long-term skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Assisted living services are coming soon to the community.
Since WhiteStone is a Life Plan Community, residents will never need to move in order to get the health care they need. At WhiteStone, we provide expert, personalized care on campus in our top-rated Care and Wellness Center.
For more information about our community, please contact Marie Dunn at 336-459-0904.