Like me, you’ve almost certainly noticed that mainstream culture doesn’t always depict seniors very well. When I recently read in the American Journal of Public Health that the stereotype of the silver-haired generation is one of “decline, dependency and disengagement from life,” I sadly nodded my head. And the same can be said for senior living. In spite of the fact that there have been advances in senior living options in recent years, we still hear the opinion that senior living facilities are little more than “old folks’ homes.” Even more sobering is the fact, which I read in Senior Housing News, that even some of us share the view that this type of living arrangement is something to avoid.
So is it any wonder that when it comes to senior living, many of us Silver Disobedients imagine a gloomy existence devoid of fun or joy?
But like many popular beliefs, I think this one is full of holes that are easy to see. In recent years, we have been embracing not only our age—but also the endless possibilities for personal fulfillment that comes with our having the time, money and other resources to enjoy life to the max. The recognition that our silver years are the start of a new and exciting phase of life—and not an ending by any means—is increasingly being reflected in the opportunities for senior living. With the aim of offering surroundings that are life-affirming, senior living arrangements have blossomed.
I’ve also noticed that in recent years, there have been advances in how senior living centers are enriching those who choose them. Rather than restricting our options in life—from meals to social life to entertainment—21st-century senior living provides us with many choices. And as for the popular perception some of us have that senior living is confined or constricted? Nonsense. I happily agree with Senior Housing News: “Senior housing communities aren’t just places older adults go to receive ‘care’ as they age or to simply ‘retire.’”
When I founded the Silver Disobedience® movement in 2017, it soon became clear to me that many of us are embracing our senior years with great enthusiasm—so much so, that we are bound to reject any living arrangement that curtails our ability to derive pleasure from what could be the greatest years of our lives. (Nor would those of us taking care of our elderly parents want anything different for our mother and fathers.) I am constantly mindful of this attitude that we share when I ponder the various living arrangements that are available to seniors.
Smashing stereotypes about senior living means recognizing the baloney we hear all too often. Namely, that senior living means that the residents are cut off from family and friends. Or that the living arrangements are spartan and/or uncomfortable. Or that, in short, senior living is devoid of any of the opportunities we have when we live in our own homes.
If you are looking for examples of senior living arrangements that disprove these stereotypes, consider Brookdale Senior Living. Brookdale operates 800 senior living facilities in 45 states, comprising a wide spectrum of services: assisted living, independent living, memory care, skilled nursing, hospice and continuing care retirement communities.
Brookdale offers a range of services it to those who are considering it, and provides support to the families of those of us who would benefit from moving in to one of their facilities. Brookdale’s associates are trained in making residents feel at home—and also in showing their families how to plan and afford their care. The result is a personal approach to senior living—one that can show us that it means the next step up in enjoying life, rather than a step down. The aim is to make us feel comfortable and in charge of our lives.
The best way to get a feel for the quality of life awaiting residents at a Brookdale community is to browse its website. There are many ways for those of us in the final decades of life to live lives that are enriching and fun—and senior living can add to that sense of fulfillment we are all seeking.
This article was written by Dian Griesel. #WithCare #Brookdale #stereotypes #healthyliving #lifestyle #passion #community #interests #SP
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