Should You Consider a Life Plan Community? 

  • By Western Home Communities
  • 01 Aug, 2017
Group of seniors living happily at a life plan community

In late 2015, senior advocacy group LeadingAge  announced a new name for a continuing care retirement community (CCRC): life plan community. Why the change? After two years of research, it was concluded that today’s seniors prefer a different term that better describes their plans for the future – to continue living life to the fullest extent, with a true way to age in place in a community they call home.

A life plan community is a far cry from the medical facilities of the past that were more nursing home-like than a true neighborhood. These communities offer innovative, independent senior housing options like active living  in a free-standing home, townhome or apartment and ongoing care in an assisted living  or memory care  neighborhood. Residents in life plan communities not only have peace of mind for their future needs, but it’s also reported that many of these seniors enjoy healthy, vibrant lifestyles longer than those who live alone in their homes.

How a Life Plan Community Offers Peace of Mind for Your Future

Because today’s seniors are healthier and feeling younger than ever, it’s important for them to have a “life plan” for their future needs. They still have a lot they’d like to accomplish in their retirement years, whether that’s spending a month traveling through Europe or finally sitting down to write a novel. They want to map out their future, not focus solely on the aging process and possible decline in health that could be down the road. Many of today’s life plan communities recognize the importance of providing specific, upscale activities their residents will enjoy, like lifelong learning opportunities, wellness programs and more.

Some of the benefits a life plan community offers to residents include:

Promoting healthy lifestyles. Because life plan communities recognize healthy living is a key component to successful aging, most campuses offer fitness centers on-site and a variety of classes designed specifically for seniors. Numerous activities are provided to keep residents active in mind, body and spirit.

Carefree living with a variety of services and amenities.
Services and amenities like help with home maintenance, scheduled transportation, various dining options, and 24-hour security make life easy for residents. Residents no longer need to worry about tasks like shoveling snow or yard work, and some light housekeeping is also generally included.

Plenty of opportunities for social engagement.
Maintaining and building relationships with others helps seniors stay connected to the world around them, and can even lessen the impact of chronic conditions, improve memory and decrease the risk for depression. This is why life plan communities make social activities a top priority, offering everything from a variety of daily, weekly and monthly events for residents to enjoy with their neighbors.

Easing worry for loved ones.
Moving into a life plan community provides the residents’ adult children with the comfort of knowing any of their aging parents’ healthcare needs will be met through the continuum of care. This is especially important for those loved ones who live a great distance away.

Addressing differing needs of spouses.
If one spouse experiences a decline in health while the other is still mostly independent, life plan communities can accommodate both of their needs. Couples will remain living in close proximity on the same campus while each receives the right amount of care to maintain as much independence as possible.

Make a Plan for Life at Western Home Communities

Create your plan for the future at Western Home Communities, enjoying freedom for today and security for tomorrow. With two campuses in Cedar Falls and a variety of comfortable living options  designed to meet your needs and preferences, you’ll lead a fulfilling lifestyle now and in the future. Call us at 319-277-2141 to schedule a personal tour.

The Western Home Communities Blog

By Western Home Communities 16 Aug, 2017

The older you get, the more difficult it can become to stay physically active. In fact, as you entered your forties, you began to lose three-to-five percent of your muscle mass with each subsequent decade of life. Chronic conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis can make certain movements painful, limiting your flexibility and your range of motion. Maybe you simply don’t know what types of exercises are best or safest for your individual needs, or you’re wary of joining the fancy new gym down the street.

However, while exercise is important for those of all ages, active seniors enjoy a variety of additional benefits to their overall health. For instance, senior fitness helps with healthy aging in the following ways:

Managing chronic conditions. The more you move, the better you feel! Exercise is crucial for managing and reducing pain from conditions like arthritis, as regular movement helps lubricate the joints and decrease stiffness. Exercise has also been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease, cognitive impairment, diabetes and stroke.

Boosting mental health, memory and cognition.
Exercise is a known mood-booster, and it may be one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your memory performance, too. Exercise increases heart rate, which helps pump more oxygen to the brain. It also releases a variety of hormones in the brain that promote new cell growth.

Decreasing the need for some medications.
A combination of aerobic activity, strength training and flexibility exercises can reduce the need for the variety of medications you may take daily to manage your physical and mental conditions. For instance, exercise can help reduce systolic blood pressure and decrease your need for blood pressure medication.

Preventing falls.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in seniors; in fact, one out of three adults age 65 or older suffer a debilitating fall each year. Adding balance exercises can help keep you steady on your feet and lead to a higher level of independence.

Improving sleep habits.
Seniors who suffer from insomnia find that exercise helps exhaust them enough to enjoy restful sleep throughout the night. It makes sense – after all, if you are more active throughout the day, you will be more tired in the evening. Just make sure to avoid strenuous activity two hours before bedtime.

By Western Home Communities 14 Aug, 2017

Every brain changes with age and many seniors fear the unknown that can come from cognitive decline over time. We begin to experience lapses in memory, or “senior moments” as they are commonly referred. Not remembering why you entered a room, misplacing your keys, or forgetting a plan you made with a friend are examples of the normal memory loss many older adults may encounter in their later years.

There are a variety of reasons adults experience these memory problems, including a decline in memory and cognitive skills as a result of decreased blood flow to the brain. Additionally, the aging hippocampus deteriorates, and this affects our ability to form and retrieve memories. Hormones protecting and repairing the also brain decrease with age. These fleeting memory problems leading to the “senior moments” we experience reflect normal changes in the brain over time.

By Western Home Communities 01 Aug, 2017

In late 2015, senior advocacy group LeadingAge  announced a new name for a continuing care retirement community (CCRC): life plan community. Why the change? After two years of research, it was concluded that today’s seniors prefer a different term that better describes their plans for the future – to continue living life to the fullest extent, with a true way to age in place in a community they call home.

A life plan community is a far cry from the medical facilities of the past that were more nursing home-like than a true neighborhood. These communities offer innovative, independent senior housing options like active living  in a free-standing home, townhome or apartment and ongoing care in an assisted living  or memory care  neighborhood. Residents in life plan communities not only have peace of mind for their future needs, but it’s also reported that many of these seniors enjoy healthy, vibrant lifestyles longer than those who live alone in their homes.

By Western Home Communities 24 Jul, 2017

For seniors who are ready to fully enjoy their retirement and simplify their lives, downsizing from a large home to a senior living community can provide the carefree lifestyle they crave. While moving from a long-time home can bring up sentimental and nostalgic feelings, many of today’s older adults look forward to eliminating some of the hassles that come along with home ownership.

By Western Home Communities 10 Jul, 2017

Creating social relationships and connecting with other people is a huge part of what shapes us throughout our lives. Whether you are introverted or extroverted, maintaining a socially active lifestyle can impact your mental, physical and emotional well-being. In fact, staying engaged in social interactions can be just as effective as exercise in improving your mood and overall health.

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