Can a Move to Assisted Living Help a Senior Avoid Depression?

Happy multiracial senior women having fun together outdoor - Elderly generation people hugging each other at park

Most people dream of and plan for retirement over many years. We envision carefree days spent traveling, enjoying time with friends or pursuing hobbies. But what many older adults don’t realize is that after leaving the working world behind, depression can make an uninvited appearance.

Seniors can experience depression for a variety of reasons, ranging from their circle of friends getting smaller to health concerns and adult children (and grandkids!) living far away. Struggling to maintain a house and yard and feeling less confident about driving can also contribute.

One solution to consider is a move to an assisted living community. These communities offer residents numerous benefits, including a better quality of life. For many, that translates to a lower risk of depression.

Benefits of Moving to an Assisted Living Community

If you aren’t familiar with this type of senior housing, here are some of the advantages that help to enrich residents’ lives and reduce the risk of depression:

  • Social connection: The research on isolation and decreased health is clear. Older adults who spend too much time alone are at higher risk than their more social peers for concerns such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression and even early mortality.
  • Environment conducive to making friends: As you grow older, its common to find your social circle shrinking. Friends might relocate to be closer to an adult child. Work friendships may slowly fade after retirement. Making new friends as a senior might be more challenging than in your younger years. With a move to an assisted living community, however, residents are surrounded by neighbors who often share similar interests. Building new friendships is usually much easier.
  • Life enrichment activities: One of the most common reasons people decide to move to assisted living is the opportunity to participate in life enrichment activities. It helps to build a sense of community and purpose that is more difficult to achieve living at home alone during retirement. Daily programming typically offers residents activities that nurture the body, mind and spirit.
  • Maintenance-free living: Struggling to maintain a house and keep up with yard work can take a toll on your emotional well-being. It can be depressing to be constantly reminded that your health isn’t what it used to be. In an assisted living community, these kinds of chores are handled by staff. That frees up a resident’s time to spend on activities they find enjoyable.
  • 24/7 support nearby: There’s peace of mind that comes from knowing help is available around-the-clock. Instead of worrying about how they’ll manage if they experience a problem, residents in assisted living benefit from the best of two worlds. They typically have their own apartment or suite, with caregivers always nearby if they need support. The sense of security that creates can lead to a boost in mental health.

Learn More About Assisted Living

These are just a few of the reasons to consider a move to assisted living. The best way to learn more is to schedule an in-person visit. To find an assisted living community near you, please click here.

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Disclaimer: The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any message and will not be held responsible for the content of any message. Always consult your personal physician for specific medical advice.

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