As a new generation begins to consider senior housing, either for themselves or for aging parents, the senior housing industry is seeing a trend developing. Many, who saw their grandparents or great-grandparents enter a “nursing home” and begin a rapid decline, are refusing to subject the next generation of seniors to institutions that tuck the elderly away into quiet little homes where the residents are often over-medicated and under-stimulated. Today’s consumer knows that there are better alternatives. They are looking for senior living communities that focus on wellness and vibrancy in social activities so that their loved ones can continue to be vital members of their families and communities.
Senior housing companies like Ecumen, Carlton Senior Living, Avinity and Senior Housing Management are actively seeking out partnerships with businesses like Live 2 B Healthy® that specialize in bringing healthy fitness and wellness programs into their communities on a regular basis. They are finding that keeping their residents active helps them to reduce the amount of medications their residents require to maintain relief from chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety. And working with dieticians, communities are able to help mitigate the need for medications to control chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Reducing the need for medications goes a long way toward extending the quality of life for seniors. After all, how many have heard parents or friends say they didn’t like to take their medications because they made them feel ill, or dull, or sleepy?
Exercise studies have long shown that participants in regular physical fitness classes are generally able to reduce the amount of prescription drugs they require. Regular physical exercise helps reduce pain and stiffness in joints, which leads to lowered needs for strong pain treatments. Beginning or continuing a regular exercise routine also helps participants reduce insomnia and anxiety, other conditions that may require prescription medications.
As Shelley Kendrick, Chief Operating Officer for Ecumen states, “One of our goals at Ecumen is to reduce the need for medications for our residents. Whether that means instituting a healthier diet to cut down on illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, or just helping our residents become less sedentary by offering regular fitness classes that emphasize strength, balance and flexibility – we at Ecumen believe in doing everything we can do to help our residents live longer, more productive and meaningful lives.”