senior women standing by pool

Those who are beginning their “third thirty” have reached an age and stage when their most pressing question more than likely concerns how to age well and live life to the fullest for the years remaining. While individuals may have differing definitions of “a life well lived,” a ground-breaking new research study by the Mather Lifeways Institute on Aging offers compelling evidence that those who choose to move into a LifePlan community perceive their lives as healthier.

Life Plan Communities Improve Health and Wellness

The new Age Well Study conducted in conjunction with Northwestern University and other organizations has just completed the first year of their five-year longitudinal research. The Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging is an award-winning resource for research and information about wellness, aging, and trends in senior living. Researchers in this study are analyzing older adults’ cognitive, physical, and psychosocial health as well as overall well-being based on their responses to a yearly survey.

More than 5,000 residents from 29 states living in 80 Continuing Care Retirement (or Life Plan) Communities completed the survey in 2018. The research matched a comparative sample of older adults from community-at-large residents, with residents living in a Life Plan Community.

According to the report, initial results show:

• 69% of residents reported that moving to a Life Plan Community “somewhat or greatly improved” their social wellness.

• Life Plan Community residents tend to have greater emotional, social, physical, intellectual, and vocational wellness than their community-dwelling counterparts.

• Residents report significantly more healthy behaviors than community dwellers (not just more exercise).

Why is this important? Older adults have the same needs as adults of any age: paraphrasing Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, all humans have the basic need for good nutrition, safety and security, and for a balance between rest and activity; as well as the psycho-social needs to feel a sense of belonging and to be in community with others where their contributions to society are valued and appreciated; furthermore, all of these needs must be met before less tangible and more individualized goals for personal self-fulfillment can be pursued.

However, loneliness has reached epidemic proportions in the older adult population for many seniors who “get sicker and die quicker.” Loneliness is a contributing factor for many physical illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and dementia. But loneliness is something that often can be avoided.

Kendal at Granville: A Vibrant Life Plan Community

Life Plan Communities like Kendal at Granville provide a nurturing environment across all domains of well-being (including emotional, social, physical, spiritual, intellectual and vocational).  In a Life Plan Community each person has access to rich opportunities to become their best self: enjoy independence without isolation; pursue passions and hobbies; and engage in intellectually, culturally or spiritually stimulating activities, while focusing on the priorities deemed truly important for a meaningful, satisfying life.

Are Life Plan Communities “worth it?” We know from this groundbreaking new study that opinion of over 5,000 current residents from 29 states living in Life Plan Communities across America is a resounding, “Yes!” Time is our most precious non-renewable resource, and Life Plan Communities provide an attractive forum where older adults may continue to contribute their wisdom and creativity, individually and collectively, for the best time of their lives!

If you are thinking to yourself “I’m not ready to move to a retirement community yet—I’m still young and healthy,” it’s actually the perfect time to make the move! Download our free eBook, “I'm Too Young for Independent Living,” to learn 11 reasons why you should consider moving to independent living, 11 myths about independent living, the risks of putting it off, and more!


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