Once you are far from your people….

An older adult’s physical and mental health benefits in both good times and bad from being a part of a supportive, caring community. Resilient retirement communities support residents in making positive, efficient, and healthy adjustments and overcoming obstacles. The benefits of retirement living include well-balanced, nutritious meals, attentive, compassionate personal care to meet their physical and emotional health needs safely, and the ability to maintain social connections while maintaining physical distance. Belonging to a caring, supportive community—whether it be a neighborhood, a religious or cultural group, or a retirement home—has a positive impact on a person’s overall health in both good times and bad. Vulnerable people and the entire community can respond more effectively, adapt, and recover from negative events thanks to the power of a strong, supportive community where people work together and support one another on a practical, emotional, and social level. Older adults who are socially connected and engaged have better physical health, a stronger immune system, better moods, and a lower risk of dementia. Social connections also give people’s lives meaning and purpose while assisting them in recovering from difficult circumstances. Even in times of quarantine, staff members at retirement communities regularly check in on residents and interact with them through “in suite” activities like daily puzzles, riddles, and crosswords. The staff can assist with setting up video calls and other forms of virtual contact with family and friends. Being a part of a community improves mental and physical health. People who feel a sense of belonging from living in a vibrant community are less likely to experience mental health problems, die from heart disease, and have overall better health. Communities that are resilient cooperate and change. Communities that are resilient support and protect the health and wellbeing of their most vulnerable members as they adjust to and deal with adversity. Strong leadership, fostering social cohesion, clear communication, effective education, planning and implementing effective responses, and valuing positive thoughts and mental attitudes are some key characteristics of resilient communities when dealing with major challenges.

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