According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) World Factbook, which tracks life expectancy at birth for every country in the world, revealed a surprising truth: In 2022, with a life expectancy of 80.59 years, the United States was only ranked 46 out of 226 countries. I don’t know about you, but I would have thought we’d be higher on the list! In fact, No. 1 on the list, Monaco, has a life expectancy nearly 10 years longer than people in the U.S.
Obviously, a lot of factors contribute to this ranking, including, lifestyle, access to healthcare and simple genetics, but you’d think people in the U.S. — the wealthiest nation in the world — would live longer than people in say, Macau (No. 3 on the CIA list).
Here in the U.S., it is often thought that senior living communities play a role in length of lifetime. Specifically, many continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs, also known as Life Plan communities) tout that their residents enjoy both longer and healthier lives than their peers who live elsewhere due to various social and wellness benefits.
The CCRC Recipe for Wellness
So, what sorts of things do CCRCs like Christwood do to help ensure their residents are active and in good health? Here are just four of the top ways in which CCRCs encourage senior wellness.
Health and wellness programs
Staying physically active has countless health benefits for seniors, aiding everything from cardiovascular health to mental health. A large portion of CCRCs have an on-site fitness center, which will typically include a pool. This facility makes staying active convenient, and even fun, offering programs like low-impact dance classes, yoga or aqua aerobics. Most of these fitness centers also will have at least one qualified fitness professional on-staff to help facilitate classes and teach residents and members how to exercise safely. An increasing number of communities are encouraging outdoor activity with more walking paths, nature trails and even adult playgrounds. The Community Center at Christwood is an excellent place for seniors to focus on their health and wellness.
Social, spiritual and educational activities
The so-called “whole person” concept, which includes emotional, spiritual, educational and social experiences, is growing in popularity in the CCRC industry. And communities are doing a variety of things to help nurture residents. From common areas for socialization, celebrations and activities to auditoriums for educational speakers and cultural performers, on-site amenities allow residents to continue to take part in new experiences and enjoy one another’s company. Additionally, volunteer programs and university partnerships are much more common within CCRCs. They’re a great way to keep residents active, mentally stimulated and socially engaged.
In general, all CCRCs will have at least some healthcare services available to residents on the community’s campus. Christwood offers a full continuum of care, including assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. Convenient access to preventive care services and healthcare providers available to help monitor and treat chronic conditions is one of the big health advantages of living in a CCRC.
Nutritious food options
A healthy diet is at the heart of healthy living, and CCRCs provide an array of food and dining choices for residents. Most CCRC contracts will include a meal plan, even for those who are living independently. Since poor nutrition can cause or worsen health conditions, having access to nutrient-rich, balanced meals can help CCRC residents stay in good health.
A Focus on Healthy Living
For seniors who are considering moving to a CCRC like Christwood, feeling secure about having access to a continuum of care is often a major motivation. But because of the focus on keeping seniors active and well (both physically and mentally), CCRC residents may also get an added benefit: a longer, healthier life!
If you would like to learn more about all the benefits Christwood residents have at their fingertips, fill out the form below to contact us. We’d love to share more!
The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.