Atria Senior Living and the International Longevity Center (ILC-USA) recently published the results of a six-month survey looking at satisfaction of seniors living in independent and assisted living communities. The study suggests that seniors in congregate living situations can experience greater subjective well-being in this type of setting. Keep in mind this was a small study of 28 people already living in an Atria community. Some might suggest this as being self-serving. After all, isn’t the purpose to conclude that there are valuable reasons not to live at home and seek community living? Nonetheless….
Six items were tested to gauge well-being and life satisfaction among participants.
- Satisfaction with Life
- Positive Effect
- Negative Effect
- Mastery of Environment
- Purpose in Life
- Positive Relationships
Residents who participated in the study exhibited significant improvements between the first and second administrations of the study on four of the six measures, indicating a favorable assimilation into their senior living community.
While this was done for a senior living community nonetheless, I have uncovered numerous benefits in my research and writing. Most recently a study concluded that home-bound seniors had more liklihood of developing Alzheimer's Disease. Another study found that seniors who shop stay healthier. The physical activity and the social activity was cited as benefits.
The NYT's New Old Age column contrasted the lives of two people aging in place and wondered whether in at least one case if the person was better served in an assisted living facility.
What does this accomplish?
It creates an environment of personal and physical security.
It creates community.
It enhances quality of life.
In studies I cite in one of my keynotes, I point out that:
- the American Journal of Psychiatric Health published a study that showed social support helps protect against dementia
- the Journal of Pain published a study that showed social support reduces pain and depression