4 Ways ARC Helps Seniors Stay Healthy
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 2016, with a life expectancy of 79.8 years, the United States was only ranked 42 out of 224 countries.
I don’t know about you, but I would have thought we’d be higher on the list! In fact, number one 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 United States–the wealthiest nation in the world–would live longer than people in say, Macau (#4 on the CIA list).
Here in the United States, 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 a life plan communities such as Army Residence Community) tout that their residents enjoy both longer and healthier lives than their peers who lives elsewhere due to various social and wellness benefits.
The Bottom Line on Senior Wellness
There are a lot of great reasons that CCRCs strive to keep their residents as active and healthy as possible. Hopefully the main reason is because the community truly cares about their residents and wants to see them thrive. But another reason is more pragmatic: the bottom line. CCRCs are businesses, after all, and even not-for-profit communities need to stay financially solvent in order to to offer the services they are contractually obligated to provide to their residents.
It should be no surprise that healthier residents cost less for the CCRC to care for, so the longer a community can keep someone fit, well, and injury-free, the more “cost-effective” that resident becomes. This is particularly true for CCRC providers who offer lifecare contracts.
The ARC Recipe for Wellness
So, what sorts of things does Army Residence Community (ARC) do to help ensure their residents are active and in good health? Here are just four of the top ways in which ARC encourage senior wellness.
- Health and Wellness Programs. Staying physically active has countless health benefits for seniors, aiding everything from cardiovascular health to mental health. ARC have an on-site fitness center, which includes a pool. The community makes staying active convenient, and even fun, offering programs like low-impact dance classes, yoga, or aqua aerobics. ARC has at least one qualified fitness professional who is on-staff to help facilitate classes and teach seniors how to exercise safely. ARC is also encouraging outside activity with more walking paths and nature trails
- 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. The ARC is doing a variety of things to nurture residents’ “whole person.” 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 also enjoy one another’s company. Additionally, volunteer programs are now common in ARC which is a great way to keep seniors active, mentally stimulated, and socially engaged.
- Healthcare. The ARC has healthcare services available to residents on the community’s campus–a so-called “continuum of care” that ranges from assisted living to skilled nursing care and/or memory care. 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 ARC.
- Nutritious Food Options. A healthy diet is at the heart of healthy living, and ARC provide an array of food and dining choices for residents. Most CCRC contracts will include at least one meal a day, even for those who are living independently. Since poor nutrition can cause or exacerbate health conditions, having access to nutrient-rich, balanced meals (usually prepared with the oversight of a nutritionist) can help CCRC residents stay in good health. The ARC even offer special-diet meal plans–not just low-sugar or low-salt meals, but increasingly popular food options like vegan, gluten-free, organic, and/or locally raised so this is something you need to be sure to ask about.
A Focus on Healthy Living
For seniors who are considering moving to the ARC, their motivation is frequently focused on long-term security: knowing that they will have access to a continuum of care should they need it someday. But because of the focus on keeping seniors active and well (both physically and mentally), ARC residents may also get an added benefit: a longer, healthier life!