Does Community Living Promote Healthier Living for Seniors?

Senior Living Communities and Healthy AgingIn the United States today, life expectancy is at an all-time high; the average American can expect to live to 78 years old. A 65 year-old man can expect to live another 17 years, while a 65 year-old woman can expect to live another 20 years. This means older adults are using their increased longevity to stay involved in the workforce longer, engaging in their communities and taking part in all kinds of activities, from spending time with family to volunteer work.

While many aging Americans choose to age in place in their homes, more and more are realizing the benefits senior living communities can provide to the healthy aging process.

Senior Living Communities and Healthy Aging

Senior living communities are designed to help residents stay active physically, mentally and socially. Many aging adults are considering moving to these communities while they are still active and independent, because they are aware of the numerous benefits these communities offer when it comes to healthy aging.

What are some of the ways senior living communities help promote healthy aging? Well, here are just a few:

  • Planned social activities. Staying socially engaged as you age is so critical to overall quality of life. When seniors are isolated in their homes, depression can become a real concern. Social connections help seniors stay active and mobile, and can even slow the rate of cognitive decline. Senior living communities promote social engagement among residents through a wide variety of planned events and activities.
  • A variety of fitness classes or wellness programs. Physical activity is important for everyone, but especially for seniors who are concerned with healthy aging. Programs like American Senior Communities’ New Energy Wellness, for example, provide opportunities to improve senior wellness on a variety of levels, from improving posture and balance to reducing the risk of falls.
  • Intellectual stimulation. Seniors can become especially susceptible to boredom when left alone to their own devices. Many senior living communities provide not only social and physical activities, but also opportunities for lifelong learning. Guest speakers are often brought in to do lectures, and many communities offer book clubs, art classes, computer training, and much more.
  • Nutritious meals. It can be difficult for a senior to eat proper meals, because cooking for just one can be challenging. Many senior living communities offer three meals a day, and those meals are specifically designed to residents’ health needs.
  • Less stress over the little things. Keeping your stress levels in check is vital to healthy aging. In a senior living community, you won’t have to worry about maintaining a yard, plus most offer assistance with household tasks. Transportation is also provided, easing the worry some seniors have about getting behind the wheel.
  • Improved family relationships. Not only will the senior’s stress be reduced, but family caregivers will also feel less of a burden. Knowing their loved ones are safe and receiving just the right amount of care provides families peace of mind, and spending time with together becomes more about enjoying quality time than caregiving duties.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit

Vitamins and Minerals that Help Fight Dementia

vitamins for dementiaYour body needs a wide array of nutrients to function properly and stay healthy. Your lifestyle has a huge impact on your health as you age, especially when it comes to building a better memory and combating memory loss. Eating a healthy diet full of nutritious foods, being involved in physical activity at least 30 minutes each day, getting a good night’s sleep, and managing your stress levels are all ways to help protect your brain.

However, adding some vitamins and mineral supplements into your daily routine can also help prevent or slow the progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Super Vitamins for Dementia

The aging population is growing, which means the occurrence of dementia in the elderly is also growing. It’s estimated that 1 in 8 people over the age of 65 are living with dementia. Currently, there is no cure and there are only a few treatments that have been somewhat effective in slowing the onset of dementia.

Research has shown that the best hope for prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease lies in maintaining that healthy lifestyle we mentioned above. New studies are being conducted to show which “super” vitamins can be added to that lifestyle to help prevent dementia.

Some of the best mineral supplements and vitamins for dementia prevention include:

  • Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 has been proven to improve brain function, nerve function and red cell production.
  • Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid: Being deficient in both Vitamin B12 and folic acid is common in those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Taken together, these two supplements can help lower the levels of an amino acid in the blood that is often linked to dementia. Studies have actually shown that taking a combination of vitamin B12, B6 and folic acid effectively slowed shrinkage of the whole brain volume over a two-year time period.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is beneficial for reducing the risk of bone disease and fractures, autoimmune diseases and bacterial and viral infections, and recent studies have shown it can also reduce the risk of developing dementia.
  • Vitamin C and E: Those who have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are sometimes low on vitamins C and E. Although it’s not been proven that the lack of these vitamins are a cause for the disease, some studies show that adding more of them to your daily dietary intake may help protect against dementia. Vitamin E in particular has been shown to slow down the progression of dementia and improve brain function.
  • Zinc: Zinc is essential to healthy functioning of the body, including the brain. Many older adults tend to not have high enough levels of zinc in their bodies, and it is especially low in those with Alzheimer’s. Taking a zinc supplement that is between 30 and 40 mg per day can help improve memory and cognitive function.
  • Phosphatidylserine: This super vitamin for dementia is actually a naturally occurring lipid that is the primary component of the membranes surrounding nerve cells. These nerve cells tend to degenerate in those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, so in theory, adding a phosphatidylserine supplement may protect those cells from further degeneration.

For more information about memory care assisted living at American Senior Communities, please visit

Healthier Sugar Alternatives for Diabetics

healthy sugar alternativesThe combination of having both a sweet tooth and diabetes can be a very bad thing. Sweet treats with loads of sugar will spike your blood sugar levels and can pack on the pounds or inches to your waistline. If you have diabetes and still want to enjoy dessert from time to time, luckily today there are some healthy sugar alternatives you can substitute to satisfy that sweet tooth without the harmful carbohydrates associated with sugar.

Healthy Sugar Alternatives to Enjoy Daily

Most artificial sweeteners have been around for decades and are considered good sugar alternatives for diabetics. They are generally calorie-free while offering a concentrated dose of that sweetness you crave. The few calories they may contain aren’t fully absorbed by the body, so they won’t affect your blood sugar levels. This means sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners are ideal for managing your diabetes.

Some of the healthy sugar alternatives for diabetics approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) include:

  • Aspartame: You’ll recognize aspartame in brand names like NutraSweet and Equal. It’s about 200 times sweeter than sugar and is sold in packets or in bulk. It’s considered safe for those with diabetes, and researchers have not found that it poses any health risks to humans in general.
  • Saccharin: Saccharin is one of the oldest artificial sweeteners, marketed most commonly as Sweet N’ Low in those little pink packets. It was developed in 1879 and was previously associated with cancer risk, due to the fact that it seemed to cause bladder tumor growth in laboratory animals. More recent studies have proven that it poses no risk of cancer to humans.
  • Sucralose: This sweetener is actually derived from the sugar plant and is sold under the brand name Splenda. It’s great for baking too, as it can be directly substituted for sugar in your favorite recipes.
  • Stevia: The basis of this all-natural sweetener is the stevia plant, and it’s commonly sold under the brand names Truvia, SweetLeaf, and PureVia. Studies are still being conducted on this sugar alternative, but the FDA did approve the purified part of the stevia leaf as an additive in our food products. Those who enjoy stevia report less of an aftertaste than with some other artificial sweeteners.
  • Neotame: Not widely used throughout the United States yet, this sweetener is similar to aspartame and is 8,000 times sweeter than sugar.

Natural sweeteners like agave nectar, raw honey, date sugar, etc. can also be safe sugar alternatives for diabetics. These sweeteners are still laden with calories though, so they’re safest when used in moderation.

If you have diabetes, you should always contact your doctor before you start using any sugar substitutes. Labeling can be confusing, so make sure you choose the healthy sugar alternative that’s best for you. When in doubt, try to get by without artificial sweeteners at all. Use naturally sweet substitutes like adding fruit to your breakfast or drinking flavored sparkling water instead of diet soda.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit

How to Properly Manage Medications

medication managementToday, many seniors are living longer with chronic conditions and relying on a variety of medications to help them stay well. It’s not uncommon for a senior to have to take upwards of 10 different pills every day, plus essential vitamins, too. Managing medications on this level can be a challenge, but it’s vital that prescriptions are taken properly to help keep seniors healthy and out of the hospital.

Medication Management for Seniors

Taking so many medications at once can lead to dangerous drug interactions and overmedication in seniors. Some common mistakes seniors make when it comes to taking medications include taking more than the doctor prescribed or taking them incorrectly, like taking them on an empty stomach when the directions say to take with food. Plus, older adults tend to metabolize drugs differently, which can harm their health if they aren’t managing medications correctly.

Here are some easy ways for seniors and their caregivers to properly manage their medications:

  • Make a list. Keep an ongoing list of all the medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, that you take on a daily basis. The list should include the dosage and the reason you take it, as well as the time of day you take it and any further instructions, like taking with a full glass of water or with food.
  • Bring the list to doctor appointments. Once this list is created, bring it to any doctor appointments with you so your physician is aware of your medications and can provide any new information about them. Update the list with any new instructions the doctor gives you.
  • Store medications properly. Most people store medications in their bathroom, but this is actually not the best place for storage. The bathroom can be warm and damp and cause drugs to break down more quickly. Plus, some medications need to be stored in the refrigerator. Make sure you read the labels carefully so you’re storing them in the proper place.
  • Use the same pharmacy for all medications. Streamline the process for picking up new prescriptions by using one pharmacy for all medications. This way, the pharmacist can keep tabs on what medications you are on and can help eliminate side effects and adverse reactions to new drugs.
  • Schedule refills in advance. Don’t wait until you’re on your very last pill to refill prescriptions. Even just skipping one pill can cause problems in your treatment program.
  • Know what to do if medication is missed. If you do miss taking a medication because you ran out or you just forgot to take it when you were supposed to, know what the next step is. Talk to your doctor about how you should proceed- should you just wait and take it at the next scheduled time, or should you take it as soon as you remember?
  • Learn about the side effects. Knowing about the possible side effects you might experience from your medications is important so you stay aware of any changes to your current health in response to the new drug. If you experience any adverse effects, talk to your health provider right away.

Daily medication management can be difficult for seniors and their caregivers, but it’s important to develop and maintain the best system that works for you. Make sure you take medications as prescribed so you stay in the best health and enjoy the highest quality of life possible.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit

When is In-Patient Senior Rehabilitation Necessary?

in-patient rehabIt’s common for doctors to recommend in-patient rehab to seniors after an illness, surgery or injury. These rehabilitation facilities usually offer a mix of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech or language therapy inside a hospital or a senior community.

In-patient rehab provides around-the-clock care, treatment and supervision while closely monitoring the progress of the senior’s health. The goal is always to improve the patient’s health, enabling him or her to get back to an independent, active lifestyle.

How Seniors Benefit from In-Patient Rehab

In-patient rehabilitation can make life easier for seniors as they go through the recovery process. Traveling to and from an outpatient center can be difficult and dangerous, especially if the risk of re-injury is involved. Senior rehabilitation is offered in a residential-like setting, making it comfortable and safe for recovering.

Some of the types of conditions that are best treated with in-patient rehab include:

  • Orthopedic or musculoskeletal injury, such as a hip fracture or other broken bone
  • Joint replacement
  • Brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Neurological conditions
  • Arthritis of the spine or other joints
  • Cancer/tumor
  • Amputation
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis

The treatment provided will help seniors recover loss of mobility by rebuilding muscles and developing the necessary strength to use assistive devices like walkers or canes, improving communication skills, and offering emotional support to help seniors through the changes they may be facing in their lives.  Patients will have a very structured day that involves the necessary therapies to get them back to an independent lifestyle, with time devoted to both addressing any ongoing issues and performing therapy to build up strength and skills. If a senior is recovering at home, it can be easier to remain sedentary than to work on improving their condition.

The length of stay in an in-patient senior rehabilitation center will depend on the individual and the degree of the injury or illness, as well as the willingness of the patient to participate. In general, it’s common for a stay to last anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. The healthcare professionals will assess the progress of the patients and make changes to the treatment as necessary, with the goal being to get them back to doing things as independently as possible.

American Senior Communities has a unique in-patient rehab program through our Moving Forward Rehabilitation program, called the Road to Recovery. The patient, family, and our interdisciplinary team all meet within the first 72 hours of admission to map out the discharge goals for the patient. Outcomes are continually monitored to improve our services, and patients will enjoy private suites, spacious living rooms, an exclusive dining room and courtyard area, and much more!

Choosing the right in-patient rehabilitation center for your loved one is important. Make sure the facility you choose specializes in senior rehabilitation, with highly- qualified physical and occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, case managers, nurses, and psychologists on staff. The facility should be familiar with the specific type of condition your loved one is recovering from so you can be sure they provide the best treatment possible.

ASC’s Moving Forward Rehabilitation program is offered at locations statewide.  For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit

Lewy Body Dementia – Symptoms and Causes

Lewy Body DementiaToday, roughly 47.5 million people throughout the world suffer from dementia, with almost 8 million new cases every year. Dementia affects mostly older adults, although it’s not considered a normal part of the aging process. Those with dementia experience a decline in cognitive ability, changes in their behavior and mood, and difficulty performing everyday tasks.

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is one of the most common forms of dementia, just after Alzheimer’s disease. It affects nearly 1.4 million people and their families in the United States alone, and like other dementias, there is currently no cure.

What is Lewy Body Dementia?

Lewy bodies are clumps of protein that can form and build up in the brain, causing problems with the way your brain works. A neurologist named Frederick H. Lewy discovered them when he was working alongside Dr. Alois Alzheimer in the early 1900s.

Lewy bodies are found in other brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease dementia. The two most common types of LBD include dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia. While the symptoms of these two diseases differ, they reflect the same underlying changes in the brain.  Both diseases tend to start when sufferers experience difficulty with movement, and Parkinson’s usually leads to problems with thinking and memory.

Common Symptoms and Causes of Dementia with Lewy Bodies

The cause of dementia with Lewy bodies is still unknown. As with other types of dementia, there is no one test that can lead to a conclusive diagnosis. There seems to be no family history of the disorder, and no genes are linked to Lewy body dementia. A diagnosis of LBD is a clinical diagnosis, which means it’s based on the best professional judgment of the doctor.

Some of the common symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies include:

  • Problems with movement. This symptom mirrors the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease- rigid muscles, balance issues and hunched posture. Those with LBD may shuffle or walk slowly or experience shaking hands.
  • Memory loss and confusion. Significant memory loss may be present, but not as prominent as it is with Alzheimer’s disease. Their confusion and alertness may vary throughout the day or from one day to the next.
  • Hallucinations. Visual hallucinations are a common symptom of LBD.
  • REM sleep behavior disorder. Acting out dreams or making violent movements while in bed, or falling out of bed. Most people with Lewy body dementia will also have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, or sleep a lot during the daytime.
  • Difficulty making decisions. Those with LBD will display trouble making easy decisions or changes in their thinking or reasoning. They maybe have difficulty concentrating on any one task, or making plans, organizing, and multi-tasking.
  • Depression. Dementia with Lewy bodies can cause depression or lack of interest.

Like Alzheimer’s disease, early diagnosis is key to getting proper treatment. Currently, there are no drugs that can stop or reverse Lewy body dementia, but doctors will work to treat each symptom of LBD separately through a variety of medications.

For more information about memory care through Auguste’s Cottage at American Senior Communities, please visit

Promoting Interaction among the Generations

intergenerational relationshipsFamily relationships are ever-changing in today’s society. Throughout our lives, the relationships we have with our parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren bring us both challenges and happiness as we strive to keep those connections strong and meaningful. The way we communicate amongst family can strengthen our emotional health and help us understand our own behaviors and emotions.

No two families are alike, and therefore all family interactions have distinct differences. Some families move to opposite regions of the country or even the world, and don’t connect more than a few times a year around holidays or important events. Others are close-knit, constantly in contact with each other, and gladly provide care as it becomes necessary to aging loved ones. Some families don’t feel close emotionally, yet will still provide care simply out of an obligatory sense of duty.

The Importance of Intergenerational Relationships

The older generations are living longer, healthier lives in recent years. This means we have more access than ever to our elders, and staying connected is more important than ever. Several studies have been conducted proving that maintaining intergenerational relationships have positive outcomes for each age group within the family.

Intergenerational relationships provide a pattern of support and care amongst the family. There’s a give-and-take, back-and-forth exchange between the generations. For instance, the youngest generation, the grandchildren, can help grandparents with simple tasks, or help teach them about technology. How many times have you seen a child help an older person set up a cell phone, computer or tablet or show them how to work a remote control? The adult children of the family assist aging loved ones, providing care and support they might need due to their health limitations. Meanwhile, today’s seniors can offer a wealth of knowledge to the younger generations and often aid in the care of grandchildren whenever necessary.

The positive benefits of intergenerational relationships are numerous. Children will see enhanced social skills and stability in their lives, helping them maintain better grades and stay away from negative influences. Older adults who are close to their grandchildren are healthier and less lonely and stay more involved in the world around them.

These intergenerational relationships help strengthen not only the family, but also the individual and the community by bringing everyone together.

Enhancing your Family Relationships

You can promote the intergenerational relationships within your own family by encouraging your children and grandchildren to visit as often as possible. Build family relationships during get-togethers by doing activities that get everyone involved, like playing some board games or teaching them your favorite card game. Have movie nights where each time a different person gets to choose their favorite movie to watch. Start a craft project and add to it each week until you have a new family keepsake.

Seniors who are connected among the generations of their families report less depression and better physical health. They get a sense of accomplishment from taking the burden off their adult children by watching their grandchildren from time to time, while helping the youngest generation learn more about who they are and where they came from.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit

September is Healthy Aging® Month 2015

healthy aging monthHealthy aging is a concept that isn’t brand new, but has definitely been growing in popularity over the past few decades. More and more today, older adults are finding ways to stay active, healthy and happy in their later years. The older generations are constantly looking for ways to improve their overall quality of life. started their campaign September is Healthy Aging® Month in 1992 to promote their healthy aging efforts through a national observance. National and local events and educational efforts are planned across the country to draw attention to healthy, active lifestyles at any age and focus on the positive aspects of growing older. Their goal is to change aging adults’ mindsets from concentrating on what they cannot do to what they can do.

10 Healthy Aging Tips for Everyone

As we get ready for the changing of the season from summer to fall, September brings the perfect opportunity to create new goals and evaluate your current health status. Stop fixating on the negative things, like being afraid to go on a walk for fear of falling and instead think about where you’d like to be health-wise. There are so many things you can be taking part in to improve your physical, mental and emotional health, especially when you stop worrying about the limitations you may face.

Here are 10 healthy aging tips to help you take charge of your health this September:

  • Start moving. Physical activity is good not only for your body, but also for your mind and soul. Set workout goals and start off slowly, and reward yourself when you meet those goals.
  • Change your diet. A healthy diet helps you maintain the proper weight and will also enhance your emotional and cognitive health. Try to avoid junk food as much as possible, adding more fresh fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole grains into your meals.
  • Take a walk. Fall offers some of the most perfect weather to enjoy a nice long walk outside! Grab a jacket or sweater and take a nice stroll through the park. Walking is one of the best workouts for seniors, and you don’t need a gym membership or any equipment (besides a good pair of shoes) to do it!
  • Get a physical. Use September as a month to get your annual checkup at the doctor’s office as well as any other health screenings you may need. Knowing your current health status will help you see where you need to make improvements.
  • Learn something new. Get your brain engaged and stimulated by taking a class at the local community college or senior center. Try out a new hobby or join a book club. Keeping your brain challenged helps decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.
  • Think happy thoughts. Stay positive! If you find yourself complaining often, change the topic. Surround yourself with people who have a positive outlook on life, while distancing yourself from those who always seem down.
  • Improve your posture. The simple act of standing up straight helps you look and feel younger! Walking with your shoulders back and your chin up, while holding your stomach in, helps ward off back pain and will make you feel slimmer, taller and more confident.
  • Create a safe home environment. Assess your home for safety issues like throw rugs or electrical cords that could cause a debilitating fall. Make sure the rooms all have plenty of light, especially night lights for those late night trips to the bathroom or kitchen.
  • Get organized. Keep a calendar or notebook going to keep track of doctor’s appointments, medications, etc. Write down your goals for physical activity and mark all the days you’ve achieved or surpassed those goals to help you stay motivated.
  • Stay socially involved. If you start to feel isolated or depressed, reach out to others. Volunteer, start a part time job, or meet friends for lunch once a week.

How do you plan to celebrate Healthy Aging® Month this September?

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit

The Best and Worst Food for Diabetes

food for diabetesWhen you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you know that a big part of managing your condition is watching what you eat. Eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones are a key element of staying healthy and avoiding spikes in your blood sugar.

Certain kinds of foods can be downright dangerous to diabetics, and these foods usually include those occasional treats we all crave. But there are some great alternatives to those foods that can leave you just as satisfied. Let’s take a look at some of those foods to avoid with diabetes, as what as the healthier, better choices are.

Foods to Avoid with Diabetes

Here are some of the worst foods for people with diabetes:

  • Sugary treats. Your favorite sweets and desserts that are primarily made of sugar are lacking in nutritional value and are full of low-quality carbohydrates. They can cause a sharp spike in your blood sugar, as well as cause weight gain, both of which can complicate your diabetes further.
  • White bread, pasta, flour and rice. These are also on the low-quality carbohydrate list. In fact, a study showed that those who ate white rice regularly were at the higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Anything highly processed and made with white flour should be avoided.
  • Fruit juice. Fruit juice can contain just as much sugar and empty calories as a can of soda. Even sugar-free juices or blended juices from a specialty juicer should be avoided if you have diabetes.
  • Fatty meats. Red meat may be low carb, but that doesn’t make them a good food option for diabetics. High-fat cuts of meat are high in saturated fats and can raise your cholesterol, as well as put you at a greater risk for heart disease.
  • Full-fat dairy products. These products also contain high amounts of saturated fats like fatty meats, and should be avoided if you already have diabetes.
  • Trail mix. Trail mix seems like it would be a healthy option, but the dried fruit and milk chocolate that usually comes with it makes it a bad choice. Dehydrating fruit makes their natural sugars super concentrated.

Best Foods for Diabetics

Now that you know what foods to avoid, here are the better choices of food for diabetes:

  • Fresh fruit. When you’re craving something sweet, you’re much better off reaching for an apple or handful of fresh berries.
  • Brown rice and whole wheat pasta. Replacing white carbs with whole grains can make a big difference in your glucose levels.
  • Lean proteins. Switch out the burgers with grilled chicken breast, fish like salmon, or pork tenderloin.
  • Reduced fat or fat-free dairy products. Choose reduced-fat or even fat-free cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream, etc. When you’re ordering your morning coffee, avoid getting those blended coffees laced with cream, sugar and syrups and instead ask for non-fat or light versions of your favorite beverage to help cut out some of that fatty dairy.
  • Low carb snacks. Make your own mixes of sunflower seeds, soy nuts, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, etc. or cut up veggies for the week so when your stomach is rumbling for a snack, it’ll be easier for you to reach for a healthy alternative rather than a pre-packed, high carb treat.

Remember, the food choices you make when you have diabetes can have a huge impact on your overall health. Learning what the best foods are can help you make more informed decisions the next time you cook a meal, sit down to dinner at a restaurant, or reach for an afternoon snack.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit

Can Working Longer Keep You Healthier?

benefits of workingRetirement planning is something many people start at an early age, as they look forward to having all the time in the world to relax, enjoy themselves, and do all the things they may not have previously had time to do, like travel or write a novel.

However, more and more these days, older Americans are choosing to stay at work well past the retirement age of 65. Some continue working purely for financial reasons; studies have shown that more than half of U.S. workers have less than $25,000 in their savings accounts when it comes time to retire, excluding any pensions and property. This makes continuing to work a necessity, so they can continue saving for when they can no longer work at all.

Financial need is not the only reason seniors keep working, though! The benefits of working into your later years include social, emotional, mental and physical improvements to your health.

The Health Benefits of Working

A few years ago, research conducted by the University of Maryland found that men and women who continued to work past the standard retirement age had fewer disabilities, diseases and other health issues than those who had retired earlier. Another study shows that those who continued to work past age 70 were two and a half times more likely to still be alive at age 82 than those who had retired before then.

It’s clear that there are some definite health benefits of working longer. Some of the main benefits include:

  • Helps you stay active. Doctors have long stressed the importance of seniors staying physically active. Heading out to work every day keeps you moving, from simply walking from the parking lot into the office or going up a flight of stairs.
  • Keeps you socially connected. After retirement, some seniors can become isolated socially. They no longer have the opportunity to speak with others on a daily basis, and the situation can become worse if they live far away from friends and family. Social isolation has been known to lead to depression in seniors, too, but by going into work every day, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be communicating and interacting with others.
  • Can prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. You’ve heard the phrase “use it or lose it” before, and this applies not only to the muscles of the body, but also to your brain. Working can keep you mentally challenged, which is a key component in keeping the brain healthy and active and slowing the onset of dementia.
  • Gives meaning to your life. Many seniors continue to work to feel that sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with completing a task or project and giving their emotional health a little boost. It allows them to achieve their goals and feel purposeful and meaningful in everyday life.
  • Improves mental health. This is especially true for seniors who either continue to work or find work after retirement that is related to their previous career. These seniors are able to use the knowledge and experience they’ve gained over their lifetimes, while continuing to develop new skills and meet their employer’s needs.

Working into your retirement years doesn’t have to be a negative experience. You’ll reap both health benefits and financial benefits, making you more able to retire comfortably when the time does come.

For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit

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