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CCRC living can be good for seniors

Posted March 05, 2014 in Advice Column, Ames

There are many practical benefits of living in a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). But what about emotional perks? Turns out, there are many.

A CCRC, which combines independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing/rehabilitative care in one setting with numerous amenities and services, offers a great sense of community. Residents describe it as an extended family. Sharing special memories and events is more satisfying with friends who are neighbors. In fact, being around others of similar age and interests not only is satisfying, Harvard School of Public Health researchers found evidence that seniors with an active social life may have a slower rate of memory decline.

Just laughing more is good for you: laughter boosts the immune system, promotes a sense of well-being, increases tolerance for pain and burns as many calories as 15 minutes on a stationary bicycle.

Today’s CCRCs offer countless ways to stay engaged and enjoy life.  Think Wii bowling. Wine tasting. Bridge tournaments. If the CCRC is near a university, there’s easy access to cultural, educational and sports events.

Since it is projected that 25 percent of one’s life will be spent in retirement, it’s clear that living amongst friends in a CCRC is good medicine.

Information provided by Rod Copple, executive director, Green Hills Retirement Community, 2200 Hamilton Drive, Suite 100, Ames, 515-296-5000.

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