Good senior living news doesn’t always make the front page, but there’s a lot to celebrate in the world of assisted living. We share some of today’s most uplifting news stories, medical advancements, to very good critters, to community support and beyond.
7 Pieces of Senior Living News Worth Celebrating
1. New Advancements Improve Mobility and Comfort
Technology for seniors is improving in leaps and bounds. One senior living community in Tucson, Arizona, is partnering with HealthPRO Heritage rehabilitation specialists. These specialists offer a variety of cutting-edge services, such as temperature and compression therapy, to increase residents’ quality of life and mobility. Initial findings are promising, with 100% of residents who tried the therapies reporting an increased level of comfort.
2. An Avid Gardener Gets Her Flowers
JoAnne Bates, 86, placed first in two gardening categories at the Otoe County Fair. After discovering her assisted living community’s raised garden beds and flower pots, Bates found passion in caring for the flowers and vegetables. For the past fifteen years, she’s been planting and gardening alongside Gerri Harden, the manager of the assisted living community.
3. Two Teenagers Use Letter Writing to Reduce Senior Isolation
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been isolating for so many seniors. But two teenagers recognized the pain of that isolation and decided to step in.
Shreya and Saffron Patel created Letters Against Isolation (LAI), an organization that sends handwritten letters to seniors. The organization’s mission is to spread joy and increase human connection even in this most difficult of times. In two years, volunteers have written over 460,000 letters and sent them to seniors in over seven countries.
4. A Senior Cat Finds a Home in an Assisted Living Community
Any roundup of senior living news should include a few animal friends. Simba, a 19-year-old cat, has been bringing joy to all the residents in StoneCreek of Edmond, an assisted living community in Oklahoma.
Whenever a new resident joins the community, Simba and Liz Baker (Simba’s owner/human best friend) head out to greet them. Sima’s favorite place to sit is a basket on Liz’s walker. As a senior himself, Simba loves living in his assisted living community.
5. Assisted Living Communities Now Have Free Access to COVID-19 Testing
In a move that may bring COVID-19 tests to millions of seniors, the CDC has begun offering free testing in assisted living facilities. This is an expansion of a program that already brought tests to schools, correctional facilities, and shelter. With this program, assisted living residents and staff across the country will have access to free PCR testing. Providers can request an unlimited number of PCR tests and receive up to a month’s supply at a time.
6. New Lighting Systems Could Reduce the Risk of Falls
Falls are a huge issue for seniors in assisted living communities, but there’s relief on the horizon. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association found that using a carefully calibrated LED lighting system (developed by the Midwest Lighting Institute) could reduce falls by 43% at long-term care facilities. Given that one in four seniors fall every year, this technology could save lives and give residents of assisted living communities peace of mind.
7. Learning Campuses Provide Educational Opportunities for Seniors
A new assisted living community in Southwest Washington is making a unique partnership with a local school, WSU Vancouver. Residents of University Village will be able to take classes and participate in campus activities, alongside young adult college students. There will even be on-site learning support for seniors who take advantage of these educational opportunities.
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