Baby Boomers, Changing Lifestyles
What the Baby Boomers Are Looking For in Retirement Living
by Kathy Contino-Turner
The Baby Boomers have come of age. Between 1946 and 1964, 76 million of us were born in the United States. We entered a new world, post World War 2, complete with the threat of nuclear war between the US and then-Soviet Union. Some of us came of age with Elvis Presley, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. We served in Korea and Vietnam. We experienced the 1960’s, and the disco age of the 1970’s. In our lifetimes, we have seen change across the board from employment to technology; changes that have significantly altered the societal landscape to which we were born. Take a minute and think about when you grew up, now look at your children or grandchildren’s childhood. We have lived lives of change.
The Baby Boomers have embodied change and aren’t ready to go quietly into retirement. One major difference sited by many about our generation, is our unwillingness to grow old. Baby Boomers aren’t ready for the rocking chair on the front porch when they retire from their work life. We are ready to enjoy retirement and stay as healthy as we can for as long as we can. There is a new term describing this called “boomeritis”. It is used to describe the fact that ‘Boomers” are exercising to stay fit and active. Orthopedics report an increase of tendinitis, tears, fractures and arthritis in this population. Many now recommend that older individuals focus on flexibility, and non-weight bearing activities such as swimming or cycling to keep in shape.
Our generation is looking for more in terms of retirement living. We want our autonomy; to keep our individuality. No more of this one size fits all model. Retirement communities, like Acacia Village are seeing a demand for a la carte services. One person might want a meal every night, another does not because they like to cook in their apartment. Our generation will demand increases in technology. Many of our seniors are now discovering the ability to use sites like Skype and Facetime to talk to family and friends. We don’t have to wait to see the grandkids; we can see them via our smartphone, iPad or computer. When we were growing up, this technology was only available on Star Trek. Now it is a common part of our everyday lives.
Boomers like brain games, games designed to improve memory, retention and keep an aging mind healthy. “Exergames” is a new term used to describe games like those you play on the Wii that provide a cardiovascular workout. The National Council on Strength and fitness says “exergames” are very beneficial to the elderly population as they can improve mobility, dexterity and coordination. They refer to additional benefits for residents of skilled nursing centers noting that these games can create a distraction from pain. At the Masonic Care Community, we have several Wii consoles that are used by our activities staff, and we recently expanded our wellness gym to accommodate the growing interest in exercise by our skilled nursing residents.
More people of our generation want to age in place. If you live near the Masonic Care Community, you could enjoy the services of Acacia Home Care, which helps you stay in your home as long as possible. If you don’t, we would urge you to seek out local home care agencies that offer the same services. Once you have made the decision to downsize, and move to a retirement community. There are many, like the Masonic Care Community that offers the option to age in place. For example, you move into the independent retirement community of Acacia Village as an active senior. You can utilize our exceptional rehabilitation services, and upon returning to your apartment can avail yourself of the services of Acacia Home Care. As your healthcare needs change, you find that the Adult Residential Care climate of Wiley Hall better supports you by providing three meals a day, additional services for housekeeping such as laundry and linen service, and assistance with medication reminders. And when you need a skilled nursing level of care, our Health Pavilion is just a few yards away. You are still in your home, where you have friends and neighbors who care about you.
No one wants to think about aging, but it is a fact of life. Think about it, when we are young we plan what we want to do after high school, college, we plan weddings, and then we plan for our children’s future. Now is the time to plan for yourself, talk to your family, consider the options you have available to you. It’s better to start 5 years too soon, than 5 minutes too late.
More people of our generation want to age in place. At Acacia Village, the residents are smart. They realized that it’s important to make a move to an Independent Living Retirement Community while they are still young and mobile enough to enjoy all that we offer here. At the same time, they feel secure in the knowledge that if their health care needs ever change, they’ll have priority access to the very best higher levels of care right here on the Masonic Care Community campus. The most important component is access to our exceptional rehabilitation services. We’ve seen time and time again, residents of Acacia Village who’ve gone into the hospital for a variety of different reasons and been able to easily transition to our rehab for recovery. Many made the move back to Acacia Village quickly and seamlessly by enlisting help from physical therapists with Acacia Home Care. Many residents of Acacia Village use Acacia Home Care or other agencies to help them remain independent in the own apartments, so that they never require higher levels of care. For those that do, they can choose the Adult Residential Care climate of Wiley Hall where they receive three nutritiously prepared meals each day, housekeeping, laundry and linen service and assistance with medication reminders. Should they require skilled nursing, our Health Pavilion is just a few yards away. The most important thing to remember is that here at the Masonic Care Community this is home, where you have friends and neighbors who care about you.