Don’t Fear Death, Fear the Unlived Life

blogpic_laurenThe senior living industry is shifting gears and moving beyond simply providing care and services to help seniors with the aging process. That last sentence—in and of itself—just sounds completely boring and slightly clinical, which is probably why communities are taking a new approach to the golden years of the seniors they seek to serve.

Seniors want more–and why wouldn’t they? They want life experiences, options, entertainment, and opportunities for fitness, outings and food–among other things. Basically they are not done living, so moving to a senior residence shouldn’t mean the end of something good; it should be the beginning of something better.

When their children call and ask how they are doing, do they want them to say “Oh, they had my favorite cinnamon oatmeal for breakfast this morning, and then I watched wheel of fortune with my neighbor, and some kids in the neighborhood dropped off socks they collected to keep our feet warm.”?

Or would you prefer something along the lines of this – “Well, I started off my morning in the water aerobics class–our instructor Molly picks out the best music, then they had a scheduled trip to a Broadway performance in town and we just got back and had a summer happy hour social.”

People should never stop living, and senior “living” communities are starting to pick up on this and run with it. Living is what keeps us going—it keeps our minds, bodies and spirits awake and full of zeal. Continuing to live gives us new stories to share and new memories to cherish.

Sure, seniors have a lot of stories to share from their youth, from years spent raising a family and from vacations of long ago, but why not give them new stories to tell–stories that come from new experiences gained while living at your senior living community?

You can plan experiences that everyone can enjoy, or you can even help one resident experience something extraordinary. For example, Buckner Westminster Place in Longview recently supported a resident that had been dreaming of skydiving for several years but had not gotten around to it.

They scheduled transportation for any resident wanting to go to the airport to watch her jump. Then that same community shared her experience with the media in order to inspire others. It’s safe to say that this is a story she will be sharing for a long time.

Age should never define a person. Just because we get older does not mean we have to stop having fun or experiencing new things. I don’t care how old you are, there are still things that you have not tried, seen, or felt. In words made famous by George Strait, “Don’t wait to live life, because it won’t wait for you.” Help your residents to keep on living and to share their stories, both new and old.

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