Charlotte, NC. May 1, 2013
Today’s retirees share a common goal: To stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Until recently, however, it has been difficult to determine which retirement communities best facilitate that goal. Thanks to the results of a new survey conducted by Senior Hospitality International, the task just got a whole lot easier.
A select group of communities in North Carolina is being recognized as The Healthiest Retirement Communities in North Carolina, and honored for providing “Retirement Living at its Healthiest™.” Included in this group is The Oaks at Whitaker Glen, in Raleigh, NC. The whole list may be accessed at www.HealthyRCs.org.
To receive this recognition, The Oaks at Whitaker Glen and the other communities on the list had to achieve a superlative HealthyScore in the following five areas:
1. Healthy Campus Amenities (Outdoor & Indoor Options)
2. Healthy Resident Activities (Physical, Social, Intellectual, Spiritual, and Cultural Options )
3. Healthy Resident Involvement (Resident-Led Clubs, Groups, & Committee Options)
4. Healthy Resident Dining (Venue & Entrée Options)
5. Healthy Resident Care (Health Facilities & Service Options)
“The main characteristic that sets these communities apart is their comprehensiveness,” said J. Keesey Hayward, President of Senior Hospitality International. “On a single campus they combine the resort services and amenities of Active Retirement Communities with the healthcare services and amenities of Supportive Retirement Communities. They can provide for the current lifestyle wants as well as the future healthcare needs of active retirees. Both aspects must be present in order for a community to truly provide a healthy retirement environment.”
The communities being recognized in this way represent several quiet paradigm shifts that have been changing the very nature of the retirement community industry over the past decade:
· A shift from a focus on “Caring for the Elderly” to “Serving Seniors”
· A shift from a focus on “Physical Health” to “Holistic or Multi-dimensional Health”
· A shift from a focus on “Getting Well” (cure) to “Staying Healthy” (prevention)
· A shift from an identity as “Healthcare Communities” to “Healthy Communities”
· A shift from an industry identity as “Senior Housing” and “Senior Living” to “Senior Hospitality”
Hayward gives the following helpful advice to anyone investigating their retirement community options:
1. If a community offers “continuing care,” understand that it is an abbreviation for: “continuing care, service, activities, dining, fun, friendship, learning, growth, fellowship, and healthiness.” If a community doesn’t offer “continuing care,” just continue on your way and find one that does.
2. If at all possible, don’t request a brochure before your visit. Most community brochures don’t come close to capturing their energy, beauty and comprehensiveness. Let your own senses rather than the pages of a brochure form your first impressions.
3. Although the minimum age for moving to most of these communities is 62, the ideal age-range is generally 70-75. Younger applicants may find it difficult to qualify financially, and older ones often miss out on many of the active amenities, activities and fun. The longer you wait, the more you’ll miss.
4. One of the best signs of a Healthy Retirement Community is a good number of older residents because the focus on multi-dimensional healthiness allows people to live longer. Remember, the frail resident you see was probably in better shape than you are when he or she moved in! Even if your physical health declines someday, you too will continue to enjoy emotional, intellectual, spiritual and social healthiness.
5. None of these Healthy Retirement Communities are inexpensive, but your health is worth the investment. It’s definitely cheaper to stay home, but it’s not healthier. If your goal is to “stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible,” do yourself a favor visit some of the Healthy Retirement Communities listed at www.HealthyRCs.org.
Senior Hospitality International was founded with the purpose of serving Seniors. With a motto of “Serving Seniors is our Pleasure,” its stated mission is to “help more Seniors experience Retirement Living at its Healthiest™ by helping them identify Healthy Retirement Communities (HealthyRCs).” To be identified as such, communities had to achieve a HealthyScore of at least 140 out of 150 on an objective annual HealthySurvey. To learn more about Senior Hospitality International, visit their website at www.SeniorHospitality.org.
Director of Marketing
The Oaks at Whitaker Glen
J. Keesey Hayward
Senior Hospitality International