Everyone wants to live at an assisted living community… but why? What do they offer that traditional retirement homes don’t? Chances are, if you’re just now looking for senior housing for your loved one, “assisted living” comes up a lot.

Assisted living have largely replaced “nursing homes” over the last 20-25 years. In the 80s, nursing homes were synonymous with sterile and dreary homes for elderly, so assisted living was created to change that. Assisted living communities are apartment styled homes that offer a great deal of freedom to seniors and their peers. Staff are nearby to provide care, but residents are not confined to rooms nor are they hounded by medical personnel.

In addition, Assisted living communities are just that “communities,” which means there are a number of programs and activities to get involved in. Everyone’s biggest fear is living in a hole in the wall, but assisted living is not like that. So unless a relative of yours has been living at an assisted living, you may not have heard all the amenities they offer, so here are 5 little known facts about assisted living.

            1.  Fitness Programs

Yoga, Tai Chi, aerobics, hikes, Wii sports and dancing – lots and lots of dancing. Fitness programs are held frequently at assisted living to better the body and mind! The programs are accessible to all seniors and only improve balance, brain function and heart rates – plus, these are very social activities.

            2.  Communal Performance Art

Ever wonder how flash mobs managed to coordinate? Wonder no longer. Many assisted living communities will teach and host flash mobs in their city, but that’s not all. Between Karaoke, theater, and open-mic nights, there’s never a dull moment.

             3. Liberal Arts

Many seniors wish they had gotten involved with painting when they were younger or taken up an instrument. Assisted living communities encourage this as much as they provide opportunities for it. Assisted living host music and cooking sessions, pottery and oil painting classes to ensure everyone has a chance to unleash their creative side.

             4. Continued Education

There are many opportunities within assisted living to learn new skills. Whether you want to learn computer skills, a second language or simply enroll in a subject that’s always interested you, assisted living communities often provide courses (or at the very least a discount). Many elders take advantage of this to attend lectures and classes at little to no charge!

              5. Pets, Cub Scouts, Golf, and more!

If you want to experience life to the fullest, visit an esteemed assisted living. Many have pets roaming the halls (yes, you can bring a pet) that are friendly and full of life. More than that though, assisted living communities tend to partner with organizations of varying generations. Some work in conjunction with preschools, others provide opportunities to help cub scouts or volunteer at the aquarium. Plus, if you love to golf, many will even offer transport to the nearest club.

There’s never a dull moment in assisted living. These communities ensure that elders are experiencing “life” – hence, the “living” in “assisted living.” These are not sterile institutions, but genuine homes! So now that you know, the type of life you’ll be living, let’s get to searching.