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Prioritizing Mental Health in Senior Living

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Since 1949, May has been set aside for Mental Health Awareness Month. Its purpose is to raise awareness and educate the country about the 18.1% of Americans who live with mental illnesses, such as depression and bipolar disorder. Learn how Leisure Care communities across the country are prioritizing the mental health of residents while following social distancing guidelines and health protocols.

Leisure Care Focuses on Mental Health

Mental health is important every month, but it has taken center stage in the last few months as social distancing protocols have been implemented across the country. In honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to share how our communities are adapting and overcoming to continue providing the research-backed therapies we know and love.

At Leisure Care, social distancing does not mean social isolation. We’ve always been a company that values creativity. Now, more than ever, we must rely on our creativity to keep residents healthy and engaged while following social distancing guidelines. Leisure Care communities offer residents a variety of therapies that are engaging, intentional, and above all, FUN.

art-therapy-leisure-careArt Therapy

Art therapy is a unique and powerful form of self-expression. In art therapy, residents create and then discuss their art. The benefits of art therapy include stress reduction and better communication, especially for seniors with dementia. It even has physical benefits including reduced inflammation and improved circulation because of the light but consistent activity that art typically involves. Residents at Leisure Care have access to a variety of art supplies delivered to their apartments and are encouraged to participate in virtual community art events.

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Music Therapymusic-therapy-leisure-care

Over 90% of people say they have felt a physical response while listening to music. There’s no doubt that music is a powerful tool with the ability to transport us to a different time and place. In music therapy, residents play instruments, write songs, sing, listen to music, discuss lyrics, create music, or go through relaxation and meditation while listening to music. For many residents, music sparks memories and encourages discussions and story-telling.

More recently, our residents have enjoyed being serenaded through their windows or on their balconies by employees, family, and friends. Some communities have had virtual dance parties, and others have held virtual concerts.

pet-therapy-leisure-carePet Therapy

Every one of Leisure Care’s communities is pet friendly. Sure, we love seeing furry friends around our communities, but honestly, our pets play a crucial role in the health and wellness of residents. Constant companions, pets help combat loneliness and isolation, bringing comfort, reducing stress, and improving overall wellness. Boasting emotional, physical, and mental benefits for seniors, pet therapy is a crucial part of aging well.

Our pets are part of our Leisure Care family – so much so that we want everyone to have one! In fact, one community recently gave each resident a fish to care for in their own apartment home.

Horticulture Therapyhorticulture-therapy-leisure-care

Horticulture therapy, also called gardening therapy or grounding therapy has extensive benefits for people of all ages, especially seniors. Increasing mobility, boosting brain health and heart health, reducing the risk of stroke, and lowering levels of stress are all benefits of horticulture therapy. It’s a therapeutic activity that can be done year-round and is an active part of every one of our memory care communities.

Residents at Leisure Care communities continued to practice their green thumbs while social distancing. Many of our communities delivered plants to resident’s apartment homes.

At Leisure Care, we have a laser focus on the health and wellness of our residents. We know that mental health is just as important as physical health and strive to meet the social, emotional, physical, and mental needs of our residents year-round. How have you seen your loved one thrive at Leisure Care community? Share your stories with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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About the author

Alissa has been working in marketing and the senior living industry for over 8 years. With a B.S. in advertising from the University of Illinois, Alissa has worked all over the world as a freelance communications strategist and writer. Published in Forbes, Senior Finance Advisor, Alzheimers.net and on other leading senior care blogs, she leverages her working knowledge of the senior care industry with leading research and best practices to create engaging content benefitting seniors and their caregivers. In her free time, Alissa loves to travel, read, cook, and spend time with her family.

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Retirement should feel like you're on a permanent vacation which is exactly why our communities celebrate freedom from obligation, helping you pursue new interests.

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