Senior Living for Retired Veterans
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, almost half of America’s veterans are age 65 or older. This means that many veterans are seeking a lifestyle that supports successful aging and addresses their unique needs as veterans. Often, senior living communities are the perfect solution, offering a lively, invigorating lifestyle in which senior veterans can flourish.
Health and Wellness Opportunities
Although health is important for everyone, for senior veterans, access to the services and activities that support wellness can be a top priority. The National Council on Aging found that 57% of senior veterans have three or more chronic diseases. They also have higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, chronic pain and lung disease than the general population. In addition, senior veterans may experience residual effects from wounds or exposure to hazardous substances sustained during their years of service.
Senior living communities strive to create a culture of well-being, ensuring that residents have ready access to opportunities that support whole-person health. At Grace Ridge, wellness programs include a complimentary membership to both Phifer Family YMCA and Mimosa Hills Golf & Country Club, which makes it easy to choose health-boosting activities like swimming laps at the indoor pool or hitting the links for a round of golf. Annual health screenings and nutritional counseling with a registered dietitian support a proactive approach to health and wellness.
Studies show that approximately 25% of older adults are socially isolated, while 44% of senior veterans report feeling lonely. Unfortunately, loneliness and social isolation are linked to serious health risks, including a higher risk of premature death, dementia, heart disease, depression and anxiety.
Senior living communities are, by their very nature, social. Planned events and impromptu card games in the common areas invite seniors to connect with others and create new, meaningful friendships. At Grace Ridge, a vital community life includes a variety of interest groups and clubs that encourage residents to engage with each other through favorite pursuits and hobbies.
War veterans often share a special bond. They’ve had experiences that non-veterans may not be able to understand, and many have been profoundly affected by those experiences. In veteran-friendly senior living communities like Grace Ridge, retired veterans find camaraderie based in shared experiences and a supportive community that honors their service.
The Benefits of Four-Legged Companions
Animal lovers need no data to prove that pets are wonderful companions. Nevertheless, there are studies that suggest having a pet offers physical, mental and emotional health benefits. Interacting with animals can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lower blood pressure, encourage physical activity, reduce loneliness and improve mood. For veterans, there can be additional benefits. The unconditional love that pets, especially dogs, have for their owners can be a helpful complement to other treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which an estimated 30% of Vietnam veterans have experienced.
Pet-friendly senior living communities like Grace Ridge welcome residents’ furry companions, knowing that pets are a beloved part of the family, too.
The Therapeutic Effects of Nature
Research suggests people who spend 120 minutes a week in greenspace are more likely to report good health and higher well-being. While everyone can benefit from spending time in nature, veterans can be particularly well served. In fact, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recommends walking, hiking, biking, or gardening as means of coping during times of stress.
Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Grace Ridge has breathtaking views and natural surroundings that invite exploration. We also have raised garden beds and a pollinator garden where residents can enjoy the great outdoors and a healthful harvest.
A Plan for Life
The realities of aging suggest that everyone, veterans and non-veterans alike, can benefit by having a plan to take care of future health care needs. At a Life Plan Community like Grace Ridge, an on-campus continuum of care ensures that residents who move into independent living will have access to long-term care — including assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing — if their care needs ever change. Knowing there’s a plan for the future can bring tremendous peace of mind.
Grace Ridge: A Veteran-Friendly Community
If you’re intrigued by the benefits of a community that supports and celebrates veterans, contact Grace Ridge and schedule a tour. We think you’ll feel right at home in our fun-loving, amenity-rich, maintenance-free community.