The Importance of Life Enrichment & Best Fits in Retirement Communities

The Importance of Life Enrichment in Retirement Communities and Finding the Best Fit

Tips for Gaining an Inside Look at Activities Offered in Senior Living

When looking into retirement living for you or a loved one, the life enrichment opportunities available often play a major role when selecting a community that is the right fit. In today’s world, many often choose to transition to a senior living community at a time when loneliness may be a factor, and increased social, physical, and mental stimulation are desired. 

It’s important to assess the life enrichment department at the retirement communities of interest to you, to make sure they offer the types of daily activities you or your loved one would want to participate in. And, with the COVID-19 pandemic, learning how these communities kept residents engaged, connected with their families, and limited isolation are additional factors that should be closely considered. 

Start Broad

The best course of action would be to start broad by making a list of communities that generally interest you. Maybe they are a suitable distance, maybe the pricing is within your budget, or maybe just by the look of it, you think it could be a potential fit. Then from there, either research each community’s website for their activity options or inquire with the community to see if they can send you a copy of a monthly calendar.

Most communities, like Wesley Ridge, have full calendars that list out all activities and events on a daily basis. This makes it easy to see the variety of options and how regularly there are activities for residents to participate in. By seeing each communities’ monthly offerings, you’ll be able to narrow your list down to a select few that you are confident will have the activities you’re seeking. 

Speak to the Activities Team

Once you have your list tailored to the final few, you should speak directly with the life enrichment staff. By doing this, you’ll get a better sense of the people leading the activities, their credentials and certifications, and if their personalities would work well with you or your loved one. After all, these are the individuals you or your loved one will be spending time with every day, so discovering whether there would be a positive connection or not is important. 

Inquire about COVID-19 and the Community’s Course of Action

Just as important is learning more about how the life enrichment staff reacted to and progressed through the COVID-19 pandemic. With visitor restrictions enforced in senior living communities around the United States, many families relied heavily on the activity personnel to keep their loves ones engaged, stimulated, and happy. They also worked with these individuals in creative ways to stay connected and show their loved ones that although they couldn’t visit, they were close by and thinking of them. Virtual visits, phone calls, and letters quickly became the new normal and those working in activities had to adapt quickly. 

When speaking to the life enrichment staff, make sure to touch on this topic. See how they changed their group activities to individual or socially distanced options, and how they ensured residents stayed in regular communication with their families. To gather even more insight, see if you can speak to a few residents or residents’ families to see how they felt about the community during the pandemic. Being able to hear directly from those most impacted can help make your final decision a lot easier. 

  • Some communities may also have photos, or better yet, videos they can share with you that provide an inside look at their community throughout the pandemic. To view Wesley Ridge’s video, click here or watch below.

Discover Resident Involvement in Activity Planning

Lastly, inquire with each communities’ activity department about resident involvement in the activities that are offered monthly. At all of The Wesley Communities, residents play an active role in planning their calendars of activities, off-site trips, and more. On a regular basis, residents are also surveyed and provide feedback to ensure what is offered to them remains interesting and engaging. If this is something that is important to you, you’ll want to make sure this is offered at the communities you’re looking into so that you or your loved one can contribute ideas that will be taken into consideration.  

By following the suggestions above, you or your loved one will be better able to find the right community with the engaging life enrichment opportunities you’ve been searching for. 

Learn More About Wesley Ridge!

If you’re interested in learning more about the life enrichment opportunities available to all residents at Wesley Ridge or how we kept residents engaged, safe, and happy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, contact us today