The Benefits of Walkable Neighborhoods: Why Choose a Senior Living Community for Retirement
You have a lot of options when it comes to where you live. In fact, where you make your home is one of the most personal and most important decisions you might make in your life. It’s especially important as you evaluate your senior living options.
According to the latest research, walkable neighborhoods are beneficial for people of all ages, but, in particular, they have a compounding effect on the benefits of independent living for seniors. Before you get too far into your research on the best senior living neighborhoods, let’s define walkable neighborhoods.
What makes a neighborhood walkable?
Walkable neighborhoods aren’t just defined by their number of sidewalks. According to the Mid-America Regional Council, walkable neighborhoods include:
- Dedication from the entire community to make pedestrians the highest priority
- Roads designed for the safety and comfort of pedestrians
- Speed limits that focus on pedestrian activities
In some cases, such as in most senior living neighborhoods, cars are eliminated entirely or relegated to certain areas only. Now that we’ve defined walkable neighborhoods, let’s dive into their benefits as it pertains to senior living.
Walkable neighborhoods are safer.
Because most senior living neighborhoods are designed to encourage walking, they are inherently safer. Most vehicles are only allowed in designated parking lots or on roads that are built to maintain a safe distance from pedestrians and that have slow speed limits.
Walkable neighborhoods provide a number of health benefits.
As you evaluate your senior living options, it’s important to focus on finding a community that will help you to maintain your health as you age. The simple act of walking every day is one of the easiest ways to stay active, and that is why you will find that most senior living neighborhoods are filled with walking and biking paths. Many communities even have beautiful gardens, lakes or other beautiful landscaping to make your daily walks even more enjoyable. Walkable senior living communities provide the opportunity to incorporate more activity into everyday life, at a time in your life when you need it most.
Walkable neighborhoods also encourage more social interaction.
In addition to the safety and health benefits of walkable senior living communities, they also provide an opportunity for increased social interaction, which can lead to a happier and healthier retirement. In fact, many senior living residents are surprised at how many friends they make in their community. According to the Harvard Study of Adult Development, friendships like these are extremely important to your sense of happiness and wellbeing.
How to choose from so many senior living neighborhoods.
There are a lot of senior living options from which to choose. LCS, alone, manages more than 130 communities nationwide. Each one reflects the best in local interest, style, architecture, history and traditions. And many of our senior living communities are walkable neighborhoods, with senior apartments and independent living homes all connected through scenic walkways to your main amenities, from dining and arts and crafts to grab and go coffee shops and stores. As you look at your senior living options, our website is a great place to begin your research.