As people age, they are more prone to physical and mental health issues due to their weakened immune systems and increased vulnerability. It is important for seniors to have access to quality healthcare resources in order to maintain their overall well-being, and these types of resources can be facilitated by affordable housing providers who are serious about their residents’ health.
Why is senior affordable housing a public health issue?
Affordable housing is a major public health issue because it directly impacts the physical and mental well-being of seniors. Without access to affordable housing options, seniors are at risk for homelessness, social isolation and a lack of medical care. As people age, their need for safe and secure living environments increases in order to maintain their overall health.
Studies have shown that senior affordable housing can reduce hospitalization rates among older adults by 19%, leading to savings of $1,300 per person in health care costs annually. Research also indicates that individuals over age 55 who live in independent residential communities have a 37% lower mortality rate than those living alone or with family members. Elderly individuals living in subsidized apartments are also much less likely to suffer serious falls than those living on their own or with family members.
How does senior affordable housing impact mental health?
Senior affordable housing can have a positive impact on senior mental health. When seniors have access to safe, secure and affordable housing, they are more likely to lead fuller lives and engage in meaningful activities. Research has shown that people who are housed are more likely to report better physical and mental health than those without adequate housing.
By providing senior citizens with the security of affordable housing, they feel less anxiety around making plans for the future. Affordable housing reduces the financial burden on seniors, which may otherwise prevent them from accessing other forms of therapy or social activities.
Seniors also benefit from increased social interaction when living with other members of their community as well as improved access to medical services, nutrition guidance, transportation options and vocational opportunities. All of these factors contribute to overall mental well-being.
Having a stable home environment is particularly beneficial for seniors living with conditions such as depression or anxiety. Accessible, affordable housing allows them to create a sense of purpose while developing meaningful relationships with other members of their community.
What is Embrace Living doing to promote senior health and well-being?
Last year, Embrace Living launched “Support Better Living,” a giving campaign designed to further our impact on resident health and well-being by introducing wellness training to our community team members, revitalizing common community spaces and expanding programs to more residents.
Some priorities for this campaign are making wellness programming accessible for all residents, investing in ability-friendly exercise equipment, providing physical therapy assessments and connecting residents with external mental health support.
We’ve already seen positive health outcomes at our communities. Our social service coordinators track resident health, and in 2022 we saw that across the board our residents were below the national average for conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol and heart disease when compared to their generational peers.
Access to senior affordable housing is a serious public health issue that we at Embrace Living are working hard to address by not only providing quality living spaces for seniors, but also making sure that our residents have access to health and wellness resources and programming. This promotes positive mental and physical health outcomes that are literally saving the lives of our residents.
To learn more about how you can support our residents’ health, visit https://embraceliving.org/give/
Feel free to contact us for any future resident, current resident, or general inquiries.