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Can Independent Living Really Take Place in a Retirement Community?

January 31, 2018

Most senior citizens enjoy living independently – and nearly 90 percent prefer to live in their own homes for as long as they possibly can, according to a study by AARP. It makes sense since home is familiar and filled with memories, is where seniors are in charge, and is near friends and family.  However, as time goes by, living alone carries downsides that become harder to ignore: maintaining the home becomes difficult if not impossible, a greater sense of isolation or loneliness can occur (especially after a spouse dies), nutrition may begin to suffer, and the home itself may become unsafe where falls, burns or other injuries may take place. In recognition of all of this, The Saybrook at Haddam has developed a community that puts independence at the center of everything we do – providing an active, involved and, yet, private and respectful environment for retired seniors, those needing assisted living services and those facing memory-related illnesses.

Our community setting means residents can simply open their doors to find plenty of activity – and many happy faces.  Through the community, residents easily create new friendships and take part in many different types of social, cultural and educational events and activities. Studies have shown daily interaction, as well as having relationships and joyful conversations, is crucial for seniors and can provide heart-health benefits such as lower blood pressure, cholesterol and stress levels, increased physical activity, and the ability to avoid bad habits of bored people such as smoking or over eating. Studies also show that important social networks among older adults can result in better executive function and episodic memory, slower cognitive decline, and even less wear and tear on the body.

At the same time, residents at The Saybrook at Haddam enjoy a sense of privacy and independence when they are in their own apartment. Here, they can visit with friends and family, enjoy quiet time reading or working on hobbies, chat on the phone, or write letters and emails.  This is their home, furnished with their belongings, where they can live and socialize as they did in their own homes.

Some residents keep their car at The Saybrook at Haddam so they can remain independent by being able to drive where they want when they want. Others greatly appreciate making use of our van, which regularly travels to shops, medical appointments, churches, local restaurants and other interesting places.

Striking a balance between preserving a sense of independence while providing an increasing level of care is an ongoing pursuit at The Saybrook at Haddam – but it is clearly one of the best reasons we have been so successful over the years.  We love when family and friends join us for meals, special events, movies, or for personal visits with residents.  And family and friends tell us they love the peace of mind knowing their parents are no longer isolated, receiving wonderful care, eating better, staying active, and making friends.  It’s how senior living should be!

For a private tour of The Saybrook at Haddam or its Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood, please fill out the form below or contact David Downey at 860-345-3779.

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Seniors and Happiness

January 15, 2018

The dictionary tells us that “happiness” is a state of well-being and contentment, and the Declaration of Independence tells us that the “pursuit of happiness” is one of our basic rights.  But, what is happiness exactly?  How do people – including senior citizens – achieve a life of happiness?  It is interesting that the concept means so many different things to different people at various stages of  their lives. At The Saybrook at Haddam, we spend a great deal of time thinking about residents’ happiness because, more than anything, families want to know that their mom or dad, grandparent or other relative will be happy living here.Recently, the New York Times published an article that created a direct link between seniors and happiness.  The writer followed a group of seniors for several years, noting their daily activities, attitudes, and physical abilities. Over time, he realized these seniors “focused not on their declining abilities but on things that they could still do and that they found rewarding.”

In another article, Psychology Today magazine states, regardless of age, “much of happiness is under personal control. Regularly indulging in small pleasures (such as warm baths!), getting absorbed in challenging activities, setting and meeting goals, maintaining close social ties, and finding purpose beyond oneself are all actions that increase life satisfaction.”

This all is music to our ears! In our effort to create a happy community, our activities team works tirelessly to develop a well-rounded selection of social, recreational, physical, cultural and educational opportunities that appeal to residents (and their guests).  This means we have regular events, activities, guests and performers at our community – and that we travel around our region to take advantage of local concert halls, museums, state parks, garden centers, libraries, shops, and restaurants.  We often welcome ideas from residents to introduce new activities or go places that interest them.  This involvement is important and rewarding to seniors.

We also use daily meals as an opportunity to promote happiness.  Residents never dine alone, and they have many choices where they eat: in our beautiful circular main dining room, our elegant private dining rooms, our courtyard, the country kitchen, or in Safe Harbor’s family-style dining room. Residents and guests tell us our meals are delicious, and we know they are also nutritious, a little adventurous, and full of seasonal favorites. Good food goes a long way towards happiness!

One of the best parts of our community is how “tuned in” we each become with one another.  We can easily recognize when residents are not their usual selves (not “happy”) and we can tell when residents may not be feeling their best, physically or emotionally.  While we are careful to respect privacy, we always are touched when we see neighbors reaching out to neighbors, lending a hand and being of service to each other.  These are the intangible parts of happiness that are always so important to pursue.

The New York Times suggests spending time with seniors will change your perspective and increase your own level of happiness.  Looking around at the smiling faces at The Saybrook at Haddam, we couldn’t agree more!

For a private tour of The Saybrook at Haddam or its Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood, please fill out the form below or contact David Downey at 860-345-3779.

Request Information or Schedule a Tour

We’re happy to answer any questions you have and provide additional information about The Saybrook at Haddam.

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