Status message

We’re Hiring! Click here to see available positions.

Dr. Narrett on The Health Benefits of Living in A Vibrant Retirement Community

January 31, 2024
residents walking to yoga class with yoga mats

Now more than ever, people are evaluating their personal health as a combination of their physical condition and their mental well-being and happiness. This evolution is heartily embraced by the health care teams at Erickson Senior Living and its communities.

We spoke with Chief Medical Officer Dr. Matt Narrett to learn more about how this innovative, integrated approach to health and well-being provides residents with all the resources they need for a vibrant life.

Q: What makes the approach to health and well-being at Erickson Senior Living communities unique? 

A: Erickson Senior Living is committed to the health and well-being of each resident and team member. In fact, it is so important to us that we made it a core 'brand promise' to everyone who lives and works at our communities. 

To fulfill that promise, we have made significant ongoing investments in well-being resources. Our integrative approach combines the very best of traditional medicine and lifestyle approaches, exclusive to senior living. It begins with the medical centers located conveniently at each community, staffed by Erickson Health Medical Group professionals whose sole focus is providing expert care to residents.

Our health insurance program, Erickson Advantage (EA), available exclusively to residents of our communities and designed to suit their individual needs, has earned the coveted five-star rating for quality and service from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the past four years. 

While excellent care is essential, we believe it must be combined with healthy lifestyle practices to achieve optimal outcomes. Well-being in mind, body, and spirit requires a holistic approach that works exceptionally well in community living. As part of a community, residents have nearly endless opportunities to engage in favorite activities and connect with friends and neighbors. 

Q: You've been practicing medicine for more than 40 years. What are the biggest changes you see in the approach to health and well-being?

A: The perspective of health care providers as it relates to older adults has evolved greatly. Years ago, patients hoped to make it to retirement, put up their feet, and were relatively inactive--based on the belief that the golden years were all about relaxing. 

Now, however, we know that too much inactivity is unhealthy and can lead to physical ailments, illness, and loneliness. Through countless studies and research, we recognize the importance of being physically active and socially connected at all ages. Having meaning and a purpose in life are vital to health and well-being, which is why Erickson Senior Living communities are such a good fit for many people. 

Q: Retirement and moving to a new home are meaningful life changes. How do Erickson Senior Living communities support new residents?

A: Our team members have years of special expertise in making the move to one of our communities as easy and stress-free as possible. From your first visit, our experienced team members are invested in learning what matters most to you, to help determine the apartment home that best fits your lifestyle. 

Our personal planning and moving experts have strong relationships with trusted vendors, if you need downsizing, coordinating, or moving help. On your first day, our personal move-in coordinator, Welcome Home representative, and resident services coordinator are on hand for anything you might need. Resident ambassadors are excited to welcome you, show you around the community, and make introductions. 

Q: We're learning more and more about the negative effects of isolation. How does a community lifestyle benefit your health?

A: For medical professionals, this issue is front and center. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy recently raised the alarm on the dramatic impact of social isolation and loneliness on health, including increased risk for cardiovascular disease, dementia, and depression. Meanwhile, the Harvard Study on Adult Development demonstrated a correlative view--that having meaningful relationships is perhaps the most important predictor of good health and well-being for seniors. 

Perhaps the very best reason to move into an Erickson Senior Living community is the wonderful opportunity to connect with others. Whether you consider yourself to be an introvert or extrovert, you can thrive in an environment with neighbors who share your interests--and you can learn new things too! Community living truly can be the key that unlocks the door to health and well-being.

Q: What do residents enjoy most about living at Erickson Senior Living communities?

A: I love hearing from residents who share how they are trying something new for the first time in their lives. This could be something as simple as starting to exercise in the fitness center or joining a volunteer group teaching English as a second language. I encourage you to visit an Erickson Senior Living community to see the vibrant lifestyle for yourself!

Find a community near you to learn more about our commitment to your health and well-being.