Residents Stay Young and Healthy by Staying Engaged
Every day the clubhouses at Seabrook buzz with energy. Residents at the Erickson Living managed and developed senior living community in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, are exercising, going to clubs, dining with friends, learning in lectures and classes, taking field trips, enjoying a movie or live performance…the choice of activities is endless. There is something for everyone, even those who prefer just to relax and enjoy the engaging atmosphere on campus.
Besides being fun, this regular engagement with others around shared interests delivers important benefits: It enhances residents' emotional well-being and cognitive function, and may even help stave off certain age-related illnesses.
Studies Prove the Point
The National Institute on Aging cites research that shows "a strong correlation between social interaction and health and well-being among older adults."
That's why so many seniors are opting to live in communities like Seabrook, where they can stay active and connected. All the amenities – gym, pool, theater, restaurants, game rooms, art studio, TV studio, and clubs – are under one roof, so it's easy to engage with peers. Outings to cultural events are always on the schedule as well as a variety on-campus programs including the Unity and Cultural Festival sponsored by the Seabrook's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. With so much to do on and off campus, residents can pursue long-time hobbies and discover exciting new interests.
In addition, Erickson Living's "Embrace Wellness" initiative provides residents and employees with programs to support a healthy lifestyle. The Program is designed to create greater awareness to support all of the dimensions of wellness: social, physical, emotional, intellectual, occupational, spiritual, and environmental.
"With more than 100 clubs and activities on campus, you'll never run out of things to do on campus. You can choose to do as little or as much as you want. And everyone is so friendly on campus that it is so easy to make friends here," says Senior Manager of Resident Services Michelle Aguilar.
Residents also get acquainted with their neighbors over meals in campus restaurants and by striking up conversations in the hallways or the campus clubhouses. Next year, after Seabrook completes its Town Square Clubhouse renovation, a new pub and additional community and gathering spaces will be available for residents to enjoy socializing.
The Downside of Aging in Place
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 11 million seniors live alone, usually in their family home. Many view "aging in place" as a badge of independence, but living alone can be isolating.
Then, there's the time and expense of home maintenance. Unfortunately, houses age right along with their occupants; deferring maintenance can erode a home's value and your nest egg.
"We constantly hear, 'I should have done this sooner,' even from the reluctant movers. Once they start living an active, maintenance-free life, they look ahead, not back. They're free to have fun instead of fixing the roof or mowing the lawn," says Seabrook's Sales Director Dan Simms.
He adds, "I encourage prospective residents to explore their options and be open to the wonderful lifestyle we offer. Having a sense of community and purpose makes such a difference. Our residents are enjoying independent, healthy, and vibrant lives."
Living Their Best Lives
Tom and Maureen Sullivan heartily concur, calling the move to Seabrook "the best decision we ever made." They left the 55+ community where they'd lived happily for 16 years because the number and frequency of activities were dwindling.
"We were very active and didn't want to slow down," says Tom. "At the same time, we needed to start planning in case our situation changed, and we needed extra care. We didn't want to be a burden to our kids."
The couple was drawn to Seabrook's active, maintenance-free lifestyle, as well as the higher levels of health care available on campus. The community was close to their four adult children, 14 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. "It was ideal in every way," says Maureen.
Within days of moving into their modern, spacious apartment home, they had joined the theater group, the movie club, and the TV studio. "We wanted to be around other creative, energetic people, and to try new things," says Maureen. "I'm now an anchor on the Friday morning TV show, which is so much fun. The two of us are in 7-10 clubs. You do as much or as little as you want, but it's more fun to join in."
Tom and Maureen agree that making new friends at Seabrook was easy. "Go to dinner and ask to be seated with new people every night," she advises, "or go to a club meeting. Once you're in a group, you're set. They are constantly planning activities, and there are at least 15 things to do every day."
Adds Tom, "Plus, discovering other people's backgrounds is wonderful. We've met the kindest, most interesting people here."
She and Tom say they feel younger and more vital since moving in. They love their neighbors and friends, the sense of community, and the general feeling of happiness they see in the residents and staff.
Says Maureen, "Our grandson, who's 35, told us that moving here was a gift to the family because they don't have to worry about us. To be honest, it was a gift to us, because we don't have to worry about anything – maintenance, bad weather, falling. Everything we could possibly want is right here, and we love it."
Time for a New Adventure
Jane Veth came to Seabrook single and is having a ball. Like the Sullivans, she lived in a large home but was beginning to tire of it. "All the maintenance, indoors and out…I'd had enough, so I started looking for my next adventure," she says.
She had read about Seabrook several years earlier, when her dad was looking for a new place to live and wanted to learn more. "I was intrigued about buying the apartment and getting back 90 percent of my entrance fee for my heirs," she says. "Financially, it made sense.
"Safety was also important to me as a single woman living alone," she adds. "The gatehouse checks everyone coming in and out, so I didn't have to worry. I liked the grounds and the amenities. Best of all, Seabrook is just minutes from my daughter and grandkids. It really ticked all the boxes."
Just to be sure, Jane joined the Priority List, which enabled her to reserve the floor plan of her choice and to attend events before she committed. "Being on the list gave me the chance to 'test drive' the community, to see if it was right for me. Everyone I met was so friendly and happy. I knew I'd wind up here."
Always an avid exerciser, Jane does Tai Chi three times a week, plays pickle ball on and off campus, line dances, shoots billiards, and sees a movie almost every night. She logs several miles a day without trying because everything is connected by interior walkways. The walkways also provide Jane with the opportunity to catch up with her neighbors and exchange friendly hellos.
Like Tom and Maureen, Jane encourages everyone to move while they are young and healthy enough to enjoy everything Seabrook has to offer. "The social part of living here is so important," she says, "You feel like a kid on a new adventure. I can't wait to see what's next!"
Seabrook is a not-for-profit organization, developed and managed by Erickson Living®. The community is governed by its own board of directors affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community.
About Seabrook: Seabrook, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 98-acre campus in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,400 residents and 750 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information about Seabrook can be found at SeabrookCommunity.com.