Seniors live longer, healthier lives in community settings

Seniors live longer, healthier lives in community settings

By Dr. Margaret White

Recent research provided by Duke University tells us that seniors are living healthier in mind and body as they age. They are also living longer. According to US Census Bureau, the projected population in 2050 for those 65 and older is estimated to be 88.5 million. That number is staggering considering that seniors 65 and older would comprise 20 percent off the population. Seniors currently 65 and older make up 13 percent (37.9 million) of the population. 

Although we know that seniors are living longer and more fulfilled lives, the question becomes why are they living longer more sustainable lives? The answer to that question might not be what you expect.

For many seniors, basic decisions made on a daily basis now require more and more time and eventually become overwhelming or impossible due to medical conditions. For example, maintaining one’s homes, health, and bills…activities many seniors considered basic chores…become problematic.

So it comes as no surprise that we are seeing more and more seniors deciding to move to Atlanta retirement communities and Atlanta continuing care retirement communities to help alleviate unneeded and unwanted stress. Not only are they finding that they no longer have to go through the process of making stressful decisions, they are also adding years on to their life. Research tells us that seniors that choose to move into retirement communities or CCRC’s are living longer because of the ability to interact and socialize with other residents. They also no longer have to worry about daily stresses such as doctor’s appointments, which are now taken care of by staff geriatricians, nurses etc…

Doctors have known for years, but more and more people are coming to realize that those who have regular contact with others generally live happier and longer lives than those who do not. Not only does staying involved with other people help stave off loneliness and health issues such as headaches, heart disease, ulcers and diabetes, it also keeps their minds active and alert. While we know that staying active and alert is necessary for seniors, we are also now seeing a direct correlation with seniors living longer because of it.

Activities seniors can participate in to keep an active mind and body include:

  • Learning to play a musical instrument
  • Playing Scrabble or doing crossword puzzles
  • Interacting with others
  • Switching careers or starting a new one
  • Starting a new hobby, such as crafts, painting, biking or bird-watching
  • Learning a foreign language
  • Volunteering
  • Staying informed about what’s going on in the world
  • Reading

Activities for residents at Park Springs include:

  • Swimming
  • Card games
  • Petanque
  • Yoga
  • Artist workshops
  • Line Dancing

About the Author

Dr.Margaret White, a Board-certified internal and geriatric medicine specialist is the Medical Director at Park Springs CCRC in Stone Mountain, Ga.  She received her medical doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed both her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in geriatrics at the University of Tennessee. From 1992 to 2004, she was assistant professor of internal medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, where she also served as clinician, teacher and supervisor of internal medicine residents and geriatric fellows. She held additional teaching and supervisory responsibilities for medical students and nurse practitioners at the Emory Clinic of the Wesley Woods Geriatric Center. At Park Springs CCRC, White oversees medical and quality assurance programs for all temporary and long-term care services offered on campus. Services provided include home health care and assisted living, as well as Alzheimer’s/dementia care and skilled nursing services at Cobblestone, where members receive professional and compassionate nursing care 24-hours a day.

About Park Springs Medical Services

Park Springs’ Medicare certified clinic is led by Board Certified Geriatrician Dr. Margaret White and two geriatric nurse practitioners. The staff specializes in comprehensive care for older adults. Clinic services are available to all members. In addition to providing medical care, the clinic provides education, health monitoring and wellness promotion. Those members that require skilled nursing are able to receive care for 90 cumulative days free of charge

About Park Springs

Park Springs is a 398-home campus-style community that is situated on 54 acres and surrounded by Stone Mountain Park. A 64-suite health center provides assisted living, skilled nursing and dementia/Alzheimer’s care. The campus style community boasts a 50,000 square foot clubhouse serving meals in four themed dining rooms daily and a 12,000 square foot fitness center with an indoor swimming pool. The Seniors Housing Council of the National Association of Home Builders named Park Springs a Platinum winner. Park Springs is developed by Isakson Living and managed by Life Care Services LLC (LCS), a leader in senior living communities. LCS today serves more than 23,000 residents daily in over 80 communities nationwide. For more information on Park Springs, call 770-879-5006, 800-267-7126 or visit