More Men Moving Into Senior Residences

Brookdale Senior Living announced this week that they have seen a 7.5% growth rate in males moving into their senior living communities, particularly independent living.  See the press release below for more…

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug 08, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — . In the face of conventional wisdom, which has long proven true, women live longer than men. Men, however, are making a comeback of sorts as more men than ever are moving into senior living residences nationwide. Historically female-dominated, senior living communities are welcoming more men for a variety of reasons, including the fact that men are now living longer, too.

“We do have an upward trend in male move-ins, year to year,” said Glenn Sheriff, senior director of marketing analytics for Brookdale Senior Living, one of the nation’s leading senior living operators serving 52,000 residents in 35 states. “The most significant numbers, however, are noted when looking at the overall trend from 2004 until now.”

Senior living communities offer a variety of lifestyles and activity levels by providing independent living, assisted living, and Alzheimer’s and dementia care options, along with rehabilitation and skilled nursing centers. These varied lifestyles and care options are sometimes offered all on the same campus in continuing care retirement centers (CCRC).

Particularly noteworthy for male move-ins is their growing presence in independent living communities. From 2004 until now, Brookdale has seen a growth rate among male move-ins of about 7.5 percent. For example, Seasons at Glenview Place, a Brookdale Senior Living community in Northbrook, Ill. has experienced a 75 percent increase in the number of men moving in to independent living apartments at the community from 2004-2007.

“We have quite a few couples here, and our Men’s Club has become noticeably more popular in the last few years. In fact, our male population participates in many of our activity and outing options,” said Janet Franz, executive director of Seasons at Glenview. “We gain most of our residents through referrals and word of mouth.”

That more men are now living in senior living housing is a direct result of the fact that men are living longer. One key reason for this is that many men are learning to take better care of themselves.

According the U.S. Census Bureau, 38 percent of deaths in the United States are due to four main causes: diet, physical inactivity, smoking, and alcohol excess. For awhile now, men have been actively making lifestyle changes to combat the negative effects of these factors, including embracing a well-balanced diet and regular physical activity.

In addition, major advances have been made in medicine and medical technology that are helping negate poor lifestyle choices. For instance, a low-dose aspirin regime is often prescribed to reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes, and cholesterol-lowering drugs are more available and effective at reducing the incidence of coronary disease and stroke. Plus, interventional procedures such as coronary angioplasty and coronary artery bypass grafting have saved many men with established coronary disease from serious adverse events such as heart attack, congestive heart failure, and even death.

According to Kevin O’Neil, MD, FACP, a specialist in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and Medical Director of Optimum Life(R) for Brookdale Senior Living, whole person wellness is not just about an individual’s body, but also one’s mind, heart, soul, relationships, and sense of meaning and purpose.

“Research has shown social isolation as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. O’Neil. “Social engagement has now been shown to be a more potent predictor of longevity than age or medical conditions, therefore showcasing the powerful influence of relationships.”

“Sustaining positive relationships with others enhances health and provides a sense of camaraderie and belonging,” said Dr. O’Neil. “A senior living community promotes and encourages social activity, therefore influencing a better quality of life for years to come.”

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