portrait of senior woman

How Is Senior Living Good for Mental Health?

For most people, retirement is a time of freedom and possibility where they can pursue their interests. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20% of people 55 and older experience some form of mental health concern. This blog post will look at the most common mental health issues for seniors and discuss the benefits of moving to a senior living community in Austell.

Common Mental Health Concerns

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) 

The most common form of anxiety among older adults, GAD is characterized by persistent, excessive worry that’s difficult to control over a period of at least six months. Most anxiety in older adults is often associated with a traumatic event such as an acute illness or a fall. Signs and symptoms of GAD include:

  • Feeling nervous, irritable or on edge
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilating), sweating and/or trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired 
  • Experiencing difficulty concentrating
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems


Depression shouldn’t be considered a normal part of aging, but instead seen as the result of health problems, grief, or social isolation. The CDC says that depression can adversely affect and complicate other chronic diseases because older adults with depression use more medication, visit the doctor and emergency room more often, and stay longer in the hospital. Symptoms will vary from person to person, but some of the most common signs include:

  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Fatigue/lack of energy
  • Having a hard time concentrating or remembering things
  • Sleep disruption — either too much or too little sleep
  • Feeling irritable, nervous or guilty for no apparent reason
  • Body aches and pains, or headaches
  • Digestive problems/abdominal cramps
  • Changes in appetite
  • Withdrawal
  • Thoughts of suicide

Benefits of Moving to a Community

Can moving to a Life Plan Community — like Presbyterian Village Austell — help the mental health of seniors? According to The Age Well Study by the Mather Institute in partnership with Northwestern University, residents of Life Plan Communities report greater emotional, social, physical, intellectual and vocational wellness than those not living in a community. Plus, a 2017 report from the International Council on Active Aging found that in Life Plan Communities with a wellness program, 91% of residents rated their health and wellness as good, very good or excellent. Here are the benefits of choosing a senior living community:

Focus on Health and Wellness

At Presbyterian Village Austell, our wellness programs are integrated into every aspect of community life. This includes our dining options, on-site fitness center with classes and indoor pool, activity calendar filled with community programs, and resident clubs and activities to help you learn and build relationships with others. 

Sense of Belonging

Being around people with similar life experiences and who share your interest in living life to the fullest can provide a sense of belonging. At our community, you’ll quickly find neighbors start to feel like lifelong friends. 

Peace of Mind

At our Life Plan Community, we offer access to a full continuum of care — including Supportive Living, Memory Support, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation — if ever needed, providing you and your family peace of mind for the future.

Revived Purpose

Purpose drives us and motivates us to get up in the morning. At Presbyterian Village of Austell, you can join a club, volunteer with others, or join our residents council to work with others to enhance our community.

Social Connections

Having an opportunity to regularly socialize can help combat feelings of anxiety and depression, while also providing these benefits:

  • More self-confidence
  • Better sleep
  • Enhanced mood
  • Decreased PTSD symptoms
  • Greater empathy for others
  • Increased sense of purpose
  • Improved self-worth
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced hypertension
  • Decreased risk for certain cancers, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis

A Better Lifestyle Includes Mind, Body and Spirit

At Presbyterian Village Austell, we empower all our residents to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life through our diverse and innovative programs and wide range of helpful services and thoughtful amenities. To learn more about the benefits of our Life Plan Community near Atlanta in Austell, GA, contact us here.