Community Living is Healthy Living

Thank you First Advisors and Bessie Brooks Trust

fro L-R: Rachel Laurendeau (resident), Gary Stone and Laura Comer of First Advisors , Brenda Stimpson and Iona Osnoe (residents) and June Koegel, Volunteers of America NNE President/CEO

We are incredibly grateful to First Advisors and the Bessie Brooks Trust

For the third year in a row, First Advisors and Bessie Brooks Trust have provided us with funding for Community Meals at Westrum House in Topsham.

Community Meals at Westrum House and in fact at all of our Senior Houses are an adventure in storytelling, sometimes singing, and strolls down memory lane combined with news and commentary on current events and weather. Always a celebration.

Community Living is Great Living. Ask almost any senior in our affordable senior housing communities what they like about their home and they will tell you that they appreciate the comradery, the support and the ability to spontaneously pull together a neighborly cup of tea, a game of cribbage or a walk when they feel like company.

Turns out that, while living in community makes excellent financial sense, it can also be one of the keys to a longer, healthier life. A study from the New England Journal of Medicine revealed how spending time enjoying leisure activities with friends and loved ones protects cognitive skills and keeps them intact longer.

Another study, by the UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA, CENTRE ON AGING, sites astonishing statistical evidence of the benefits of social interaction on senior health outcomes. Exploring new hobbies and pastimes … volunteering time with a charitable cause you believe in … embracing new challenges – all these help reduce the likelihood, severity and frequency of chronic health conditions, lower rates of depression and increase overall lifespan by years. Not only did seniors live longer, they lived healthier and happier.

But, you really don't have to read studies to understand the benefits of community meals, you just have to be there. It's a great chance to catch up with neighbors, check in on friends, and meet new folks, no matter what age you are.