Country Living for Seniors: Is Aging in the Country Better than Aging in a City?
Country living for seniors may not be the kind of challenge that everyone feels up to tackling. After all, there are plenty of potential drawbacks to living in a small country town, including less job opportunities, a need for more health care options, and a lack of adequate social services, just to name a few.
But for those whose lives are rooted in farm fresh eggs and freshly tilled soil, a rural area could be just the right choice for healthy aging. When comparing urban versus country living for seniors, those who live in rural areas have some significant advantages over their “city mouse” cousins, including:
A slower, more affordable lifestyle
Living in the country generally means houses, groceries, and other life necessities cost six percent less, on average, than living in the city. Another benefit of country life is that you’re less likely to feel the effects of lifestyle inflation. Most country folk don’t want to spend their hard-earned savings on a BMW to “keep up with the Joneses”, which is particularly beneficial when it comes to saving for retirement.
A strong social support system
According to Marcia Ory, PhD, Professor of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences at Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health, country dwellers have close knit relationships and social ties with members of their community that are important for optimal mental and physical health as they age. For some seniors living in a rural area, moving to an urban or suburban area can actually do more harm than good. “They suddenly find themselves in a new place without their old friends or people they saw in the community, at church, or wherever, and it’s hard,” said Ory.
Opportunities to stay active outdoors
A lack of physical activity is often a concern for seniors regardless of where they live, but country living for seniors means there are plenty of ways to stay active outdoors. Older adults can enjoy fishing, gardening, bird watching, or taking a walk along their property with family or friends. If the winters are cold in your rural town, playing in the snow with grandchildren and ice skating are fun cold weather activities that seniors can enjoy.
If you or someone you love is aging in a rural setting, consider taking note of the many available benefits in your area that seniors living in cities may be missing out on. Capitalizing on the affordability and social strength of rural communities can help seniors stay healthy and active, both mentally and physically, for many years to come.
For aging adults who enjoy the country and who require assistance with daily living, Grand Oaks of Okeechobee is a quaint and cozy assisted living community that offers enriching activities, chef-prepared meals, quality medical care, and so much more.
For more information or to schedule a tour, call 863-824-6770 or visit www.grandoaksokeechobee.com.