A male and female senior swinging.

Today’s Senior Living Communities are Different than in the Past

Imagine living in a beautifully designed environment where you have the latest technology at your fingertips. You enjoy a wide selection of delicious and healthy food, and you can choose among an endless array of hobbies and activities to entertain and enlighten you. You never worry about cleaning, cooking, or maintenance. Sounds more like a hotel rather than a senior living community, doesn’t it?!

Just a few years ago, most seniors would have considered such a life to be a fantasy. But over the past 15 years, upgrades in dining, physical environments, activities, services, technology, and more have transformed the “nursing homes of the past into some of the best retirement communities you can imagine. Attractive, comfortable and engaging, these senior living and senior care communities focus on patient-centered care and cater to the specific needs of their older residents.

If you haven’t visited a senior housing community in a decade or more, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Most modern communities now incorporate engaging interior design, including beautiful furnishings, flooring, window treatments, art, and more. Individual residences also have taken on the appeal of the home, and residents can personalize with their own decorating styles.

It used to be that retirement communities had less than stellar reputations when it came to dining. In fact, many seniors dreaded moving simply because of the buzz about bad food. But times have changed, and so have dining choices in most senior communities. Today, you’ll find multiple options for dining venues and food selections. Communities typically offer at least two meals a day, complete with both casual and gourmet options. Healthy choices are also important to today’s seniors.

More than any other single advancement, the adoption of person-centered care has resulted in significant, positive changes to the senior living industry. Over the past decade, patient-centered care in nursing has swept communities across the country. The concept focuses on resident choice in many areas, including dining, activities, personal care, and health care. It moves senior living communities away from the hospital-oriented approach popularized in the 1960s and toward home-like, inviting atmospheres that respect the dignity of each individual.

Today’s seniors care about the environment and find meaning through efforts to care for the planet. Over the past 15 years, the senior living industry increasingly has gone green, from construction practices to everyday operations. New communities often are built with an eye toward conservation, including the use of natural lighting, toilets, and sinks that minimize water use, earth-friendly building materials, and more. Modern communities typically have active recycling programs, and many create community gardens on their grounds. The use of paper is minimized, and communications largely have gone digital.

Speaking of going digital, most senior living communities have done so in a big way over the past few years. With almost everyone using either tablets or mobile phones, Wi-Fi has become a must throughout senior living campuses. Frequently, communities provide separate networks — including a highly secure option for residents and an open version for guests. Technology use in senior living communities will continue to advance. Already on the horizon for the next few years are assistive technologies like personal care robots, smart networks and devices that track residents’ information.

Modern active senior living communities provide a wide variety of amenities and services to meet just about every need imaginable. Along with dining, communities typically offer housekeeping, maintenance, lawn service, security and at least some transportation. Amenities also have expanded significantly over the past decade or so, with communities adding features like gardens, outdoor walking trails, indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, libraries, cafes, courtyards and terraces, arts and crafts centers, wood shops and more.

The old term “nursing home” conveys a new meaning in today’s modern senior living communities, and an increasing array of quality care options are available. The many advancements in the industry over the past 15 years provide significant benefits to today’s seniors, including the opportunity to remain active and vibrant for much longer. The future looks bright as well, as technology progresses and communities continue adding cutting-edge options for health care, programming, amenities, services, dining, and living spaces.


The Terrace is a complete retirement community, a place where you can call home. Visit our site and see what amenities and activities we have to offer our citizens. View our generous living spaces and give us a call at (573) 355-9146 to see if the Terrace is right for you or your loved one!

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