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Breaking Taboos in Senior Living Communities: What We Don’t Talk About – With Stats

Senior living communities are designed to provide older adults with a comfortable and secure environment where they can live independently or receive various levels of care. These communities typically offer a wide range of activities, events, and services to help residents stay active, social, and healthy. However, like any community, there are certain “taboo” topics and behaviors that can be found in senior living communities. Here are 5 common “taboo” things that happen in senior living communities:

5 Taboos With Stats:

  1. Sexual activity: Despite the common stereotype that seniors are no longer interested in sex, research shows that many older adults are sexually active. According to a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, over half of men and women aged 65 to 74 reported being sexually active in the past year. However, discussions about sexual health and activity are often considered taboo in senior living communities, which can lead to a lack of resources and support for residents.

  2. Substance abuse: Substance abuse is not just a problem among younger generations. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, approximately 2.5 million older adults have an alcohol or drug problem. This can be a particular issue in senior living communities, where residents may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with loneliness or health issues.

  3. Financial exploitation: Financial exploitation is a serious problem among older adults, with an estimated 1 in 10 seniors experiencing some form of financial abuse. According to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, seniors living in community settings are at a higher risk for financial exploitation than those who live alone.

  4. Neglect or abuse: While abuse and neglect can occur in any setting, it’s important to recognize that these issues can also be present in senior living communities. According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 or older have experienced some form of elder abuse. This can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect of basic needs.

  5. End-of-life issues: Many seniors in senior living communities may be facing serious health issues or nearing the end of their lives, but discussions about death and dying are often considered taboo. According to a survey by the National Institute on Aging, only 27% of older adults had talked with their doctor about end-of-life care, and only 37% had discussed their wishes with family members.

Final Thought

It’s important to acknowledge and address these taboo topics and behaviors in senior living communities. Staff members, residents, and family members can work together to create a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment where everyone can feel comfortable discussing difficult issues and seeking help when needed. By breaking down these taboos and working together as caregivers, we can help ensure that senior living communities are truly fulfilling and enriching places to live.

Are you looking for a way to support resident relationships in your community? InTouchLink can help! Our easy-to-use systems are designed to enhance social connections and engagement among seniors. By providing access to technology and promoting participation in community events, we help foster an open dialogue of honesty that truly improves overall well-being.

Chat with us today to learn more about how InTouchLink can support your community.

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