Companion Living is a great apartment design offered by many senior living communities – a shared apartment for two seniors, intended to create an environment of friendship and comfort.
But Companion Living isn’t often the first choice of the loved ones of the senior. How might community sales leaders and administrators convey the value and benefits of Companion Living?
JEA Senior Living offers Companion Living apartments – in addition to other apartment styles – in most of their 55 communities. April Young, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, and Rachel Kohl, Vice President of Program Development, shared some of the benefits of Companion Living:
- Many seniors have had a Companion(s) through different periods of their life – whether a parent, sibling, roommate or spouse. Studies have shown that the need for social interaction is critical to seniors’ well-being.
- Companion Living doesn’t only benefit the two seniors. Their loved ones will often build relationships with each other, supporting each other on their parallel journeys.
- Companioned seniors will often encourage each other to participate in community activities.
- Companion Living provides not only a sense of friendship, but of security and reassurance.
- Community caregivers and support staff have more opportunities for meaningful, collaborative engagement.
- Shared apartment options often provide significant cost savings – in some cases, making quality care more accessible and stretching budgets longer.
Additionally, as many senior living communities will explain, the apartment in a community is only one small portion of the living space – with a myriad of gathering areas throughout the community, creating one large home. A senior may spend the evening hours and quiet times in their apartment and much of the rest of the day participating in activities, strolling the courtyards, going on outings and enjoying chef-prepared dishes.
Testimonials from loved ones can also help families consider companion living as an option. A daughter of a senior who is living in one of the JEA communities shared this with us:
“I have taken care of my Mom for 6 years and felt a private room would best meet her needs, and I was so wrong. Mom is thriving with her new roommate and companion.
Their relationship is stronger than the last years of her marriage with my Dad.
It gives Mom purpose. It is like dormitory living, or in her case rooming with the girls (once upon a time) in Nurses Training. Just like any relationship they “matter” to each other, they have conversations like you and me together, they feel safe with each other….
I would never have guessed in a million years that companion living would have such an impact in a way to give my Mom her independence and life back.”
Companion Living can be an empowering apartment option for seniors and their loved ones, cultivating rejuvenation and comfort. Knowing who can benefit from this living arrangement and how to present it to families can ensure that more seniors are able to gain the rewards of companionship.
I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”
― Helen Keller