While many seniors and caregivers embrace the idea of “aging in place” at home, assisted living communities offer a number of benefits that aren’t always available to aging adults who remain in their homes. Wondering if assisted living might be the right fit for your aging loved one? While there are dozens of reasons to choose senior living, we have gathered up a few of our favorites…
Take a look at our five simple reasons that give family members and their loved ones the opportunity to enjoy greater peace of mind.
One of the most important issues with aging in place alone at home is safety. Older adults who live alone in their homes are vulnerable to a number of hazards and threats — from serious falls and medication mishaps to burglaries. Assisted living communities are designed to provide secure and comfortable environments for seniors. In addition to secure entrances, communities also offer alert systems in apartments so individuals can easily call for help in the event of an emergency. Direct care staff is also available throughout the day and night to offer assistance throughout your loved one’s regular routine and in any urgent situations.
While many older adults are afraid of losing touch with friends and loved ones by giving up their homes, the opposite often happens following the move to assisted living. Senior living communities offer the chance for building new relationships every day – with staff, fellow residents, and even volunteers! Along with offering plenty of opportunities for conversation and camaraderie, activities and events are the perfect avenue for connecting with others. Group activities, such as an exercise class or book club, cooking course, or outing provide a great chance to stay active and engage the mind, body, and spirit. Meanwhile, coffee chats, card games, and socials are just a few ways your loved one can connect (on a smaller scale) one-on-one with others. It’s also important to remember that just as your aging loved one may be experiencing declines in mobility, health, and other factors, so may his neighbors. Community living can also help prevent an unexpected decrease in opportunities for socialization at home.
3. Dining with Others
Speaking of socialization, mealtimes offer an ideal environment for staving off feelings of loneliness. But that’s not the only reason why the dining experience is important. Because appetites often decrease with age, older adults tend to eat less or select unhealthy options in an effort to avoid the additional time needed to prepare a healthy meal — both of which can lead to jeopardized health. Mealtimes in senior living are designed to not only provide balanced nutrition and nourishment, but invite residents to share in the company of friends, neighbors, and family members. Oh – and if your loved one continues to enjoy cooking, be sure to look for an apartment that offers a kitchenette. If not, many communities have a spacious family-style kitchen that is available to residents, staff, and family members alike.
For many older adults, the time may be drawing near when driving becomes a safety or financial issue. And for many caregivers, transporting a loved one to and from the senior center, the doctor’s office, the grocery store, or the pharmacy, just may not be practical, considering family members’ busy schedules. Assisted living communities offer transportation services designed to shuttle your loved one everywhere from local shopping centers to community events, with door-to-door service. Transportation can also be arranged for medical appointments. If your aging loved one is worried about mobility, the availability of on-site transportation may help make the move a bit more appealing.
5. Peace of Mind
Home ownership is not only expensive, but it also comes with its fair share of headaches. Changes in the seasons may mean leaves need to be raked or snow shoveled, and the threat of storms in any season can bring the chance of power outages or other damage. Regular home maintenance can, in and of itself, come with its share of time-consuming responsibilities – mostly for family caregivers. If something isn’t working properly in an assisted living community, it is handled and managed by the maintenance staff. This eliminates the need to deal with unscrupulous contractors and make time for multiple trips to the local hardware store. Not only is the responsibility of maintenance taken on by the community, but a smaller apartment, rather than a 3-bedroom home, becomes much less to manage day to day. Instead of taking a week for “spring cleaning” or reserving a weekend to de-clutter mom’s house, a small apartment can mean “less stuff” and more time to visit.
While many older adults resist the idea of making a move, once they do make the move, more times than not, they find themselves admitting… “I wish I had done this sooner!” Tour a community with your loved one today and ask to chat with some residents about why assisted living was the right choice.
While the decision to move from your home to assisted living is a momentous one, there are some important advantages.
– Assisted living communities offer clear benefits that can help improve your loved one’s health and wellness and emotional well-being thanks to daily opportunities for dining, activity, and socialization.
– Senior living provides great peace of mind for both caregivers and their loved ones.
If you’re not sure what to look on as you tour assisted living communities our free eBook “The Essential Guide to Touring a Senior Living Community” can help you understand what to pay attention to throughout the tour.