Every year, many families struggle with the question of whether or not a loved one should move into an assisted living facility. The elderly parent or other loved one may not want to give up their independence, and may fear that moving into an assisted living facility will mean a loss of privacy and living in a depressing atmosphere. The reality of living in assisted living centers is actually quite different. In fact, in many ways these facilities are attractive and appealing places to live.
1. Establish the Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes
Many people confuse assisted living with nursing homes. The truth is that there are quite a few differences between the two. Nursing homes normally offer constant medical supervision. Occupants have critical health needs and cannot leave the facility without accompaniment.
Assisted living is different. People in these homes live quite independently, and only receive help with specific tasks like medication management and daily care. Some assisted living residents don’t require this kind of care. Nonetheless, they enjoy the community atmosphere and enjoy the freedom to come and go as they please.
2. Privacy Is Respected
Most assisted living homes are set up like apartments or condos. Residents have locking doors and full facilities within their apartment. They can prepare their own meals and enjoy quiet time on their own without disruption. This also helps establish that assisted living residents are independent and free to make choices.
Seniors living alone are often vulnerable, even when they are quite healthy. In assisted living, staff members are on call 24 hours a day, and there are also neighbors nearby to offer assistance. Group settings offer enhanced security and tremendous peace of mind.
4. Assisted Living Alleviates Depression
Many studies have shown that seniors who live on their own are far more subject to depression and anxiety than are their counterparts living in assisted living. The group setting tends to keep elderly residents active, alert and involved. They have peers with whom they can interact and many scheduled activities that keep the day filled with enrichment.
5. Seniors in Assisted Living Tend to Be Healthier
In addition to depression, seniors living alone tend to have more health concerns. Living with others makes it easier to spot a change in the resident’s health condition. That means early treatment that can prevent a new medical concern from becoming a crisis. As a result, seniors in assisted living tend to lead longer, healthier lives.
6. Enrichment Activities
Most assisted living facilities have a full schedule of events and activities for every day of the week. These activities may include group exercise classes and discussion groups. Book clubs are common as are excursions to local museums and shopping malls. Many seniors are able to indulge in craft activities and the facilities make certain that every holiday is a festive event. Often, seniors have a say in planning and putting together these events, giving them fun and interesting goals to work toward.
Residents are free to make meals themselves, but most assisted living homes have a full kitchen where three nutritious meals are made every day. This means that seniors have the option of enjoying a fully prepared meal that is nutritionally balanced without ever lifting a finger. Better nutrition means a better quality of life, making this a huge benefit.
Many seniors love the fact that the assisted living facility takes care of the housework for them. No more vacuuming and cleaning out the refrigerator. Those chores are taken care of by a professional staff.
9. Transportation Is Available
Residents with sight impairments love that assisted living facilities typically provide
transportation to doctor appointment, the salon and other destinations. This service lets seniors maintain mobility without having to worry about keeping a car.
10. Assisted Living Offers Resort Style Surroundings
Assisted living homes today offer a warm, hospitable environment that in many ways is similar to that found at luxurious resorts. Many attractive common areas are available for the residents’ use, and the private apartments can be decorated any way the resident wishes. With these elegant surroundings, many assisted living centers are better than home.
Debra Howard is an Assisted Living Today blogger helping families find the location that will suit them best! Find Your location here.