Of immense popularity right now is a trend colloquially referred to as the “aging in place” movement that promotes the sentiments of maintaining self-reliance, autonomy, and dignity while gracefully maneuvering the unfamiliar terrain that comes with the aging process.
There are five main reasons why seniors today are exploring the advantages of a senior living facility, including safety and meal preparation.
A desirable option for many aging and disabled citizens, aging in place relies on in-home health care services to support and sustain the overarching needs of seniors who are still able to maintain many tasks independently.
Affordable, convenient, and easily customization for the highly variable needs of a range of patients, at-home health care services are a booming sector of the healthcare industry. With an abundance of new options, services, and programs becoming even more readily available to seniors as the health care services market continues to skyrocket, seniors are afforded the opportunity to be able to pragmatically craft long-term customized plans outlining their individual health care journey and an array of personal needs.
For seniors who enjoy a relatively healthy and active life and are able to independently perform basic tasks such as bathing and administering medication, deciding to stay at home and receive augmentative support via home health care services is an easy choice to make. Surrounded by the comfort, familiarity, and nostalgia of their home, seniors can opt to live a worry-free life by remaining healthy, capable, and utilizing any of the wide range of home care services to fill in any gaps they may require assistance with.
However, not all seniors enjoy a level of health, independence, or overall contentment with their environment and level of care. With the aging process can sometimes come an array of surprises in terms of degree of personal independence, overall changes to physical and mental health, a declining ability to accomplish even the most basic tasks.
Elderly citizens might experience a sharp increase in Alzheimer’s disease symptoms that in previous years may have proven to be just a minor annoyance or hindrance.
Physical abilities may begin to diminish, due to a plethora of reasons that can include maladies such as Rheumatoid Arthritis or Osteoporosis, and ultimately result in difficulty in performing basic activities of daily living (referred to as ADLs) such as bathing, eating, using the toilet, walking, and administering medication.
When a senior is experiencing a marked decline in physical and/or emotional health and begins to experience vastly diminished capabilities, it becomes more critically important than ever to start considering the services of a retirement community with senior housing or a senior living community.
Also often referred to as independent living communities or assisted living communities, senior living communities provide the type of round-the-clock level of supervision, safety and care that your ailing senior loved one deserves.
Many seniors who had previously expressed a firm desire to age in place within the comfort of their own home begin to realize that a move to a senior assisted living facility for senior care is a far more practical option for their needs and removes an immense level of stress from the loved ones by providing them peace of mind.
Other seniors may have indicated a preference for an immediate move to a senior living community, due to matching their health status and symptoms with the probable level of care they will be required to maintain health, happiness, and comfort through the receipt of the health care most appropriate for them.
Despite where you are in the decision-making process, the journey ahead for seniors is not as difficult as many might perceive. As simple as determining whether your level of health still affords you a degree of independence and overall functionality to live with in-home supplemental services provided by home health care agencies or if your health needs are clearly far more appropriately addressed within the environment of a senior assisted living facility, taking the next step in your individual journey need not be fraught with stress and complications.
Despite where you are in the decision-making process, the journey ahead for seniors is not as difficult as many might perceive.
If you’re considering a senior living community, below are five common reasons seniors are taking the time and opportunity to explore the many advantages these facilities offer.
Reason #1: Safety
An unfortunate reality of the aging process may involve experiencing accidents, falls, and trips, as common everyday items can suddenly become burdensome obstacles that significantly impede a seniors range of motion and overall mobility. In an aging world, chronic diseases such as arthritis or osteoporosis can present symptoms that seemingly instantaneously flare up to unmanageable levels.
With decreased lack of mobility, seniors will find their home has become a veritable “obstacle course” as they struggle to navigate the maze of furniture, slippery rugs, and even getting in and out of bed.
Independent living facilities assist an ailing patient who struggles with mobility by providing a safe environment around the clock. Highly trained and experienced staff readily provide the necessary assistance for patients to get in and out of bed, to the toilet, activities, or meal time, while the patient’s living environment is structured in a pleasant fashion, removed of potential hazards that may impede movement or cause harm or injury.
Transportation for seniors is also provided by independent living communities. Providing automobile transportation to doctor’s office visits, shopping, or even entertainment venues, a senior can be assured that they can visit all of their destinations in a safe manner.
Reason #2: Security
Independent living facilities are outfitted with security measures including:
- Gated security entrances
- Secured-door buildings with keyed or coded doors
- Push-button help and assistance buttons
- Monitoring schedules of patients and premises
- 24/7 on-call security staff
- Well-lit premises
With comprehensive security measures in place, families can rest assured that their senior loved one is in a safe and secure environment when they are staying at an independent living community. Common worries such as concerns about whether an elderly parent experiencing dementia locked their doors and windows and turned off appliances are abated, in addition to any worries that families may have had about their loved one getting up in the middle of the night and wandering around aimlessly outside.
Reason #3: Socialization
Experiencing isolation and loneliness is an extremely common concern among senior citizens. Independent living communities are able to easily reconcile worries about loneliness by providing myriad activities, trips, and events for its residents that aim to foster the creation of friendships and a sense of camaraderie through ongoing socialization opportunities.
Game nights, field trips, and communal style dining are among the social activities you can find at senior living centers.
Among the abundance of social activities offered at senior living centers are the following:
- Exercise and fitness classes including favorites such as yoga, swimming, and dancing
- A wide range of volunteer opportunities in the surrounding community
- Communal-style dining and meals
- Movie nights
- Arts and crafts
- Card games and tournaments
- Board and table games
- Field trips
Reason #4: Provides Family with Opportunities for Relaxed and Enjoyable Visits
Loved ones residing in senior living facilities are well-taken care of in all aspects. Emotional and physical health are attended to by highly trained, expert personnel while there are a multitude of entertainment activities to take advantage of, and ample opportunities to create friendships and forge a sense of camaraderie with other residents.
In the happy, healthy, and nurturing environment provided by senior living facilities, patients are able to conveniently visit with their family and loved one in a setting that is comfortable, relaxed, and free of stress. During visits, family members are able to truly enjoy their time with their senior loved one and not focus on worries, such as quality of life, safety, security, isolation, loneliness, and more.
Reason #5: Removes the Stress of ADLs like Home Maintenance and Meal Preparation
Along with removing the stress associated with many other ADLs, seniors, in particular, are grateful to not have to worry about the labor-intensive maintenance work involved in the upkeep of their home while also doing the work necessary to ensure that their home is a safe environment for their needs. Living in a senior living facility enables patients to focus on happiness and health, instead of the extensive minutiae associated with property ownership such as cleaning gutters, taking out the garbage, vacuuming, washing windows, and much more.
Meal preparation tends to be another much-appreciated aspect for patients residing in senior living facilities as they come to greatly enjoy not having to shop for and prepare meals, while also attempting to ensure that their food reflects the proper nutrition that they need.
In a senior living community, patients live in well-appointed rooms with attractive decors that can be decorated with their personal knickknacks and keepsakes. Meals come hot, fresh, and ready to eat throughout the day and can be catered to individual taste and dietary requirements. Maintenance of any kind is not a concern for patients, as staff regularly clean patient rooms to keep them fresh and pristine for optimal comfort, safety, and health.
You deserve to live the golden years of your life worry-free, absent of stressors, and fully engaged.
With home health aides costing an average of $20 per hour, just a few hours of help on a daily basis can easily run upwards of $2500 per month. In contrast, a senior living community can provide 24/7 care and provide desirable amenities such as security, friendship opportunities, entertainment, prepared meals and more for an affordable price that may very well be likely covered by the state you reside in, at a full or partial level of compensation (check with your state’s specific care facility benefits for seniors).
In an ever-changing world, the health and overall abilities of a senior citizen can seemingly change overnight. However, senior living facilities enable elderly patients to make the independent choices they need to create a life full of adventure, fresh experiences, and new friendships while also ensuring their health and care needs are fully attended to in the most prudent manner possible.
If you are in the midst of researching the many senior living community options available, ensure that your research includes trips to the specific facilities you have in mind so that you are able to get a real-time and in-depth look at the inner workings of the living community as well as a feel for how you would feel living there.
Take a look at floor plans, available photos, and peruse any online reviews in addition to visiting the location so that you can make a comprehensively well-informed decision about the future of your healthcare and the quality and level of happiness that you will experience in the future. While visiting the facility, make sure to ask about the availability of classes, entertainment, meals, level of healthcare, security, safety, and other interests or concerns you may have.
Also, remember to take a good look at the social interactions taking place while you are visiting. Are people chatting happily and engaged in activities? Does the environment feel warm, accommodating, and friendly?
Asking yourself these questions and obtaining the necessary answers will provide invaluable insight and help a great deal towards choosing the best senior living community for you and your individual needs. You deserve to live the golden years of your life worry-free, absent of stressors, and fully engaged in a secure, fulfilling, and fruitful life on a day-to-day to basis that makes you feel happy and content.
As you near the point of concluding which living community will best serve you, your interests, and your health needs, ensure that you commit to a concerted effort of continually visiting the facility you have in mind, in order to fully understand the ins and outs of your potential new residence and see for yourself the quality of care and happiness they are poised to offer you.