Top 10 Benefits of Assisted Living for Seniors

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You know your loved ones better than anybody, and deciding whether they need support beyond what you can provide is a tough choice to make. This is when offering them an option of assisted living will be a solid option. Moreover, a lot of people are experiencing the benefits of assisted living. Moreover, mobility aids like step stools for bedrooms and bathtubs, grab bars, and more have made assisted living easier for seniors. 

What is assisted living?

Assisted living is not the same as independent living, aging in place or living under medical or professional supervision. Rather it is a wonderful mix of all three. According to the NCAL, more than 800,000 American seniors reside in assisted living communities. Assisted living is an option for those seniors who require help, but not to the extent of care provided by a nursing care facility. Here people usually live-in private spaces and share a few common areas. 

Who can opt for assisted living?

Assisted living is the right option for those seniors who require help to handle day-to-day activities and at the same time do not require frequent professional assistance.

Why choose assisted living?

While it is true that most seniors would prefer to age in place, health and mobility concerns sometimes do not allow it. Assisted living provides a safer living option for them. Seniors do not need to give up their privacy or independence. It provides a safe and secure environment where you are at peace that your loved ones are well taken care of. 

When is the right time to opt for assisted living? 

Moving out of home is a decision taken with a heavy heart. But remember, when you are suggesting this option, it is only in the best interest. You should know that it’s time to move your loved one to an assisted living community when:

  • Accidents begin to occur quite often.
  • It gets tiring or frustrating for you or the caregiver to attend to the increasing needs of the senior.
  • The diet of the senior is getting neglected. Either due to a shortage of time or the senior finding it challenging to arrange a healthy meal. 
  • Poor health or mobility issues make it difficult to maintain hygiene at home.
  • Repeated neglection of medications, bills or other obligations.
  • Reduction in social activities with feelings of depression. 

Here are the top 10 benefits of assisted living for the elderly:

  • PREVENT SOCIAL ISOLATION

  • Statistics say that 3 out of every 10 seniors report loneliness and isolation. With mobility issues on the increase, trips outdoors become difficult. This can make it hard for the seniors to stay in touch with their friends and acquaintances. This loss in regular interaction can give rise to depression or loneliness.

    Assisted living communities organize events and provide the residents with reasons to interact regularly. There are common areas specially designed for such activities. This keeps the feeling of being left out at the bay, ensuring the overall well-being of the seniors.

  • 24/7 PROFESSIONAL CARE

  • At times the seniors need assistance with their day-to-day tasks like bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom or getting in and out of bed or chair. These senior care facilities have round-the-clock professionals who offer appropriate services according to the needs of older adults. The professionals also keep track of the medications, doctor appointments and have the training to handle emergencies.

  • SAFETY:

  • Assisted living communities are senior-friendly, designed with ramps, hand railings, grab bars, and raised toilets, to name a few. Moreover, they are well equipped with all the assistive devices for the elderly. This ensures their safety and minimizes the risk of accidents. 

  • COMPASSIONATE CARE:

  • Seniors often have a very low emotional threshold. Therefore, the residents also need emotional care and support, along with physical assistance. One of the benefits of assisted living is that they provide the residents with all the care and services that maintain the highest level of well-being, keeping their dignity intact. 

  • PROMOTING SELF-RELIANCE AND FUN:

  • Assisted living facilities understand the need for independence. They motivate the elders to be independent and encourage them to do whatever they can on their own. Assisted living offers facilities to make life easier, safer and fun-filled with balance exercises, chair yoga, self-defense classes for seniors, and more. While these facilities are available, your loved ones are free to choose from or decline them.

    The communities often arrange recreational, indoor and outdoor activities, travel tours, shopping tours or even dances and parties. This helps your loved ones maintain their social life and creates strong bonds amongst the residents. 

    Benefit of assistive living - promoting self-reliance and fun

  • MORE FREE TIME:

  • One of the added benefits of assisted living is that it provides residents with a maintenance-free lifestyle. No more worrying about fixing the electricals, maintaining the lawn and yards or shoveling the snow. These errands can be tedious and dangerous for seniors living independently. Assisted living centers take care of all these tasks, giving the seniors ample free time to pursue their hobbies or other things that hold their interest. 

  • DELICIOUS MEALS: 

  • Preparing a balanced and healthy meal poses a challenge for your loved one. It could be pretty stressful for the caregivers too. Assisted living provides its residents with meals that are nutritional and delicious. There are meals with special diets on the menu like a diabetic diet, diet for hypertension or high cholesterol. All meals are packed with nutrients and vitamins important for seniors. 

    Moreover, mealtime is like a big social event, as all seniors have their meals together- another step towards bonding. 

    Independent seniors having meal together

  • SAFE AND ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORTATION:

  • Once used to driving around at free will, aging demands curbs on driving. Driving skills can change with age and can be unsafe. Benefits of assisted living for the elderly include a reliable and safe transport system. The seniors at the center need not worry about driving through snow or rain. Travel arrangements are available for shopping trips, doctor’s appointments, dining or even social functions. 

  • MEDICAL SECURITY:

  • Medical care for seniors is a crucial factor offered by assisted living communities. Certified medical assistants are available round-the-clock to take care of the health care needs of the residents. The nursing assistants look after the medication or any other minor ailments that the seniors could be suffering from. Moreover, the medical staff is alert and can identify any health issue that requires immediate attention, thereby averting any untoward incidents. 

  • PEACE OF MIND:

  • It is stressful for family members when their loved ones are away from home. But to know that they are well taken care of, safe and healthy is a big relief. It is comforting to know that the senior of your family is having a good time, and the fact that help is available 24×7 does a lot for the peace of mind.  

    TAKEAWAY

    Assisted living allows its residents to develop their overall well-being, improving the quality and length of life. It’s a place where strong bonds keep your loved ones socially and mentally active. It provides the seniors with a comfortable, home-like environment. 

    The benefits of assisted living far outweigh the benefits of other options available to seniors. Assisted living is a comfortable option for the seniors, as they know that they also have a second family that cares for them and loves them as much. 

     

    FAQs

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of assisted living for the elderly?

    Though assisted living has many advantages, it has a few disadvantages too. Let’s take a snapshot look at these advantages and disadvantages of assisted living.

    Advantages:

    • No hassle of home maintenance.
    • Round-the-clock assistance with routine activities like bathing, dressing, etc.
    • Solutions according to needs.
    • A home away from home with optimum privacy.
    • Offers opportunities to socialize.

    Disadvantages:

    • Medical care available is not suitable for certain medical conditions.
    • Can be an expensive option.
    • Could be challenging for the seniors to adapt to constant socializing. 

    What's the difference between independent and assisted living?

    The difference between independent and assisted living rests mainly on the ability of the seniors to perform routine tasks. 

    Independent living is ideal for seniors who do not require much assistance for their daily activities. Whereas assisted living offers full-time assistive care for daily activities. 

    Accommodations in independent living could be a small cottage, apartment or condo. Due to the increased safety needs of its residents, the assisted living accommodations are generally small, private or semi-private apartments, usually without a kitchen.  

    Housekeeping, caregiving, and medication management services often attract additional costs in independent living communities. Assisted living facilities provide these services by default and include them in the rental itself. 

    Who qualifies for assisted living?

    Moving into an assisted living facility becomes imminent when:

    • Seniors find it difficult to accomplish daily self-care tasks.
    • Self-driving becomes unsafe.
    • Unable to cook or arrange meals.
    • Health or mobility issues are on the increase.
    • Don’t need the level of care provided in nursing homes but aren’t safe living independently.

    Vince Baiera

    Vince Baiera is the founder of step2health, a mobility aids and wellness company for older adults. He is a former ICU Nurse of the Cleveland Clinic and Duke University Hospital in the Cardiac ICU. With years of working on the frontlines, Vince noticed the struggles of older adults and people with mobility issues that became an impediment for both patients and their caretakers. He then designed and created the patented product, Step2Bed (and its variants) that helps seniors and those with mobility issues safely get in and out of bed. His philosophy concerning aging is to plan ahead and start with simple home and life modifications to avoid being overwhelmed at retirement.

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