Assisted Living: A Lifestyle That Can Help Seniors Live Better, Happier Lives
As people age, they often face physical challenges that make it difficult to live independently. For those who could use help with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, cooking, and keeping the house clean, the move to an Assisted Living community can provide a step up in both lifestyle and living conditions.
In addition to care and assistance with activities of daily living, Assisted Living communities offer a variety of social and recreational options. On-site fitness centers, libraries, and game rooms provide opportunities for seniors to feel engaged in life again and can be a lifesaver for seniors who live in isolation due to mobility issues or lack of transportation.
With access to 24-hour care and support, as well as a wide range of engaging activities, outings, and social events, the Assisted Living lifestyle can help seniors maintain as much independence as possible while improving their quality of life
Helping hands ensure safety and well-being
Assisted Living is a type of long-term care that provides personal care and other services to people who need help with activities of daily living. It includes help with bathing, dressing, eating, using the toilet, transferring from bed to chair, moving around the community, and medication management.
Trained staff also keep a close eye on residents’ health and can provide prompt medical attention if needed. Assisted Living communities provide health-related services, social and recreational activities, and 24-hour supervision. It all adds up to a safe and secure living arrangement, with many amenities thrown in to make life enjoyable.
Security measures, such as alarms and surveillance cameras, help ensure the safety of residents. Security measures such as these provide peace of mind, which in turn, can improve health and well-being.
Most Assisted Living communities serve three meals per day in a shared dining room where residents can visit while dining. Transportation services make it easy for residents to get out and about. Whether running errands, going to the doctor, or attending social events, transportation services allow seniors to maintain an important level of independence.
Assisted Living residents are generally over 65 in age, but some communities serve younger adults with physical disabilities or chronic illnesses. Assisted Living is designed for people who need more assistance than can be reliably provided at home but do not require the level of care provided in a Skilled Nursing Facility. Some communities offer memory care services for residents with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia.
Friends that turn lives around — the benefits of socialization
Whether it’s sharing meals in the dining room, participating in activities together, or simply chatting in the common area, Assisted Living provides seniors with plenty of opportunities to make new friends and banish feelings of loneliness and isolation. Socialization has a dramatic, positive effect on seniors’ mental health.
A Brigham Young University study found that little social interaction can equal the negative health effects of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Further, it is more harmful than not exercising, and twice as harmful as obesity.
A similar study by the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA) found that the socially isolated or chronically lonely are more likely to suffer negative health effects from poor diet, lack of physical activity, smoking, and excess alcohol consumption.
All told, the socialization opportunities offered in Assisted Living communities can mean the difference between aging successfully and living in lonely despair. Seniors living in Assisted Living facilities have lower rates of depression and anxiety than those who live alone.
The structure and routine of Assisted Living can help to improve mental health, and the staff is often trained to provide support if needed. Many communities offer activities and events that can help to keep residents mentally stimulated.
Maintaining independence — without being home alone
Residents have plenty of opportunities to socialize and receive assistance with daily living activities, but in most Assisted Living communities, they live independently in their own private apartments or suites. Having one’s own space provides an important sense of living independently, even though some help may be needed with daily living activities.
Feeling independent has a positive impact on one’s sense of well-being and self image. It begins with the right setting that includes comfortable surroundings and enough space to accommodate personal belongings that make a person feel at home.
Most Assisted Living apartments provide refrigerators and microwaves, so residents can make snacks or simple meals for themselves if they prefer to stay home to watch a favorite movie or read a book. It’s the feeling of being safe on your own, yet in a supportive environment, that makes Assisted Living a winning lifestyle for many seniors.
Tips for choosing a community that offers the best fit
There are a number of factors to consider when visiting Assisted Living communities. Below are some that can help you find the ideal Assisted Living community.
Senior living communities can range widely in price, from a few hundred dollars per month to several thousand. It is important to find a community that you can afford without sacrificing the quality of care.
Level of care
Some communities provide basic assistance with activities of daily living, while others offer more comprehensive care, including medical assistance and memory care. Carefully assess how well the community can meet your loved one’s current and future needs.
Location, location, location
Just as in all real estate, location matters. Choosing a community close to family members and friends can make visiting easier and entice them to visit more frequently. However, communities located near hospitals, or amenities such as shopping and dining, may suit you and your loved one better. It’s best toonsider your loved one’s lifestyle and needs when making your decision.
See it, smell it, taste it
Personal visits are critical. You want to observe how the community looks and smells. Time your visit during mealtime so you can see, and even taste, the quality of food being served. You’ll need to inspect the apartment to determine how your loved one’s furniture will fit in the space. You also want to observe how staff interact with the residents. Are they friendly? Do the residents seem happy? Talk to residents while you’re there and ask them how they like living in the community.
Tours give you a chance to see how the community operates and get a feel for the culture. Ask questions about the staff’s training and experience, as well as the types of activities and programs that are offered. With a little legwork, you will be able to find the perfect senior living community for your loved one.
Making the move a joyful one
The decision to move a loved one into an Assisted Living community is never an easy one. However, with some preparation and planning, the transition can be a smooth and positive experience for everyone involved. Keep in mind these golden tips:
Involve your loved one senior in the decision-making process.
They will feel more comfortable with the move if they feel they’ve been part of making the decision. It will give them a sense of control over the situation. Forcing a move on someone can lead to feelings of resentment and isolation.
Once you’ve chosen a community, take some time to familiarize yourself with the staff and facilities.
Knowing that your loved one senior is going to be well cared for will put your mind at ease. When you visit, be sure to ask about the community’s policies and procedures.
Start packing well in advance
Advance packing helps minimize stress on moving day and makes it quicker to stage the new home in a familiar arrangement. A familiar set-up can ease your loved one into getting settled sooner.
There are plenty of downsizing guides available online, as well as professional transition service providers who can handle every aspect of the move — from estate sales, to scheduling moving companies, to moving and setting up the new apartment for move-in..
Plan to visit regularly
Regular visits allow you to make sure that your loved one has adjusted to the new surroundings and is doing well.
Stay positive and encourage socialization.
The transition into Assisted Living can be emotionally difficult for both you and your loved one. It’s important to stay positive and encourage socialization with other residents to help them adjust to their new life and feel more at home.
With a little effort, you can make the transition into Assisted Living a positive experience for everyone involved.
The Club: Assisted Living & Memory Care
No matter your age or abilities, The Club at Boynton Beach will help you live a life filled with friends, interesting activities and outings, and plenty of helping hands when needed. Our amenities are cutting-edge, our programming is intentional, and supportive services guide residents to achieve their personal health and wellness goals.
From chef-inspired dining to physical therapy services, we provide the best foundation possible for your loved one to refresh and reboot. With a broad range of social opportunities and service amenities, they’ll enjoy plenty of opportunities to connect with others and create an enjoyable new chapter of life.