Assisted living is more than help getting dressed or medication reminders. Living in community with other adults promotes a higher quality of life and gives seniors a sense of belonging. As people age, they often become more and more isolated from the ones they love. Trouble driving at night, difficulty walking and participating in limited recreational activities only make being alone even more likely for older people. When you are searching for options for a loved one who needs minimal care but lives alone, assisted living is a great choice to consider.
A Daily Schedule Keeps Idleness to a Minimum
Assisted living facilities have a busy schedule of meals, outings and indoor activities. Keeping busy and engaging the mind helps prevent feelings of uselessness and despair. With a solid schedule in place, residents know what to expect and they have places they need to be at certain times. When living alone, there is no schedule that has to be kept. When living in community, knowing that dinner is at 5:00 every day and your friends are there waiting for you is incentive for many older adults.
Friendships Bloom Within Assisted Living Facilities
Getting older doesn't have to signify loss only. While it is only natural that the longer a person lives, the more friends they will see pass away, it shouldn't mean that new connections can't be made. In an assisted living facility, people meet others who are in need of a little help. They bond because they are in similar situations. Each new resident brings their history and experiences to the table. Friendships form and seniors have a newfound sense of belonging as they build relationships with others.
Independence is Still Fostered
Living in community doesn't mean that independence is lost. In fact, living in assisted living gives residents as much independence as possible. Many people living in an assisted living facility only need small reminders to take medication or minimal assistance getting ready in the morning. These same residents will take trips to the grocery store to stock up their own kitchen areas, and some may even still drive themselves. The goal of assisted living is to help while promoting independence at the same time.
There are many health benefits to living in community. Isolation can cause depression, chronic pain and loneliness. Living in a community of like-minded individuals promotes a higher quality of life, and encourages positive interactions when otherwise they would be sitting home alone. Getting older doesn't have to mean sitting in a lonely house, waiting for someone to come and visit. Getting older can mean living in an environment that helps without taking away the independence that still exists.
When you're facing putting your loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility, you want to make the best possible choice for your loved one. That can be difficult when you don't know much about the nursing homes in your area, or about what you should be looking for in a nursing home to begin with. It's a good idea to tour as many facilities in your area as possible to get an idea of which ones you like, but you still need to know what the signs of a good or bad nursing home are. I used to work as a kitchen assistant in long term care facilities, and I learned a lot about them during that time. I started this blog to share some of my insights into what makes a nursing home great, and how to spot problems in a facility that you're considering.