When considering assisted living, one of the first things seniors and their loved ones discuss is what kind of everyday changes they should expect. Many seniors fear that life in an assisted living community will somehow limit their freedom—but this could not be further from the case.
Seniors thinking about assisted living can rest assured knowing that life in an assisted living community actually encourages freedom.
One of the first noticeable changes when moving into an assisted living community is how easy it is to travel to and from the residence when need be. Living in an assisted living community means that residents no longer have to rely on family or loved ones for a ride every time they would like to go somewhere—they don’t have to wait for anyone for a doctor appointment or to pick up that much-needed prescription.
Assisted living communities have their own transportation that works around a senior’s schedule. The transportation assisted living centers provide does not stop at medical trips, either—seniors may use this service as a means to get to social outings, for grocery shopping or anywhere else they’d like to go. Seniors in assisted living communities gain the freedom to operate on their own time, and they no longer have to feel like they are bothering a loved one again.
2. Living Space
The ability to make a living space their own is one of the most appealing facets to seniors who choose assisted living. Assisted living communities allow seniors to customize their living quarters to ensure maximum comfort as well as privacy. “Make yourself at home” is not just a phrase in an assisted living community, as residents and their families are encouraged to decorate their living spaces in any way they choose.
Even better, seniors don’t have to worry about the cleanup. Cleaning and maintenance are taken care of in assisted living facilities, so seniors do not have to worry about upkeep. They can go on living the best parts of their life in the comfort of a place that feels just like home while not having to worry about mopping the floors or picking weeds in the garden.
Another wonderful aspect of living in an assisted living community as a senior is the focus on family and the newly found time and freedom to see them whenever a senior chooses. Often, before there is a move to an assisted living facility, family fills the role of caretaker for seniors who require daily care. This can become both frustrating for seniors and their loved ones, as their time spent together often involves cleaning or maintaining a senior’s household, transportation to and from appointments or other activities that can start to feel more like chores than quality time spent with the people they love.
Assisted living communities take away many of the responsibilities that family can take on as caretakers so that the time a senior spends with loved ones can be focused purely on connecting and enjoying each other’s company—without all the stress of constant caretaking.
4. Free Time
Moving into an assisted living community and not having to spend time maintaining their own homes leaves seniors with plenty of free time to explore their independence. Assisted living communities offer all sorts of activities and classes for seniors to take advantage of—they can finally take those dance lessons they have been meaning to get to all these years, or learn how to paint.
The activities offered by assisted living communities are not just contained to the community around them, as most assisted living communities offer trips to museums, shopping malls, national landmarks and other interesting places. The freedom garnered when living in an assisted living community does not have to be focused outward, either, as seniors are welcome to use their free time as they choose. If they choose to catch up on reading in the solitude of their own living spaces, they can do that too. In assisted living communities, a senior’s time is their own.
5. Sense of Community
If a senior does choose to be more community oriented, assisted living is the perfect place to make new friends and be a part of something with like-minded individuals living a similar lifestyle. It is never too late to make new friends, and assisted living communities provide the perfect place to do so.
The activities coordinated by assisted living communities offer a great environment to get to know someone. Often, seniors move into assisted living communities after the loss of a spouse or partner, a separation that can lead to unhappiness and depression. Social interaction, on the other hand, can be a very positive influence when it comes to mental health, and it is more constructive and healthy when dealing with loss. The freedom to interact and make new friends is often not possible when a senior has to maintain his or her own home, but assisted living opens up the possibility of friendship and new connections.
Something that can hamper a senior’s sense of freedom is health and the concerns that come with it. For example, one out of four seniors fall every year. Falls range in seriousness, and some can be deadly. The risk of falling or the consequences or symptoms of other medical issues that occur as people age can be quite frightening for many—and these worries are compounded when a senior lives at home alone.
Living in fear of something happening and not having anyone around can be crippling on its own. Seniors in assisted living communities, however, can rest easier knowing that if something does happen, help from a trained staff member will be on the way immediately. The 24-hour care extends to prevention as well, as assisted living communities offer healthy meals and exercise classes in order to keep a senior’s body as healthy as possible. A senior living in an assisted living community has the peace of mind that whatever they choose to do on a daily basis, their health and wellbeing is looked out for.
Living on his or her own can shackle a senior, but assisted living communities are created with independence and individuality in mind. They help seniors with the more difficult and burdensome tasks they may encounter in their life in order for them to take time and enjoy the things they love doing. The community and safety found in assisted living can increase a senior’s sense of independence and help them live the life they truly want.