When considering options for senior care, assisted living can be the best choice to keep the independence so vital to seniors’ everyday lives. When seniors reach the time in which they must begin considering their care options, their choices may seem limited. However, assisted living can not only help sustain the lifestyle they currently enjoy, but actually increase the day-to-day freedoms that are so important for a healthy and happy life.
Freedom from loneliness
Choosing assisted living means seniors never have to feel alone again. According to a UCLA study, many seniors experience loneliness and even depression as a result of living alone. However, assisted living offers a chance to live in a community of likeminded individuals as well as friendly and helpful staff. At an assisted living facility, seniors never have to be alone.
Assisted living can also offer seniors an opportunity to forge new friendships, whether through optional activities or just from connecting over shared experiences. Assisted living makes it easy for seniors’ families and friends as well, as they are able to visit in a comfortable and personal environment. The sense of community allows seniors the freedom to live the life they choose.
Less maintenance, more time for yourself
Maintaining a home can be tedious and time consuming. For seniors, home maintenance tasks can become more difficult and physically demanding. The benefit of assisted living is that basic maintenance is taken care of, allowing seniors more time to do the things that make them happy—that means no more franticly cleaning the home before a family member or friend visits, shoveling a snowy sidewalk in the middle of winter, or having to fret over hours’ worth of dirty laundry or dishes.
Instead, seniors can spend that newly found free time making new friends, bettering themselves with a class or just reading a book quietly. Assisted living all but guarantees seniors the freedom to spend their time doing the things they really want to do.
No loss of privacy
When choosing assisted living, seniors can expect to maintain the level of privacy they are used to in their current lives. Depending on the community, assisted living offers both private and semi-private living arrangements. Help is there for a senior when they require it, but the level privacy a senior can receive is based on their own personal needs. Seniors in assisted living can strike a balance between the privacy they are used to enjoying and the care they need during this chapter of their lives.
Getting and staying physically, mentally active
A benefit of assisted living is being able to maintain an active lifestyle. According to the CDC, regular physical activity is important for the prevention of many diseases and conditions, including heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis and high blood pressure, among others. When seniors live on their own, it can be hard to motivate themselves to stay active. Living among other seniors is a great way to kick-start an active lifestyle, as many assisted living facilities allow seniors the freedom to choose from an array of activities that match their interests.
Staying mentally active is just as important as staying physically active. The Alzheimer’s Association suggests that staying socially active can help the brain stave off the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. A senior can live and be active in an assisted living community at their own pace, maintaining a healthy mind and body in the process.
Feeling secure and safe
Assisted living can provide seniors the security of knowing that they are safe. Living alone can be daunting to seniors, especially when it comes to their health. A senior’s lifestyle may change due to aging, and they must often depend on a family member or friend to check in and make sure everything is well.
In an assisted living community, a trained professional is always nearby in case of a medical emergency, allowing seniors to feel safe knowing someone will be there for them in a time of need. Seniors can also trust that they will be safe in an assisted living community, as most provide 24-hour security.
Getting a little peace of mind
That peace of mind also extends to seniors’ family and loved ones. When seniors live on their own, they often depend on family members and loved ones to assist them in their daily needs. This can not only be burdensome to their loved ones, but also to seniors themselves. It can be stressful to depend on a loved one, knowing they are taking time out of their schedule to assist with basic tasks: providing a ride to a doctor’s office, grocery shopping or helping out with yardwork.
Assisted living communities provide the necessary transportation to facilitate whatever errand a senior may need to run, and they also take on most other responsibilities that are often delegated to loved ones. This removes the sense of worry that often mars a senior’s relationship with their loved ones, who can rest easy knowing that their parents, grandparents or other relatives are in a safe and enjoyable community. A senior in assisted living can live stress-free with the knowledge they are not a burden to the people they care about most. Instead, both seniors and their families can spend time together however they choose.
Making the choice to move into an assisted living community can be daunting for a senior and their loved ones. However, the peace of mind—knowing that they will be surrounded by other seniors as well as helpful staff—makes things easier. Having a dedicated staff to take care of basic needs as well as provide safety in case of an emergency, the selection of physical and mental activities and a vibrant social setting can only encourage a senior to live the independent lifestyle they want.