While many older adults are wary of leaving their home to move into assisted living, the truth is that living in a senior living community is beneficial for both health and happiness.
It’s common for older adults to resist moving into assisted living communities because they “don’t want to go into a home” or they feel that they can manage on their own and don’t need to rely on someone else for help. However, living alone can have detrimental consequences, including social isolation, inability to prepare nutritious meals and maintain physical activity, safety risks, and overall decreased quality of life.
Research has shown that assisted living often trumps living alone when it comes to the health, well-being, and happiness of residents. There are many different types of senior living from senior apartments and independent living, to assisted living, memory care and the entire continuum of care one may need toward the end of life. Each of these options offers meals, support, transportation, activities and opportunities for socializing, fitness, and the necessary living arrangements to suit many older adults’ needs.
Here are several benefits to consider when making the decision to move into a senior living community:
- Social activity: Older adults may have trouble maintaining their social relationships, either after retirement or if they are unable to move around easily. This can create a very isolating environment that negatively affects one’s mood and outlook. Senior living communities offer many social experiences through planned activities and outings, such as field trips, movie nights, and crafting. Social interactions are associated with increased appetite, mood, and energy.
- Safe living environment: Modifications to the home, such as hand railings and ramps, and in-home care are often necessary to provide a safe living environment for older adults. However, these arrangements can become very expensive and often require a lot of logistics and planning on the family’s part. There can also be unease having “strangers” in one’s home. Senior living communities are designed for mobility and accessibility while offering expert care and medical attention to those who need it. And once adapted to a new living arrangement, the staff and residents can become like family.
- Physical activity and fitness: Many senior living communities offer fitness rooms, exercise classes, and even licensed professionals to help seniors stay active. Maintaining physical activity is important for overall health and mobility of older adults. Some offer physical therapy on site and specialty classes that focus on strength and balance.
- Nutritious meals: Senior nutrition is a growing problem, as many older adults can no longer cook for themselves and become malnourished. Fortunately, senior living communities take the guesswork out of eating healthy, balanced meals by providing nutritious options that are tailored to the changing health needs of older adults.
- Intellectual stimulation: Assisted living takes the approach that you’re never too old to learn something new. Along with social activities, senior living communities provide several learning opportunities, such as gardening, book clubs, art classes, and more.
- No stress of housekeeping and transportation: One of the most difficult aspects about living in the family home is keeping up with all of the chores and housekeeping responsibilities, as well as getting to and from doctors’ appointments and running errands. This can seem overwhelming to seniors and family members alike. Moving into an assisted living community takes away much of that burden as housekeeping and transportation services are provided.
- Help with daily living: Even activities of daily living (ADLs) become difficult to manage, such as bathing, dressing, managing medications, and preparing meals. When a loved one lives at home, it is often the responsibility of a family member to help with these tasks. At senior living communities, there is always a respectful staff member available to help seniors with these ADLs so that they can continue to function as independently as possible.
Does carefree assisted living sound like something you would enjoy for yourself or a loved one? Click here to find out more about The Mansions Assisted Living community in Alpharetta.