Assisted living and quality of life
More and more elders and their families are realizing that choosing an Assisted Living community is a better option than living at home when it comes to quality of life, safety, wellness and overall happiness.
Change can be hard for anyone and elders are often reluctant to change the way things have always been. Some have excellent ability to adjust, transition, and keep busy, while others struggle more with change. Some folks may have years of their lives linked to the house they live in and the idea of moving away is scary, so they insist that things remain the same. However, the old home isn't necessarily the best and safest place and therefore it may be time for a transition.
Assisted Living is an ideal housing arrangement for elderly people who are in a transitional stage of aging. It can provide a new lease on life and is a favorable choice for those who can’t live on their own, but do not need nursing home level of care. This type of residential care living aims to help residents remain as self-sufficient as possible with the assurance of assistance when needed.
A combination of housing, meals, personal care and support, social activities, 24-hour supervision and, in some residences, health-related services under the supervision of a nursing supervisor are typically provided. Often, the added benefit of housekeeping is included.
Socialization has also been shown to keep many people active and healthier than they would be if they remained alone at home. Seniors make new friends and strengthen existing relationships when they are engaged in activities with others who enjoy the same interests.
The combined advantages of active socializing can enhance a loved one's quality of life considerably. While socialization may not be at the top of the list of reasons for moving a loved one in assisted living, it not only can improve mental health, but can actually help reduce the likelihood of developing conditions such as depression and loneliness.
“Moving mom to Assisted Living at St. Andrews Village has been a tremendous gift for her and our entire family,” said Diana Kerr, a local resident whose mother recently moved to Maine. “She is close to her loved ones as well as being in her beloved state of Maine.
“I recently asked Mom about her new home in the Village and her reply to me was: ‘It is a friendly and caring community.’ The staff should be commended for their kind attention and devotion to what really matters: a quality of life that everyone deserves as they live out their last chapter in life.”
In addition to providing a safe, comfortable environment for elders, Assisted Living programs ensure residents are provided with meal choices tailored to specific health needs. Helping residents maintain a healthy diet is usually at the forefront of dining services.
Elders who live alone often warm up food in the microwave or on the stove rather than preparing a solid nourishing meal. In Assisted Living, it is assured that residents receive three meals a day and have the option of eating with fellow residents or on their own.
Another aspect families often forget to factor in is the cost of maintaining the home. As people get older, they often cannot do even routine household tasks, much less repairs, yard work, or serious cleaning. Assisted Living eliminates this altogether — there is no more home maintenance.
Assisted Living can be a helpful, life-changing event. When we begin to consider the option of moving a family member to an assisted living community, the benefits of this living arrangement are not always clear. Though we know he/she will be safer, socialize with new friends, eat better and participate in activities, each person will benefit a little differently. Whatever the case, the real benefit becomes apparent to the resident and his or her family when they see a positive change in quality of life.
If you have a growing concern for your independent loved one’s safety and well-being, it may be time to consider Assisted Living. Family involvement and support is crucial in facilitating adjustment and helping elders establish a fulfilling life in their senior years.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the benefits of Assisted Living, join us for “Five Reasons to Consider Assisted Living,” Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 2-3 p.m. A panel of healthcare professionals will provide insight into the advantages of Assisted Living and we will hear personal success stories from individuals who have experience(s) with loved ones. Please call 207-633-0920 for more information.