While there are many factors that need to be considered when caring for an aging loved one, one option is widely misunderstood: Assisted Living. Many people think of these evolved facilities as a place where the elderly go to die. What they don’t realize is that Assisted Living Facilities are a great way to bring an aging loved one back to life! Here are just three of the benefits to consider the transition to a new home:
Socialization- As many seniors are aging in place in their homes they gradually lose touch with the outside world. They may not be able to go out on their own to visit with friends they once saw regularly. Or perhaps many of their friends are no longer alive or healthy enough to visit them. The National Center for Health Statistics reports alarming numbers of suicide among people over the age of 65 due to loneliness stemming from living alone .By living in an assisted living facility, residents have the opportunity to interact with their friends and socialize as much or little as they like every day. This can have countless positive effects on healing, depression, attitude and overall health of the residents.
Nutrition- As many people age they fall into harmful patterns that lead to malnutrition and often further health complications. This can stem from a lack of motivation to eat, loss of appetite, loss of energy, or even inaccessibility to obtain food. As a former Assisted Living Dietary Director I can attest to the high level of nutrition implemented in Florida State Assisted Living Facilities. This means that ALF residents are receiving three “square” meals per day tailored by size and restriction to each individual. Additionally, there are snacks always made readily available and served throughout the day, rendering grocery shopping a concern of the past. However, the true benefits of proper senior nutrition include faster healing rates, reduced health risks, behavioral improvements, and increased muscular strength.
Security- Another issue in aging that contributes to the premature decline of many seniors is a sense of insecurity or fear. This feeling can stem from numerous health issues or often being deemed a “fall risk”. Unfortunately, many times these fears manifest into a state of isolation, malnutrition, poor hygiene, and mismanaged medical conditions. By making the move into an ALF, seniors and their loved ones can rest assure knowing that there are staff members present 24/7 to prevent and respond to any scope of medical emergency.
While there are many benefits to transitioning into an Assisted Living Facility, keep in mind it is not the right move for everyone and not all facilities are created equally. There are many factors to take into consideration when looking for the right facility for yourself or a loved one. For more information or guidance consider seeking the council of a senior living concierge or senior-living placement agent.