9 Reasons Assisted Living Supports Healthier and Happier Seniors
Explore the many benefits of assisted living for seniors and discover why this is a great option for your loved one.
One in seven Americans (49+ million) are over the age of 65. There were approximately 82 000 over the age of 100 in 2016 and that number is predicted to multiply by 10 in the next few decades.
We are living longer than at any other time in history but many require help to get through the day. Over 1.5 million elderly live in a nursing home because they require around the clock care.
Some families and seniors see the move as a negative one but there are many benefits of assisted living for seniors that people don’t always think of.
Keep reading to learn the greatest benefits of assisted living and how it can be a positive thing.
1. Help is Always Available
We all need a helping hand once in a while and as we get older the risk of falls, home accidents, and injuries becomes greater.
Assisted living gives individuals and their loved ones the peace of mind and comfort of knowing there is always someone there to help and care for them in the event of a health or wellness issue arising.
When living in a nursing home there are trained staff and medical professionals available to handle any emergency, help with activities of daily living, and assist with medication and nutritional support and more.
2. Support For Family
One of the benefits of assisted living is that there is more support not only for the individual but for the family as well. Often when someone gets older and requires more help the responsibility lies on family members to provide it.
The problem is the rest of life doesn’t stop just because a loved one needs you. Spouses may have health issues of their own that require assistance. Children are often grown with families, mortgages, jobs, and other responsibilities that demand their attention and adding to their high-stress level during an already emotional time.
Assisted living allows families to know their loved one has help available while they tend to the other demands of life.
After a family researches to ensure the staff members are properly trained, management is proactive and complaints of abuse or neglect are taken seriously, they can have peace of mind knowing their loved one is being well cared for.
3. Social Benefits of Assisted Living
There are many social benefits associated with assisted living. The elderly population is at greater risk of loneliness, depression, and social isolation when living at home.
Assisted living has group activities, staff, residents, and dining room meal times to increase the opportunity for social interaction and improved quality of life.
Many events, activities, social groups, and other chances to be active are available in almost all nursing homes and senior assisted living facilities.
These activities offer daily social and mental exercise that many seniors living alone don’t get. There are often programs that also offer physical, occupational, and recreational therapy.
4. Nutritional Benefits of Assisted Living
Many seniors living at home don’t get the nutrition they need to be at their best physically and mentally. The elderly are at greater risk of malnutrition and dehydration.
Meals prepared with each individual’s nutritional and physical needs considered along with staff to monitor hydration and assist with eating make all the difference in their health and overall well-being.
5. Physical Health Benefits
Beyond the nutritional value there are other health benefits of assisted living:
- Proper equipment for safety and health
- Physical Therapy and Medical Staff
- Regular medical assessments
- Activities available to promote physical exercise and fitness
There are more assistance devices to prevent injury and staff to minimize risk to physical wellbeing. One-third of all Americans over 65 experience at least one fall in a year. Many are at home without anyone around to help them up.
6. Financial Considerations
Getting old can be expensive! Especially if you need to have 24-hour help, numerous doctors appointments, equipment to assist with activities of daily living, medication, and other expenses.
Assisted living can be a solution to several large bills overwhelming the family by consolidating services needed into the cost of living at the facility.
Everything is provided by the home with an itemized bill rather than dealing with several different agencies, organizations, and businesses. No more home repairs, maintenance, home care cost, utilities, and other expenses of living at home.
Financial stresses are often one of the deciding factors in moving a loved one to a home as they require more financial investments into their health and care. It is a way to provide the best care possible without multiple bill collectors banging down the door.
7. Medication and Health Monitoring
Many medication errors resulting in serious illness or even death occur when seniors are solely responsible for their own medications.
Living in a place with trained medical staff enables them to have knowledgable assistance with their medications, to support healthy choices and to ensure they have medical attention when needed.
There are safeguards in facilities with trained staff to minimize medication errors that are not always possible in the person’s home.
Elderly loved ones who forget to take or take the wrong amounts of medication could benefit from having staff there to help ensure it is always taken at the right time and in the right dosage.
8. Safe Environment
Most accidents happen at home. The risk of falling or sustaining injuries from an accident at home is even greater as seniors get older. Many homes have tripping hazards, stairs, cords, clutter, and other hazards that may not be recognized until it’s too late and your loved one is hurt.
Living facilities for the elderly take safety measures and precautions to ensure the safety of the residents. There are staff trained specifically to keep an eye open for hazards and to safely assist with any transfer or mobility needs, even for those people who are using mobility scooters.
It may become too dangerous for them to live at home even with caregivers there to help.
9. Cognitive and Behavioral Changes
Many elderly today are experiencing battles with dementia, Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s, and other conditions that affect their cognitive abilities.
These conditions may lead to changes in behavior including:
- Inability to communicate
- Inability to understand or follow instruction
- Physical and Emotional Dependence
- Paranoia or Anxiety
There are facilities that offer programs and care plans specifically designed to provide the best quality of life for those with cognitive issues. Many show significant improvement after receiving care and participating in programs for cognitive conditions.
Healthier, Happier Seniors Are the Greatest Benefit of Assisted Living
One of the most important benefits of assisted living is that it can provide a better quality of life leading to healthier, happier seniors living more fulfilling lives.
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