Nursing homes sometimes have a bad rap, particularly regarding their reputation for simply shutting elderly people away. However, modern nursing homes — often referred to as assisted living — are vibrant places to live with active social communities and support networks.
While it can seem cruel or uncaring to consider assisted living as an option for your loved ones, many of these facilities provide top-notch care, high-quality accommodation, and access to health and wellness programs. If you are thinking about assisted living either for yourself or a loved one, below are some of the top benefits.
Prevents Social Isolation
One of the main benefits of assisted living is that it prevents social isolation, particularly for those who may be otherwise living alone. Most assisted living facilities provide social activities as well as opportunities to mix with other residents in the home. The care staff at an assisted living facility can also help the resident feel less isolated as there are plenty of opportunities for interactions each day.
Assistance with Day-to-Day Tasks
While many elderly people value their independence, there can come a time when day-to-day tasks such as laundry, dressing, or eating and drinking can become too cumbersome. Whether it is because of physical or cognitive decline, managing daily tasks can be a challenge, and this can create undue stress in a person’s life. Assisted living facilities aim to provide high-quality care and are therefore well positioned to help seniors with any daily tasks that are difficult for them.
Access to Excellent Nutrition & Fitness
Health and wellness are especially important in the twilight years and knowing how to get the best of both can be challenging when you are older. Many assisted living facilities solve this issue by providing healthy meals – something that many seniors struggle to make at home, due to boredom with meals or changing tastebuds. These facilities also offer a variety of fitness activities for seniors, making it easier to achieve holistic wellness. Places like Belmont Village, for example, even provide holistic programs for brain health, physical and mental fitness, clinical support, and special diets.
Freedom & Fun
Being in an assisted living facility means that seniors have more freedom to take up hobbies, read, make art, or carry out their old past-times. Most centers provide additional activities that the residents can participate in such as:
- Art classes
- Movie screenings
- Cooking classes
- Holiday celebrations
- Karaoke competitions
- Pet therapy events
- Dancing lessons
- Arts and crafts
- Music therapy
- Exercise events and challenges
- Tabletop game nights
- Pool parties
- Visiting choirs
- Field trips
Healthcare Services are On Hand
Medical emergencies are another concern for elderly individuals living on their own. While ambulance services and family can be on hand, having 24/7 support can be a big help. Residents of assisted living facilities have access to healthcare services almost immediately, especially as there are usually trained on-site nurses or doctors available. Staff are also able to dispense medications for the residents and ensure that they take them regularly and on time. The benefit of assisted living is that help is readily available, and this means that should an emergency occur, help is sought sooner rather than later.
Owning your own home and having autonomy over the property is one of the many things people strive for throughout their adult years. But as we age, tending to maintenance issues such as mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, and even cleaning the house can be much more challenging. However, once you are a resident at an assisted living facility, those chores no longer apply. Not only do you not need to worry about the maintenance of your property, but things like laundry and housekeeping are taken care of by the facility.
Relieving the Strain on Family Members
Nobody wants to see their loved ones suffer, especially as they get older. However, while it is tempting to move elderly parents into your home, the caring responsibilities can become overwhelming, especially if they have specific medical issues. This can also become a difficult situation if you are trying to run a household of your own with a full-time job to attend to.
Many assisted living facilities are not like the nursing homes of old. Depending on which one you choose, many provide top-quality facilities and care for the residents. While it may feel wrong to place your loved one elsewhere, in some cases it can be the best decision for them as they have adequate support, more freedom and potentially improved comfort.
Safety is another big issue if your elderly loved one(s) lives alone. Not only are seniors more vulnerable to household crime, but there are other safety issues to consider such as accidents, falls, or even fires. Knowing that you or your loved one is in the care of an assisted living facility means that you do not have to worry about them being targeted for a crime. It also means that if they have an accident or a fall, help is readily available.
Readily Available Transportation
Another issue for elderly people is access to transportation, especially if they are no longer able to drive. Some seniors might also be physically disabled or not able to walk far, making public transportation difficult to use. The benefit of an assisted living facility is that they often provide free transportation to and from main amenities such as shopping malls, grocery stores, hairdressers, restaurants, doctor’s appointments, and more.
Peace of Mind
Last, but not least, assisted living can provide peace of mind not only for the resident, but also for the family. Knowing that the facility is safe, caring, and that there is 24-hour support and medical services available can mean less sleepless nights for family who have worried about the wellbeing of their loved one. Many assisted living facilities also provide various levels of care in terms of independent living, meaning that residents can choose how much support they need. While it can be an adjustment at first for both the resident and the family, choosing assisted living can be one of the healthiest decisions to make.