Deciding whether or not to put your parents in an assisted living facility is not a question that anyone takes lightly.
In fact, you and your family are likely to agonize over the choice.
Many people feel guilty for even considering an assisted living situation, reasoning that they should be the ones to provide care.
They fear the conditions in the facility, and worry that their parents will resent their choice.
Assisted Living Facilities Are Not Nursing Homes
One of the main reasons people struggle with this issue is the perceived lifestyle and atmosphere in the facility. Many people erroneously think that assisted living centers are simply nursing homes with a nicer name. In fact, assisted living facilities are unlike nursing homes in many ways. The residents in assisted living are frequently active and relatively healthy. They’re eager to join group activities, yet enjoy a measure of independence and privacy.
Most assisted living homes are divided into rooms that are like apartments or condominiums. They feature a small kitchen, living area and bedroom. Additionally, most have nicely appointed common areas where residents eat and enjoy recreation, as well as manicured gardens.
Assisted Living Facilities Offer a Variety of Programs
The staff at these homes keep residents engaged and active with an array of recreational programs. This may include participation in arts and crafts and outings to local points of interest. Fitness and exercise programs are quite common, and help to maintain the physical and mental health of residents.
Most assisted living homes provide residents with transportation for things like doctor appointments and visits to local friends. Some feature onsite barber and beauty parlor services and other thoughtful amenities. The kitchen provides healthy, well-balanced meals that residents can enjoy together.
Seniors in Assisted Living Today Tend to Enjoy Better Quality of Life
Though giving up some independence can be a difficult decision for you and your loved one to make, it’s important to understand that most seniors actually benefit from assisted living. As we age, retire from work and become empty nesters, we have a tendency to become more isolated. This phenomenon only increases as we age and our peers begin to pass away. Seniors who live on their own show a greater tendency toward physical and emotional ailments that can exact a heavy toll.
While living with assisted care may not provide a remedy for all ailments, it has been shown to vastly improve most residents’ quality of life. People living in assisted care are more likely to develop new friendships and discover fresh interests. They receive greater stimulation, and typically enjoy better physical health. Seniors also benefit from receiving nutritious meals. This is a distinct advantage because many elders living on their own find it too difficult to prepare meals for themselves, resulting in widespread cases of malnutrition. If your parents are simply willing to give it a chance, assisted care might become a blessing in disguise.
Assisted Care Offers Safety and Quality Medical Care
Assisted living facilities generally have a limited number of residents, and can offer highly personalized care. Residents receive the assistance they require with certain daily tasks, while maintaining their independence in other matters. Most assisted care homes feature a staff of nurses who are regularly in communication with residents and their primary health care providers. This ensures that residents receive top quality care, as the nurse is able to communicate any changes in a resident’s condition to their doctor immediately.
Assisted care also eliminates the fear of your parent having an accident in the home. In a home filled with staff and other residents, you and your parent will be assured that assistance is always within reach. The presence of near immediate medical assistance means that a minor incident does not have to become tragic.
Information Alleviates Fears
Understanding what assisted care means can go a long way toward dispelling the myth that these homes are unpleasant places. In reality, many of these facilities are warm and homelike, and residents are quite happy with their lifestyle. There’s no need to fear making a decision about assisted care. Visit some local facilities to discover how caring and friendly these establishments can be.