Love is a powerful force, especially when it motivates you to provide loving care for a senior loved one. Love can motivate you to keep going when you’re exhausted, be patient when you’re overwhelmed, and give up once-beloved hobbies to care for a loved one. More than 30 million Americans are driven by love and concern to provide unpaid care to an ailing loved one. And while their sacrifice is laudable, love isn’t always enough. Love can’t build more hours into the day, or eliminate the need to sleep. It can’t free you of your own need for downtime and loving human connection. Assisted living and memory care, however, can help bridge the gap between what you want to do for your loved one and what you’re able to offer.
Companion-style living is a unique approach to senior care in memory care communities. It saves money, but more importantly, it can help seniors feel less isolated and more connected to their community. For caregivers who feel anxious about transitioning a loved one to memory care, companion-style living offers reassurance that a loved one won’t be making the transition alone. Here are five key benefits of companion-style living in memory care.
Most older adults benefit from having a family member accompany them to doctor appointments. Family members can keep track of information or recommended follow-up steps, as well as advocate for the senior during the visit. Family members can share specific concerns in regards to memory or pain management with the doctor, as well as give realistic accounts of symptoms the senior could be experiencing.
When you think of senior care communities, do you envision sterile, hospital-like environments full of rushing nurses and unstimulated seniors? For many people, these old stereotypes of nursing homes are forever in mind due to childhood visits to a great grandmother decades ago. Now, nursing homes are more resident-centered than in the past, but are still not appropriate venues for all older adults.
Growing older is hard. It often means more aches and pains, less mobility, and increased difficulty managing one’s own life. It’s no wonder that so many seniors are determined to remain independent. One survey found that about 90% of seniors hope to “age in place,” remaining in their current homes for at least the next 5-10 years. Yet about two thirds of seniors need help completing at least one daily task. It’s painful when your mind wants one thing and your body seems determined to push you in a different direction. This is why so many seniors who need assisted living refuse.
The arrival of summer means your travel dreams can finally come true. People of all ages are subject to wanderlust, and it is hard to dispute the sense of adventure and relaxation that comes from a trip. Science has recently started to back up those happy feelings that come from vacation, no matter if your trip is a few towns away or across the ocean. In 2013, a study published by the American Psychological Association noted that vacations can combat stress and negative emotions by removing us from our otherwise stressful lives. But the benefits of taking a vacation go beyond stress relief. A study out of the Wisconsin Medical Journal demonstrated that women who vacation twice a year are far less likely to suffer feelings of depression than women who vacation less that once every two years.
Senior living is a broad industry, giving care and options for older adults who live with different challenges and preferences. Today’s seniors are fortunate to have such a variety of solutions to suit their needs, but so many choices can quickly lead to feelings of confusion. For example, if you have done your due diligence to narrow down your senior living choice to assisted living, you may be surprised to find out there are multiple levels of care within your assisted living community. Each of these levels of care features a different cost, as well as a different amount of hands-on care.
Assisted living is a wonderful option for older adults who need some hands-on care or reminders in order to stay healthy. Seniors living with chronic medical conditions, a long or confusing list of regular medications, or some mobility issues may find that assisted living offers the perfect blend of independence and access to caregivers available to lend a hand when needed. For family members, assisted living communities can offer peace of mind when it comes to safety. All in all, assisted living benefits seniors and the family members who love them.