Senior living can be life-changing. In an era when web advertising brands everything from toothpaste to stationery as “life-altering,” that might seem like hyperbole. It’s not. Seniors lead better, healthier, happier lives in senior living communities. So although caregivers may worry that moving a loved one to senior living means downgrading their quality of life, the truth is that assisted living can offer care and hope that even the best home-based caregivers cannot match. Here’s how assisted living can help your loved one live a better life.
In the popular imagination, senior living is a last resort for seniors whose loved ones can’t care for them. In reality, it’s an amazing option for seniors who need a little help, but who still want to maintain their independence. The assisted living community of today is nothing like the nursing home of yesteryear. Assisted senior living supports seniors of all ability levels to reach their goals, live lives of purpose, and remain as healthy as possible for years to come.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three seniors dies with some type of dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, and is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Both Alzheimer's and dementia remain somewhat mysterious. Doctors don’t fully understand what causes dementia, and people who don’t know someone with dementia may have little understanding of how dementia progresses. Some people mistakenly believe Alzheimer’s is the only type of dementia.
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.