10 Ways Assisted Living Improves Quality of Life
Today, one million Americans live in senior living communities with that number projected to double by the year 2030. As the population ages, seniors are increasingly taking advantage of new options to improve their quality of life, including assisted living communities.
Assisted living communities may exist as stand-alone communities or part of a greater spectrum of care for older adults. They’re defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS) as options for “older adults who may need help with dressing, bathing, eating and toileting,” but who also don’t require intensive medical assistance. The benefits of assisted living can extend far beyond support with activities of daily living (ADLs). Read on to discover 10 ways assisted living communities can improve quality-of-life.
1. Daily Assistance
Assisted living offers much more than help with daily tasks; it opens a world of opportunities and greater freedom for seniors than living alone.
An estimated 11 percent of individuals 75 years or older need daily assistance with bathing, dressing or toileting activities. Individuals of all ages may rely on family members or caregivers for these ADLs or other needs such as grocery shopping, paying bills, or emotional support. With daily assistance from staff members, an assisted living community can reduce the burden on family members while providing the resident with the ongoing support they need.
Assisted living settings can often provide additional help as the needs of their residents change. While they may need help with transportation and benefit from the social activities today, their community can provide progressive help as they begin to need additional support with dressing and bathing. The adaptability of select assisted living programs can provide long-term stability for individuals as they age or their needs progress.
Healthy, appetizing meals are essential elements of assisted living communities.
Malnutrition is a serious issue among older adults. The Mayo Clinic cites the changing nutritional needs of the older population, depression, and difficulty cooking as three key reasons that Seniors’ nutritional needs may not be met. Inconsistent or poor-quality food can weaken immune systems and lead to other health concerns.
Assisted living carries the benefit of nutritious meals prepared by a professional staff, as well as removing the daily burden of cooking and grocery shopping. Campuses can also accommodate individuals with special dietary concerns, such as a need for a low sodium or diabetes-friendly diet.
Research reveals that connection to family and friends plays a major role in the quality of life for seniors. In fact, being able to keep in touch with family and friends may be a more important factor in avoiding isolation and depression than finances, per the results of the United States of Aging survey. Assisted living can provide individuals with the ability to foster new connections while remaining close to friends and family.
While many individuals remain, safe drivers, as they age, others find a need for help with transportation to shopping, medical appointments, and other destinations. Slower reaction time and vision issues have been statistically correlated to higher rates of fatal accidents among licensed drivers 65 or older
Transportation assistance via a community for seniors can provide family members with peace of mind that their elders are safe on the road. Safe transport to medical appointments, shopping, and planned activities can also ensure seniors don’t feel that they’re burdening their family with transportation needs.
Feelings of isolation and depression in seniors can increase health issues or cause anxiety about going out. Assisted Living communities provide convenient access to a wide variety of planned activities for them to maintain friendships, form new connections, and experience new things. From planned outings and lunches to regular game nights or films at the community, activities can be a key to long-term quality of life factors.
7. Less Housework
Having to maintain a house or apartment can be strenuous for seniors who need assistance with daily life. Gardening, cooking and house maintenance can cause ongoing stress, or even contribute to certain risks such as falls when individuals need support. At an assisted living community, seniors are relieved of daily chores associated with living at home.
Seniors in assisted living have more time to pursue their interests, because:
- Housekeeping is provided;
- There’s no shoveling or raking of leaves to do; and
- All meals are included.
No one wants to lose independence as they age. Research has revealed that for some aging members of our society, the loss of independence is viewed worse than death (see the United States of Aging survey.) While seniors who need limited assistance may be resistant to moving towards a skilled nursing center, assisted living can provide these individuals with the ability to remain independent. From participating in activities of their choice to hosting family and friends, assisted living can be a key to dignity for older adults.
9. Lower Cost
Assisted living residences can be more affordable than in-home care.
10. Peace of Mind
For residents and their loved ones, assisted living and memory care options can represent enormous decisions. Seniors are forced to balance challenging priorities, including their need for independence, help with activities of daily life, budget, and insurance. We take an interdisciplinary team approach and welcome family input as we create personalized plans to meet the needs of each resident.
However, one of the biggest benefits of assisted living can be peace of mind for both senior citizens and their family and friends.
Assisted living settings provide respectful memory care that evolves with the changing needs of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
Assisted Living Can Be a Path to Happier Seniors
By knowing their seniors are receiving assistance and support, family members can experience less worry. As residents benefit from customized services and vibrant communities without having to worry about cooking, cleaning or arranging transportation, their happiness and quality of life can also soar.
Searching for an assisted living community in Massachusetts? Whitney Place Assisted Living Residences offer a warm and gracious setting for seniors needing a little help with daily routines, featuring private or shared apartments.
Residents receive individual attention from nurses, dedicated Alzheimer’s professionals (at our Natick, Northborough, Sharon, and Westborough locations), skilled recreation team and expertly trained personal care attendants, and have access to social services. Residents also enjoy delicious meals, abundant social events and recreation, local transportation, community and intergenerational programs and 24-hour emergency response.
Questions About Assisted Living?
Contact Whitney Place Assisted Living Residences with any questions you may have about assisted living care or communities available for seniors.