Getting older is a natural part of life, but it can bring physical, mental, and emotional challenges that are difficult to prepare for. When the time comes when a senior person needs more care and support, it can be difficult to know what to do for the best. Should you/they move in with family, or would it be better to move into a senior living facility?
When you think of a senior living facility, you probably have an outdated picture in your mind, which is less than favorable. What many people do not realize is that senior living facilities have moved on. Senior citizens no longer have to fear losing their identity or their independence or entering a lonely, dull, or uneventful phase of their lives. Today, seniors can spend their golden years in a vibrant community with excellent amenities, a busy social calendar while enjoying fascinating experiences and activities. Depending on the individual’s needs, they can live independently, with assistance, or with quality medical care tailored exactly to their needs.
In many cases, senior citizens can enjoy a much higher standard of living and improved physical and mental health than they would if they continued to live alone or with family. Whether you are a senior citizen considering making a change to your own living situation, or you are trying to decide what would be best for an elderly loved one, here are five reasons why people move into a senior living community.
1. Seniors can live in a safe environment
Over time seniors can lose mobility and may become more prone to trips, falls, accidents, and their cognitive functioning can decrease. This can make it more difficult for them to take care of themselves and their property. To continue living in their own home, it is often necessary to make adaptations and modifications to make the home safer, e.g., ramps, stairlifts, medical alert systems, or wider doorways for wheelchair access. These changes may also be needed if they move in with family. These changes can become expensive, and they do not necessarily prevent the senior person from having an accident when they are on their own and not being able to call for help.
Senior living communities are designed to be as accessible and safe as possible to give their residents independence. Seniors can live independently but have access to medical support at all times. They are often staffed by medical professionals and have direct links to a wide range of healthcare provisions and hospitals, so help, advice, and treatment are always close by in case of an emergency.
2. Seniors can access fitness programs and activities
Maintaining physical fitness is important for seniors to help them remain mobile and healthy as they age. Being active becomes more challenging with age, and it is easy for older people to stop engaging in regular activity, which leads to decreased mobility and a range of other health problems. This becomes even more likely if the senior person does not have regular contact with friends or family as they may not be as motivated to get out of the house.
In an assisted living community, residents have access to a varied program of fitness classes and physical therapy sessions designed to keep them motivated, mobile, and healthy. From fun group classes to tailored programs designed to address a particular medical condition, it is much easier to stay in shape with the right facilities and professional advice than when living at home. In addition, people are far more likely to stick with a physical fitness routine when they are doing so as part of a group or community.
3. Seniors can enjoy a nutritious and delicious diet
Even young people can find it difficult to shop for groceries, prepare nutritious meals, or stick to regular mealtimes when they live alone. Older people who live alone often face the additional challenges of decreased mobility and/or dexterity, leading to difficulties with cooking practicalities. Therefore, it is not uncommon for seniors to become deficient in key nutrients, and malnutrition can lead to physical and mental health issues. It can also be difficult for family members to monitor what a senior loved one is eating even when they live in the same home, and they cannot force someone to eat healthily.
In a senior living facility, residents are provided with regular nutritious meals, and some of the best facilities offer nothing less than fine dining. In addition, seniors with medical conditions that make eating physically difficult or have complex dietary needs will receive extra support.
4. Seniors have daily support while living independently
There is often a dilemma facing seniors and their families when deciding whether to move into an assisted living facility. Seniors want to maintain their independence and identity, but they struggle with daily life activities such as housekeeping, gardening, and self-care. Some believe that moving into an assisted living environment means giving up on their freedom, but this is simply not the case.
As the term suggests, assisted living provides seniors with practical support where it is needed so that they can spend more of their time enjoying themselves and spending time with friends and family. By finding senior living near me, seniors can choose to move into a facility near their family to make it easier to see their family regularly.
5. Seniors can socialize regularly
One of the main contributing factors to senior people’s deteriorating health is isolation and loneliness. Loneliness can develop when people retire from their career as this often makes up a large part of our social contact, friendships become more difficult to maintain, loved ones and partners pass away. As children and grandchildren grow older, they become busier and may move away. Aging can also make getting to social occasions more difficult due to decreased mobility and/or low confidence. By moving into a senior living facility, they become part of a community of people from the same generation, many of whom are facing the same physical and emotional challenges. In addition, many facilities plan social events, trips, and activities to encourage the residents to socialize and build friendships.