Aging is the great equalizer. An inevitable part of life, we will all be presented with seemingly endless implications of aging as the years roll on.
Whether the changes are physical, mental, or behavioral in nature, at some point we start to spot the signs and distinguish differences that can make us feel old before our time.
However depressing this might sound to a lot of people, this is an unavoidable condition that we all have to endure. The body might have slowed down a bit, the current state of health might not be as well as two decades ago, and physical limitations might hinder elderly people from performing activities which they used to enjoy. These shouldn’t be excuses for senior citizens to feel old. There are institutions that facilitate wholesome and enriching activities for the elderly while they tend to their personal needs as well.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living facilities are places where senior citizens can spend most of their free time and make the most out of it. This is what distinguishes these residences from nursing homes and hospices.
Senior citizens are given the freedom of choice and basic personal assistance when it’s needed. Assisted living residences are much like any community, where elderly people reside, interact with each other, and receive the limited care that they need to keep going.
There are many reasons to opt for assisted living over other forms of caregiving, which is what we’ll explore today.
5 Reasons Seniors Choose Assisted Living
There are a lot of senior citizens who opt to retire in facilities of this type. Here are some of the main reasons why a lot of old people decide on retiring and spending their free time in assisted living facilities:
1. To Maintain Independence
It is a common misconception that people inevitably become sick and incapable as we grow old. There are many senior citizens who are in great shape and have most of their abilities intact.
Seniors do not want their independence taken away. This can be the feeling when they stay at skilled nursing facilities instead. Nursing homes and facilities impose rules and regulations to ensure that medications and therapies stay on schedule. These institutions typically have a strict medical regimen they must follow in order to promote a longer life. This may be necessary in some cases, but the flip side is that many people don’t like to be watched and care for 24/7.
Assisted living helps to maintain a better level of independence. Seniors are allowed to perform activities of daily living without much interference. They are given the choice of doctors and are not bound to adhere to medication regimen.
2. A New Lease of (Social) Life
There is an invisible line which divides the elderly and the younger generation. Given that there is mutual respect between old people and younger individuals one cannot ignore the fact that there are a lot of things which these two groups do not agree on.
An assisted living community is a venue for seniors to converge and communicate harmoniously with each other. Since most of the residents have experienced the same social, ethical, and moral conditions in the past, they are most likely to understand each other. This understanding leads to new bonds of friendship among old people. Senior citizens who have the same values and traditions have a greater chance of living harmoniously under one roof.
There is typically minimal conflict within the community which directly translates to happy and healthy senior residents.
3. To Maintain Their Dignity
This is one of the primary attractions of assisted living facilities: they blend caregiving with a level of control.
Minimum supervision is provided because, inevitably, seniors do not want to feel heavily restricted by their age. They still have the strength of body and mind to perform the activities of daily living. Providing too much care or offering more assistance than neeeded can be frustrating to senior citizens. Even the younger generation gets offended when they are told how to do things in a certain way, so it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for someone who has lived through more than us to be instructed in the same way.
Assisted living residences keep in mind that those they serve are generations made up of mature individuals, who simply want to enjoy their remaining days to the fullest. They want to keep their dignity and self-reliance intact.
4. To Increase Physical Activity
Nursing homes are primarily concerned with keeping their residents comfortable and disease-symptom free, sometimes at the expense of limited physical activity.
Assisted living facilities focus on holistic care, which means they have more inclination to helps seniors get out and about. They provide for the physical needs and assistance to residents upon request, with arranged activities designed to promote both activity and mental wellness.
Because the residents of assisted living facilities usually have more independence and can set their own schedule, to a large extent, they are able to tailor their physical activity to their own interests and social schedule. As covered above, with so many other seniors in the same situation, it’s always easy to find someone who wants to join in with an activity or exercise.
Assisted living facilities are usually much more affordable than nursing homes and retirement homes. Because their main mission is to foster independence and integrity among senior residents, their caregiving costs are typically lower and they can focus on empowerment.
This means that the seniors who live in them aren’t bound to follow any rules and not restricted to perform daily activities which they find entertaining and amusing. There are trained staff which cater and deliver assistance to the elderly in performing some basic activities of daily living.
Assisted living facilities are excellent institutions that deliver holistic care with the right balance of freedom, choice, care, and assistance. With those reasons and more in mind, it’s little wonder that more and more senior citizens choose to stay in these lively, sometimes liberating assisted living communities.