At some point in their lives, people discover that they change places with their parents. By the time they are in their middle forties, they begin worrying about their parents as they age. They may have to begin looking for care for elderly parents, and to consider alternatives to their living alone in homes that are no longer safe. Assisted living homes provide the best of both worlds for seniors, allowing them to maintain their independence while receiving the care they need.
Assisted living that feels like home
People who haven’t looked at assisted living facilities for a while will be pleasantly surprised by what they find. First of all, there is a variety of accommodation offered, with varying floor plans. Depending on individual needs and level of activity, seniors can choose from single rooms or one or two bedroom apartments.
These facilities have a homely atmosphere that is completely different from the impersonal and clinical atmosphere many people expect. Residents can bring their own familiar furnishings and belongings. Many assisted living homes also allow pets, so that seniors are not forced to part with their beloved companions. Many complexes have libraries and entertainment centers on site, for use by residents.
Requirements for a happy retirement
As of 2012, there were around 22,200 assisted living facilities around the U.S. Residential care communities have been changing in response to the needs of seniors, and now offer a range of facilities that cater to all needs. Services can include housekeeping, laundry, transportation and meals. Many assisted living homes also have dining rooms where people can meet to share meals and conversation.
Assisted living communities also recognize that retirees are happiest when they have a round of activities to keep them busy. A study conducted in 2015 found that those retired who had three or four activities to keep them busy were the happiest.
Physical exercise is an essential part of any routine, and many facilities have fitness centers and physical therapy programs. Landscaped gardens offer pleasant surroundings to walk or relax, and regular outings give residents a chance to attend cultural events.
Medical care for the elderly
Aging inevitably comes with health problems and most facilities have staff on site round the clock to deal with any emergencies. Many residents need help with the basic activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing and cleaning. They may need help or reminders to take their medications.
By 2010, more than half or 54% of residents in assisted living facilities were over 85 years of age. The average or typical resident is a woman is who is 87 years old, mobile and mostly able to manage alone, but needing help with two or three activities. Assisted living allows them to maintain their independence while getting the help they need.
Assisted living facilities are changing to reflect the needs of residents and their families. Many residents and their families are pleasantly surprised at what they find. In fact, the majority of seniors report being happier in retirement than they expected. These are their golden years and they deserve to enjoy them.