Everybody can use a helping hand at some point, and that’s especially true as we age. Seniors often discover that bathing, dressing, maneuvering throughout the house and running errands become more challenging with each passing year. These and other activities of daily living, also known as ADLs, are the reason that many seniors opt to reside in an assisted living environment.
Residents and their family members may choose to go the assisted living route for any number of reasons. Comfort, security, and stimulating activities are a few selling points of this type of living arrangement. Unlike nursing homes, residents who choose assisted living maintain a sense of independence by keeping their own living arrangement in a residential setting.
Assisted living typically includes services such as meals, housekeeping, and assistance with activities of daily living – dressing, bathing, toileting, medicating, etc. – as needed. According to the National Care Planning Council, 86% of assisted living residents need help with daily medications, 76% need help with bathing, and 57% need help with dressing. The services provided in an assisted living community may include:
- Dining, generally three daily meals served in a common area
- Housekeeping, which typically includes cleaning, laundry, and other services
- Transportation for medical, social, or other reasons
- Wellness, including exercise classes and fitness facilities
- Social or recreational activities, with outings from shopping to sports events
Benefits of assisted living
Every senior is different, which means no two levels of care are alike. Assisted living provides an ideal opportunity to deliver customized care for seniors. Although able to dress and bathe herself, one senior may find meal preparation to be a challenge. Another senior may be adept at personal care responsibilities but insecure when it comes to driving or using public transportation. Assisted living provides help where it’s most needed.
Seniors who are unable to stay connected with family and friends can get the assistance and interaction they need within the assisted living community. By eliminating isolation and the need to complete chores, seniors are at less risk of being injured and unable to contact loved ones or medical professionals for first aid.
Free of the burden of driving or using public transportation, seniors can enjoy a range of easily accessible activities. From local and out-of-town trips to on-site entertainment and educational presentations, assisted living residents enjoy an environment that is always stimulating.
Finally, assisted living communities offer payment options. Scheduled payment plans are customary, but programs to purchase and sell prospective residents’ homes are increasing. Long-term care insurance, veterans benefits, and reverse mortgages are other ways to pay for assisted living.
One of the most crucial actions you’ll ever take concerns deciding to leave your home. When it’s time to make that decision, rest assured that assisted living is an option well worth considering.