The Assisted Living Effect: Better Health and Happiness
Last Updated: September 13, 2018
While many aging parents are wary of leaving their family home to move into assisted living, the truth is that a senior living community could be better than living at home when it comes to quality of life, social life and wellness for seniors.
Adult children who notice that Dad and Mom are needing more care may question how to handle their parents’ changing health needs. Inevitably, the day comes to assess whether our parents need more than they have in their family home environment.
Learn more about what assisted living can provide your family and how to address any care concerns.
Benefits of Senior Living
Many seniors are resistant to assisted living, stating that they “don’t want to be in a home,” but often, a little education about the wonderful senior living communities and options available today, in addition to touring the communities, can help families and their senior loved ones choose the best option for their unique situations.
In fact, research has shown that aging parents and seniors prefer assisted living over other types of care, as these communities have expanded their market by providing fun convenience, retirement and socialization services.
Our Senior Living Planning Guide can walk you through how to find assisted living based on your family’s specific needs and priorities, from managing finances to moving into a community of choice. Deciding what is best for your family is a personal decision, but luckily, there are wonderful resources to help you make the best and most informed decision for your aging parents.
Better Health and Happiness Are a Way of Life in Assisted Living
Senior living is a great step for seniors who need more socialization and help with daily needs than the family can provide at home.
There are many different types of senior living care, as the Senior Living Guide explains, from assisted living and independent living to memory care. Each of these options offers wonderful entertainment, fitness and living arrangements for the stage your parents need.
Here are a few compelling reasons to consider assisted living to better the health and quality of life of your senior loved one:
1. Chef-Prepared, Nutritious Meals
Assisted living offers nutritious, often chef-prepared cuisine catered for specific medical conditions and needs. Residents are served three meals a day tailored to their changing health needs and some luxury communities even offer luxury dining.
2. Help With Daily Living
Family caregivers are also generally responsible for helping with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing and eating when a senior loved one lives at home. In other cases, the family or the senior themselves must bear the cost of a home care aide. Both of these options can cause strain on the family. In contrast, one of the most basic tenets of assisted living is helping older adults with these ADLs so that they can continue to function as independently as possible.
3. Intellectual Stimulation
Assisted living communities offer many opportunities for learning, such as book clubs, computer classes, gardening and more. Some communities are even located near a college so that residents can take advantage of nearby campus resources, including courses and cultural offerings.
4. No Stress of Housekeeping and Transportation
Keeping up with appointments, daily chores and housekeeping are often stressful for not only seniors but also their family. The vast majority of these burdens are relieved in assisted living and the community offers housekeeping and transportation services.
5. Physical Activity and Fitness
Many assisted living communities offer exercise classes, gym equipment and even personal trainers to help with elder fitness and physical therapy.
6. Safe Living Environment
Often, home modifications and in-home care are required for a safe living environment in the family home, which can be very costly. Assisted living is designed for accessibility and mobility while also offering expert care and medical attention if needed.
7. Social Activity
Living at home can be isolating. Seniors often find it difficult to maintain their social relationships when they are retired. Assisted living offers socialization through planned activities and outings, such as cultural events and field trips. Daily living in the common areas also offers fun and socialization for seniors.
Your Assisted Living Questions: Answered
The Senior Living Planning e-book answers many questions families have about assisted living communities.
Here are some of the main concerns for families with aging parents or senior loved ones:
How Does One Pay for Care?
Some popular methods for financing assisted living include:
- Home equity and reverse mortgage
- Income and savings
- Life insurance policies
- Long-term care insurance
- Support from family members
- Veteran’s benefits
Use the online Senior Care Cost Calculator to compare costs.
How Much Does Senior Living Cost?
Families are often concerned about the cost of senior living care. However, many people are surprised at how affordable senior care really is, particularly when comparing the cost of living at home.
What Do I Look for When Touring Communities?
The e-book also provides a working checklist as you tour facilities so you can compare and observe important features. For example:
- General observations: Do staff call residents by name? Do residents appear engaged and happy?
- Legal and financial questions: Will you need renters insurance? Are there move-in incentives?
- Safety features: How do they handle medical emergencies? Is there a visiting physician on staff?
Where Should My Parents Move?
- For Active, Healthy Seniors: You’ll know the differences between 55 and over apartments vs. independent living facilities.
- For Seniors Who Need Daily Support: We compare assisted living, memory care and residential care homes.
- For Seniors Who Live at Home: There are options for adult day care, home care and respite care.
Transitioning to Assisted Living
Making the decision to move to assisted living is now much easier since families have learned the benefits of senior health and happiness. The information in the Senior Living Planning Guide also offers a helpful resource to answer questions.
Be prepared to have a family conversation, support your aging loved one emotionally through this new journey and decide what important documentation and keepsakes should be taken to your loved one’s new home. Don’t allow the emotional and logistical challenges of finding senior living overwhelm you.
A trusted Senior Living Advisor is also available to answer questions or help you fine-tune your search to find the perfect new home for your aging parent.
We would love to hear more about your experiences moving a parent or senior loved one into assisted living. Share them with us in the comments below.
We Can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.