After a life of working and caring for others, your senior loved ones deserve the physical and mental well-being of a happy retirement. Assisted living communities offer social interaction, a full and productive lifestyle, safety, and just the right support for seniors.
Consider these seven benefits to understand how a move to assisted living could help your aging relative enjoy happiness and health.
1. No more boredom
After retirement, seniors may be overwhelmed by free time. These extra hours can be used to pursue passions or pick up new hobbies. Many assisted living communities offer activities that appeal to all walks of life:
- Movie nights offer classic entertainment with old favorite films, popcorn, and snacks
- Communal gardens give older adults the opportunity to spend time outside
- Art and music classes teach new skills and encourage creativity
- Poker and card tournaments engage seniors in friendly competition
- Book clubs promote discussions between friends
2. The help seniors need, when they need it
A key component of assisted living is help with activities of daily living (ADLs). This can mean anything from occasional assistance getting dressed to daily incontinence care.
If an adult is independent when they move in, but needs more care as they age, that assistance is available on-site and can be quickly arranged. Health-related assisted living benefits include:
- Caregiver aid, from bathing to escorting residents to dining areas and activities
- Medication management to keep track of prescriptions
- Transportation to doctor’s appointments
- On-call nurses or trained staff to respond to emergencies
3. Intellectual stimulation
Mental stimulation may lower the risk of long-term cognitive decline, and assisted living communities offer opportunities for lifetime learning. From lending libraries to language lessons to woodworking shops, there are plenty of ways seniors can stay engaged.
- Communities have access to “brain training” resources and brain games designed to slow cognitive decline.
- Guest lecturers and local professors may come speak about popular topics, like art history or flower arranging, at assisted living communities.
- Computer rooms and personal tablets are often available, and community staff can help seniors develop technical skills.
4. Safety and security for seniors
Keeping seniors healthy and safe is a priority for assisted living communities.
- Senior living minimizes fall dangers
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in seniors 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Assisted living communities are designed for accessibility and mobility, with ramps, flat thresholds, and hallway hand railings. Raised toilets, specially designed walk-in showers, and grab bars in bathrooms also reduce the likelihood of falls.
- Security is always available
Elderly people are often targets for break-ins and scams. Senior living communities utilize security companies and alarm systems to provide peace of mind.
- Senior living communities are prepared for disaster
Elderly people aging in place are responsible for checking smoke detectors, installing carbon monoxide alarms, and replacing fire extinguishers. In the event of an emergency — like a tornado, earthquake, or fire — they might have to find safety on their own. Assisted living communities have disaster plans and staff prepared to help seniors in case of emergency.
- On-call staff provides peace of mind in medical emergencies
Emergency call buttons in assisted living apartments communities are used to notify staff in case of falls or injuries. This means seniors don’t have to worry about struggling to contact help or waiting to be found after a medical event at home.
5. A remedy for loneliness
Loneliness can lead to depression, high blood pressure, and early mortality in seniors, according to research from University of Chicago. Even if an elderly relative is in good health, aging alone can be emotionally detrimental.
Older adults are less likely to feel lonely when they have the opportunity to spend time with friends and peers. Assisted living communities offer social outlets for all personalities. Whether someone prefers a quiet game of cards or an animated night of charades, there are always friends around to socialize.
6. A healthier lifestyle, without the effort
Elderly adults have unique fitness and nutrition needs. Living at home, the task of preparing healthy, balanced meals and organizing transportation to fitness classes or physical therapy falls to seniors or their family members.
- Dining services provide flavor and nutrition
All-inclusive dining takes the guesswork out of cooking healthy meals, and it saves seniors and family members from the stress of specialized diets. Assisted living communities offer dietitian-approved meals for diabetic diets, high cholesterol, and more.
- On-site exercise classes offer variety and fitness
Assisted living communities offer supervised, safe exercise programs for seniors of all abilities. Physical activity keeps aging adults healthy longer, improves cognitive function, and is a great social outlet.
7. Peace of mind for family and friends
If you’re worried about an aging parent or loved one living alone, or can no longer support them in your own home, assisted living may offer help and a sense of comfort. With designated caregivers available 24/7, you know that someone’s there in case of emergency.