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11 Benefits of Assisted Living for Seniors: 24-Hour Care, Friendship, Food, and More

9 minute readLast updated June 6, 2024
fact checkedon June 6, 2024
Written by Claire Samuels
Reviewed by Niki Gewirtz, senior living expertNiki Gewirtz is a senior new hire support specialist with A Place for Mom and has advised families for more than 20 years.
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Assisted living has many benefits for seniors. Some, like personalized care plans and 24-hour caregiver assistance, are expected. Other things — like shopping excursions and on-site entertainment — may come as a surprise. As you tour assisted living communities, be sure to look at the unique benefits that each community offers. For instance, many communities tailor their activity calendars to suit the interests of the seniors who live there. Some communities may have on-site amenities that offer clear benefits — an indoor pool, for example — that others don’t. Be sure to keep in mind which benefits will most interest your loved one before choosing a community to call home.

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Key Takeaways

  1. Assisted living provides personalized care around the clock. Each resident has a care plan and caregivers are available to help overnight.
  2. Assisted living offers residents a healthy lifestyle. Chef-prepared meals and on-site exercise classes encourage both body and brain health.
  3. Assisted living communities are safe and secure. Unique features help prevent falls, while on-site alarms and security companies keep seniors safe.
  4. On-site activities and outings keep seniors engaged. From book clubs and happy hours to shopping trips and entertainment, communities offer a range of activities to appeal to residents.

1. Personalized care plans

One of the key assisted living benefits is help with activities of daily living (ADLs). This can mean anything from occasional assistance getting dressed to daily help bathing. Many assisted living communities offer different levels of care, designed to make sure that each senior gets the help they need without losing their independence. To make sure that each senior’s needs are met, communities assess care needs for new residents up-front and then on a regular basis thereafter.

Health-related benefits of assisted living communities include:

  • Caregiver aid. Caregivers and nurses can help with a variety of daily activities, from bathing to escorting residents to dining areas and activities.
  • Medication management. Keeping track of prescriptions ensures seniors take the right medicines at the right times of day, preventing dangerous mismanagement.
  • Senior care coordination. Transportation to doctor’s appointments and some on-site medical services help seniors stay on top of important health care needs. Plus, nurses and staff members can observe any health changes.
  • On-call nurses or trained staff. Staff members are available and trained to respond to emergencies or contact ambulance transport.

2. 24-hour care

While seniors may need the most help during the day, caregivers at assisted living communities are available 24/7. For instance, if your loved one needs help to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, they can easily get the assistance they need.

It’s important to note, though, that most communities have fewer caregivers available at night than during the day. Some communities rely on technology to help supervise residents overnight, such as a medical alert pendant or emergency pull cords.

3. Activities and social events

After retirement, seniors may be overwhelmed by free time. These extra hours can be used to pursue passions or pick up new hobbies. One of the top benefits of assisted living is a number of activities that appeal to all walks of life. Consider these pursuits available at most of our partner assisted living communities:

  • Movie nights offer classic entertainment with 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.

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4. Intellectual stimulation

Mental stimulation may lower the risk of dementia and long-term cognitive decline. Opportunities for lifelong learning are among the many benefits of assisted living communities. From lending libraries and language lessons to woodworking shops and religious services, there are plenty of opportunities for seniors to stay engaged. Assisted living communities often offer the following supportive services for residents:

  • Ways to combat dementia. Communities provide residents access to stimulating resources and brain games designed to slow cognitive decline.
  • Academic activities. Guest lecturers and local professors may visit assisted living communities to speak about popular topics like art history or flower arranging. Some communities are even located on a college campus.
  • Technology assistance. Computer rooms and personal tablets are often available, and community staff can help seniors develop technical skills. Alexa-enabled devices may be available in some communities, too.

5. Scheduled outings

In addition to on-site activities, many communities organize group outings or excursions that residents look forward to, like:

  • Group shopping trips
  • Museum tours
  • Visits to local attractions.
  • Seasonal activities, local festivals, and special exhibits
  • Religious services
  • Live performances, concerts, or trips to the movies

Most communities base their outings on residents’ interests, and seniors can participate whenever they’d like. Note, though, that outings may cost extra.

6. Maintenance-free living

In addition to care, assisted living residents can receive help with daily household chores. This can be a relief for families who worry about all the work that goes into maintaining a home. Assisted living communities typically provide the following types of on-site services:

  • Housekeeping
  • Groundskeeping
  • Laundry
  • Meals and snacks
  • Apartment maintenance

7. Safety features

Keeping seniors healthy and safe stands out as one of the main assisted living benefits that spurs caregivers to seek a new home for their loved one. Some safety-related advantages of assisted living facilities include:

  • Minimized fall risks. Falls can lead to serious injuries and health complications in seniors. Assisted living facilities are designed for accessibility and mobility, with ramps, flat thresholds, and hallway hand railings.
  • Safer bathrooms. Raised toilets, specially designed walk-in showers, and grab bars in bathrooms also reduce the likelihood of falls.
  • On-call staff. Emergency call buttons in assisted living apartments are used to notify staff in case of falls or injuries. This means seniors don’t have to struggle to contact help or wait to be found after a medical event at home.

8. Increased security

Seniors living alone may be more vulnerable to security risks. Here are just some of the increased security features assisted living communities provide:

  • Alarms and security officers. Elderly people are often targets for break-ins and scams. Senior living communities use security companies and alarm systems to provide peace of mind.
  • Disaster preparation. Assisted living staff maintain smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, and fire extinguishers — something that a senior alone at home would need to maintain. And, in the event of a tornado, earthquake, or fire, staff members can help seniors get to safety.

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9. Healthy, restaurant-style dining

Elderly adults have unique nutrition needs, which can be quite a challenge to meet for seniors living at home. The task of preparing healthy, balanced meals may be the responsibility of family members, meal delivery services, or seniors themselves. Here’s what residents can typically expect in assisted living communities in terms of meal planning:

  • All-inclusive dining. Residents can enjoy three meals a day plus snacks as a benefit of assisted living. These meals are generally served in a restaurant-style dining room or may be delivered to individual apartments when necessary.
  • Healthy, balanced meals. Assisted living communities often have on-site dietitians and chefs who craft meals that support both body and brain health. These meals are designed to incorporate important vitamins and nutrients for seniors.
  • Knowledge about special diets. Special diets are necessary for seniors with a variety of medical conditions. Assisted living chefs are familiar with low-sodium diets, diabetic needs, and diets for people with high cholesterol. Some communities may also offer vegetarian, halal, kosher, gluten-free, or other options.

10. A more active lifestyle, without the effort

A lack of exercise can lead to physical and mental decline. Keeping seniors active can benefit muscle and bone health and reduce the likelihood of falls. Physical activity keeps aging adults healthy longer, improves cognitive function, and is a great social outlet. Some physical benefits of assisted living include:

  • On-site, convenient classes. Organizing transportation to fitness classes or physical therapy can be difficult. One of the advantages of assisted living facilities is that everything is located within the community, which makes attendance easy.
  • Activities for every skill level and ability. Assisted living activity coordinators know that each senior has a different level of physical ability. A dance class may include more complicated steps for residents who are mobile along with a chair modification for those with lower ranges of motion.
  • Safe, supervised exercises. Activity coordinators know how to keep seniors safe and provide appropriate supervision during classes.

11. A range of amenities

Desirable and useful features are unique to each assisted living community. Look for specific amenities that are important to your loved one, like a swimming pool or other features. You may find some unexpected amenities that appeal to your parent during your search. Keep in mind that some amenities may affect your overall monthly bill. Luxury assisted living communities, for example, offer fresh architectural designs and specialty features that come with an increased cost.

Across A Place for Mom’s partner communities, you’ll find a variety of amenities such as:[01]

  • Beauty salons and barber shops
  • Butterfly or hummingbird gardens
  • Common areas like a library, computer room, and movie theater
  • Bars, pubs, and cafes separate from the main dining room
  • Hobby spaces such as a woodworking shop, arts and crafts room, and putting green
  • Jacuzzi or whirlpool
  • Indoor or outdoor pool
  • On-site places of worship for religious services
  • Concierge

As you consider your options, keep in mind that using some amenities may cost extra if they come with a service charge.

Understand the benefits of assisted living for your loved one

If you think your family member could benefit from assisted living, reach out to one of A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors. They can help you understand what kind of care your loved one needs and help you find a community that’s a great fit. Best of all, this service is free to use.

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  1. A Place for Mom. (2024). Proprietary data: Care and amenities by market.

Meet the Author
Claire Samuels

Claire Samuels is a former senior copywriter at A Place for Mom, where she helped guide families through the dementia and memory care journey. Before transitioning to writing, she gained industry insight as an account executive for senior living communities across the Midwest. She holds a degree from Davidson College.

Edited by

Danny Szlauderbach

Reviewed by

Niki Gewirtz, senior living expert

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