Continued growth in the elderly population, and the chronic diseases strongly associated with aging, is an inevitable byproduct of modern healthcare systems. The conventional choice for long-term care of the elderly, especially those experiencing a loss of self-efficacy due to disease, has been the nursing home. These facilities carry a lot of stigma though, both for their elderly clients and the family, as well as seemingly regular reports of abuse and neglect.
Fortunately, there is an alternative for senior citizen care. Both designated communities and assisted care options exist, and both offer a number of benefits over the nursing home. The singular quality they share is in allowing the person to continue living as independently and privately as their abilities and health status allow.
- Assisted Living Homes Increase Quality of Life
Minimizing intervention is an important factor to increasing self-efficacy and quality of life for elderly citizens. An individual may still be able to perform most daily chores, and assisted living specialists recognize this. Instead of relinquishing their homes, possessions, privacy, and independence, assisted care only picks up those chores that can no longer be handled safely or appropriately. This could be as simple as reminders of what medications to take or providing transportation to the doctor’s office and other routine stops.
- A Senior Living Community Provides Social and Recreational Opportunities
One of the sad facts of growing older is losing the contacts built over a lifetime. Old friends pass away or move and this can lead to a more secluded lifestyle. It is a well-known fact that having a socially rich life is an important part of promoting good health and positive emotions.
Assisted living communities provide public spaces for meeting others with similar interests. There are also organizers on duty to help with arranging events and outings that can be enjoyed by everyone. Whether it is tea time, a game of chess in the park, or a trip to the ballot box in November, life takes on more meaning when shared with others.
- An Assisted Living Residence is Designed to Minimize Hazards
Specialists in elderly care are trained to pay attention to the environment. Just as the parents of a newborn have to take precautions to ensure their child’s safety, so too must modifications be made to minimize the hazards faced by the elderly. Adding important appliances, like shower grab bars, remote panic buttons, and many others most of us rarely consider, can make it much easier for an elderly person to continue living independently, while minimizing the need for outside interventions.
- Senior Home Living Means Rapid Response to Emergency Situations
Even with modifications, accidents happen. Having access to trained personnel at all times can mean the difference between a small fracture and a life-threatening event. As well, intermittent visits to a doctor or with family can be inadequate for spotting a gradually developing health issue. In a community setting, problems can be noticed and addressed more quickly. In any case, fast response translates into a better chance of overcoming difficulties.
- Senior Living Homes are Adaptable to the Individual’s Needs
Perhaps the signature quality of assisted care, which makes it a better choice than a nursing home, is in its adaptability to the individual’s needs. An elderly person with less mobility requires a different set of support than someone who is having trouble remembering details, like how much salt to use in a recipe, or when they last watered the garden. Instead of losing all independence and privacy, senior living homes make it possible to provide just the support needed for each person.
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