Senior Living Magazine states that when a senior lives in an Assisted Living Facility, they get support in five main areas: bathing, dressing, medication management, meal preparation, and transportation.[i] As their grown children, it is understandable that you have the responsibilities of working and taking care of your immediate family as well as your aging parents. Mom and Dad are very important and having them in a facility that cares for the following aspects of their lives eases the pressure for all involved.
1. Social Life/Scheduled Activities
Being socially active allows your loved one to remain active mentally and physically as long as possible.) When your loved one enters an Assisted Living Facility (ALF), they are ensured of being around others on a daily basis. There are also planned outings as well as craft and music activities. This is all done in a group setting and allows your loved one to have a rich daily life.
I know the last thing you want to hear is that your mom has fallen and no one was there to help. In an Assisted Living Facility, there is a person on site to monitor the activities of the senior on a 24/7 basis.
3. Assistance with Day-To-Day Needs
As your loved one ages, they become less able to bath or dress themselves. An Assisted Living Facility has a caregiver to assist with these activities, should the need arise.
While your mom and dad may want to eat properly, they may no longer have the ability to attend to that aspect of their life, thus many seniors who live on their own are malnourished.
“More than 50% of elderly patients are suffering from malnutrition which is information that concerns. Due to various factors, older people are potentially vulnerable groups at risk of malnutrition.”[ii]
“Malnutrition in older adults can lead to various health concerns, including: A weak immune system, which increases the risk of infections. Poor wound healing. Muscle weakness and decreased bone mass, which can lead to falls and fractures.”[iii]
4. Adapts to the changes your loved one goes through in aging.
Throughout the years, your loved ones will progressively require more attention. An Assisted Living Facility is able to adapt to those transitions in their life. There is also the added advantage of being around others their age which is sometimes a great help in adapting to changes in your life.
5. Chores and daily meals are taken care of
You can be assured that your loved one has a balanced daily diet, tailored to their particular needs. Not only that, they will have their living space cleaned and laundry done, but they will also have the assistance with personal hygiene, should they need help in that area.
6. Less costly than a nursing home
The After 55[iv] website states this quite clearly:
The focus of assisted living is to help residents with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, eating and taking medicines.
Nursing homes, also called skilled nursing care centers, are mainly for adults with serious medical needs.
Think of them this way: the assisted living is housing that provides some care. Nursing homes are primarily caring facilities that also provide housing.
7. Reduces stress for all involved
Assisted living facilities are concerned with Quality Of Life (also termed QOL) and will ensure that the loved one and their family are both able to live in comfort, both mentally and physically.
“... Overall, studies have shown that residents of AL [assisted living] report significantly higher scores on several key constructs typically associated with successful adjustment. When compared with NH [nursing home] residents, AL residents consistently report higher levels of satisfaction with both the setting and their life.” [vi]
[vi] (Gonzalez-Salvador et al., 2000; Mitchell & Kemp, 2000; Sikorska, 1999).