Guest post by Ruth Folger Weiss
Assisted living is a long-term care facility that provides housing, support, health care, and most importantly, a sense of community to senior citizens. These facilities make it possible for the elderly to continue living on their own, with occasional assistance. Although it is not the right choice for everyone, the benefits of living in an assisted living community can be immeasurable for seniors and their families alike.
- Proper, Healthy Meals: Assisted living facilities provide daily meals. This helps senior citizens to get the proper nutrition, and also lets family members feel assured that their loved ones are eating enough. At a well-run facility, all dietary needs are taken into consideration in customizing a meal plan. For instance, if a senior has diabetes, there meals will be designed with that in mind.
- Help with ADLs (Activities of Daily Living): An assisted living facility provides residents with assistance completing a number of day-to-day tasks that one might not be able to do on their own. This includes dressing, eating, mobility, hygiene, bathing, toileting, using the phone, and personal shopping. Take, for example, patients with dementia or other types of memory loss who might find it difficult to remember doing the simplest of tasks. Assisted living facilities make it possible for these types of patients to continue living on their own with minimal help.
- Medication Management: This is perhaps the most important benefit of living in an assisted living community. More than 50% of senior citizens make a mistake when administering their own medication. This rate is shockingly high, and of a major concern due to potential life-threatening consequences. Assisted living staff not only ensure the right medications are being taken at the right times, but they also help to educate seniors on the importance of their medication.
- Transportation: Many seniors do not have the ability to drive anymore. In some cases, a senior simply no longer possess a car. Whatever the case may be, assisted living facilities handle any and all of the transportation necessary for senior citizens. Most of the time, transportation is needed for doctor's visits. A senior who resides in an assisted living facility will have transportation to and from their appointments, as well as to activities outside of the facility, like shopping trips. When a family member can't be there to take a senior citizen out and about, assisted living staff is.
- Social Interaction: Assisted living facilities are a great place for senior citizens to socialize. Like-minded individuals in similar situations are all around, and with plenty of activities to choose from, your loved one is sure to make a new friend or two. Many of the activities that take place at assisted living facilities are moderated by staff to ensure that healthy interactions are occurring at all times.
Assisted living may be the right choice for your aging loved one. It's worth starting a covnersation.
Ruth Folger Weiss is a blogger for Skyview Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, a post acute rehabilitation and long-term care center in Croton-on-Hudson, NY.