Older people are usually the ones who need assisted living more than anybody else. It is a big challenge for them to maintain their independence while also taking care of themselves, especially when illnesses and health conditions start to trouble them. Fortunately, with all the benefits assisted living can provide, it would be easier for both the elderly parents and their children to handle these issues as they arise. If you think your mum or dad might resist, you can follow some tips for opening up the conversation without seeming like you’re overstepping.
Here are the top seven benefits of assisted living for elderly parents and their families:
It is cost-effective
Assisted living facilities can be a cheaper alternative. Assisted living facilities are only costly when compared to buying food for two adults at home. According to the folks from memory care facilities in Calabasas, this care is much more affordable than the costs of caring for elderly parents in the family home and allows children to focus on building their careers rather than being constant caregivers. Besides, assisted living facility providers allow payment plans which include full monthly pricing options as well as flexibility with charges such as meal plans, housekeeping, and social activities.
When you compare this cost-effective advantage to that of other types of long-term care facilities, it becomes clear that assisted living is an excellent option.
Provides companionship for the elderly
Elderly parents are lonely and want to be around other people. This is essential for their mental health and well-being. Research shows that elderly people who don’t receive social interaction when they enter assisted living facilities will often decline faster than those who do engage in such activity.
Social interaction is essential to mental health and prevents depression. This is not only beneficial for elderly people and their parents but also works to enhance overall family health. Also, the elderly will have a larger social network that can provide support to their children who are struggling.
Provides mental Stimulation
Many assisted living facilities are built with memory care units. People suffering from Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or other cognitive impairment benefits greatly when they live in an environment with both physical and mental stimulation provided on a daily basis.
This kind of activity helps delay mental deterioration and reduces the amount of stress that is felt by the siblings left at home looking after their parents.
Furthermore, assisted living facilities provide the opportunity for elderly people to express themselves in ways that are familiar to them. This boosts self-esteem and provides a sense of normality during an otherwise scary time of change. It is important that memories are preserved, and life stories shared with loved ones; this can be done through pictures, writing, or music. Both children and elderly parents will benefit from these activities, which can be emotional yet cathartic when done correctly.
24-hour care and assistance is provided
With assisted living, there is always someone nearby to provide help and assistance when needed. Parents who are struggling with getting out of bed or walking up the stairs will feel much better in a place where they have round-the-clock access to trained medical professionals and physical therapists.
There are other benefits such as the availability of transportation services like shuttles and taxis that take people to their doctor’s appointments, shopping centres, or just around town.
Daily exercise and a balanced diet
Getting enough physical exercise is very important for older adults who want to keep up with their mobility and overall health. When it comes to getting a sufficient amount of daily activity, seniors can now benefit from joining fitness classes, going on walking tours around the neighbourhood, or just playing games with other residents during activities.
These types of activities encourage socialisation among groups of people who have similar interests, and it’s also beneficial in keeping up with motor skills such as balance and coordination.
Also, eating is one of the easiest tasks that most people take for granted until they have to do it themselves; elderly parents experience this every time they eat their own food or choose from an assisted living menu. They can be easily overwhelmed by the number of choices available in the grocery store and will feel much better when meals are prepared for them and brought to their room.
When thinking about how seniors can benefit from assisted living services, it’s important to remember that healthy eating habits start early in life. This means that recipes should include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats (fish and poultry), and whole grains.
Provide a safe neighbourhood
Since many assisted living communities are located in nice, clean neighbourhoods, this is a great place for older adults and their families to live without worrying about crime. Many of these facilities are gated, so you can rest assured that your elderly loved ones will be protected from any harm coming towards them. It’s also important for seniors to feel safe when they know their surroundings.
Also, many assisted living communities offer 24-hour security as part of their packages. This means that if your elderly loved ones ever step out or go missing, it will be a lot easier to track them down immediately. Plus, since many of these places have security 24/7, it’s easy to visit them whenever you need to.
Medication assistance is provided
For seniors who take several medications every day, it can be extremely inconvenient to have to deal with the hassle of getting all of those pills organised and ready before taking each dose. This is a huge advantage for assisted living facilities. While everyone knows the importance of taking medication as prescribed, there are several barriers to this effort, which often lead to serious medical problems.
One barrier is forgetfulness; being away from home can make it harder to keep track of when medications should be taken, or whether they’ve already been taken. The second barrier is lack of information; when someone moves into an assisted living facility they may not understand where their medicine is kept in relation to their bed or bathroom, and so on.
Assisted living staff members will ensure that prescriptions are filled regularly and assist with monitoring the patient’s medication intake, as well as administering oral medication if necessary.
While senior living facilities may seem expensive at first glance, the benefits to your loved ones are well worth any price that you end up paying. In addition to all the extra care and support they will receive, it’s also a very convenient setting for elderly parents to retire in as opposed to going back into their own home where it can be hard for them to find privacy or feel safe. So when deciding how you can help with your parent’s transition from one stage of life into another, consider what type of assisted living facility could benefit them the most.
Robert Haynes did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.