We always hope that the New Year will bring new experiences and opportunities. What if we told you assisted living is still a very new concept and in fact senior living has changed drastically within the past 50 years? This year we would like to explore a new perspective on what an assisted living community is and what it can offer a senior.
Informing yourself and your loved ones of their options is crucial. The “Silent Generation” (Born 1928-1945), a lot of the time first think of senior living based on where their parents moved into – A nursing home. Assisted living is anything but. This article dives into three ways assisted living can be the enriching and safe place you have been searching for.
Opportunity for Enrichment & Socialization
When seniors move into a community the opportunity for socialization and enrichment becomes endless. It’s important to find a community that offers plenty of activities for a range of interest and ability levels. When a person is engaged with others and still getting the chance to learn new information or continue old hobbies, they keep an active mind. Staying spry also means keeping muscle retention and good mobility which is another reason to get out and about within a community. In an assisted living environment, there are multiple activities offered daily including classes, presentations, games, and more that bring people together who are at the same stage in life.
“The predominant theory is use it or lose it… Social activity is related to motor function, just like physical exercise is related. We can’t determine which is most important—they each contribute a piece of the puzzle.”
Going on walks with a neighbor, joining in on an exercise program and eating a nutritious meal while conversing in the dining room all have great physical benefits. Uncoincidentally there are just as many benefits of socialization, if not more, tied to the brain and mental health. “Social Capital” is a concept that understands and refers to the profound effect of relationships of everyday life in terms of connection, trust, and engagement. This is even more important to keep in mind for seniors due to their social circle as well as their general health typically declines as they age. Enrichment is just as important as great clinical care.
24/7 Access to Health Care
As a family member or friend of a loved one who is starting to need more support, their best interest is always on the top of your mind; and a lot of the time what they desire is to stay at home. Luckily there are many different options to having accessible healthcare if they are not ready to move into a community. But there are good reasons why health care offered in an assisted living setting can be additionally beneficial.
Each community, depending on their regulations and licensing, will have different staff personnel available day and night. Communities like WSL have multiple licensed nursing assistants, medical nursing assistants, and nurses in its building around the clock accessible to all residents should they be needed. Along with the clinical team being able to set up specialist appointments, they are also available to communicate and meet the residents’ needs no matter the time of day or night.
“In addition to secure entrances, communities also offer alert systems in apartments so individuals can easily call for help in the event of an emergency.”
There are other services that an assisted living can set up for a resident, such as dermatology, podiatry, and physical therapy. (They can also assist in providing local transportation to personal or medical appointments in the area.) Moving into an assisted living community gives a senior safety, accessibility to education health professionals, and someone to rely on outside of their family members.
Many believe that by moving into an assisted living community they will lose their independence – It is quite the opposite. Things that were looked at as part of someone’s daily routines are (optionally) taken off residents’ plates, and in return provides them with more time for socialization, activities, and relaxation. There are maintenance staff who take care of tasks like changing lightbulbs, fixing televisions, or plumbing help. They can also take away the need to go to the store to buy parts or accessories to fix appliances or other items like new batteries.
Another important factor is safety. Knowing that not only the activities, meals, and offerings but the building itself is tailored to seniors. Everything in an assisted living community is accessible by wheelchair and walking devices – Making it easy to navigate through their day.
“One of the most important issues with aging in place alone at home is safety. Older adults who live alone in their homes are vulnerable to a number of hazards and threats — from serious falls and medication mishaps… Assisted living communities are designed to provide secure and comfortable environments for seniors.”
Housekeeping and Laundry Services are also offered. No need to organize your schedule around the washer and dryer, every day you will feel content knowing you are walking into a clean apartment and are wearing fresh clothes. Many of these services are optional so residents can build their own day with what they want to do rather than what they need to complete.
The WSL Difference
Independence when you want it. Care when you need it. An all-around engaged and enriching community, enhancing your quality of life.
WSL strives to meet residents where they are, and we make sure every day that they are feeling proud, dignified, and accomplished. We measure our level of success in our enrichment department by how many people are getting out of their apartments and really taking advantage of what the rest of the community has to offer. Our clinical team is made up of consistent, educated professionals who residents can rely on and look to for support. Assisted living is the best way to keep your independence longer!
We challenge you to take on a new perspective of assisted living communities. If in this new year you are interested in exploring, you or your loved ones, options please give us a call. We are excited to meet you!