Posted: August 3, 2022
As the people in your life reach retirement age, you may wonder what their future holds. While many older adults spend years in their homes after they’ve left the workforce, some people may need additional support as they age. It’s important to consider how assisted living environments can benefit older adults’ physical and mental health.
Exploring these options now can ensure you have a plan if your loved ones want to choose an assisted living community to support their changing personal needs. Let’s discuss the benefits of assisted living communities and what they can do for your loved ones’ physical and mental health.
Assisted living is an apartment-style residency option for older adults who could benefit from daily help with routines. These environments provide round-the-clock care for residents and allow them to remain as independent as possible. Opportunities to connect with neighbors in the community, along with frequent family visits, help promote an engaged social life and better mental health.
Assisted living communities often provide housekeeping services so residents can be free from the stress of cleaning and cooking. Other amenities at assisted living communities that make life easier for the residents may include:
Each of these amenities provides an opportunity to make residents feel at home. Assisted living communities provide these services and benefits consistently to ensure the residents’ living situations are comfortable, enjoyable and life-enriching. Residents can enjoy their favorite activities without the stress and hassle of completing daily tasks.
Being aware of your loved ones’ physical and emotional states can help discern whether they may need the extra care of an assisted living community.
Your loved one can benefit from assisted living at any age. However, it’s most common for older adults to move into a supportive community when they find that daily tasks are becoming a challenge.
Monitoring activities of daily living (ADLs) is a great way to assess loved ones’ abilities to care for themselves on their own. ADLs required for good hygiene along with personal and safety needs include:
It is normal to notice over time that older adults are needing more time to finish these everyday tasks. However, observing your loved one’s mindset toward their routine can be helpful. If you start to notice changes, such as forgetfulness or frustration with normal activities, it may be time to discuss assisted living options. Choosing assisted living ensures that your loved ones receive help to complete these tasks so they can better enjoy their daily lives.
You may also notice a change in a loved one’s mindset about living alone. Whether they live in their own space or with another person, older adults can develop symptoms of loneliness during the later stages of life, especially as friends pass away and the ability to get around becomes limited. Among U.S. adults 65 and older, almost 25% are socially isolated, which can increase the risk of:
Assisted living communities can alleviate these risks by providing social connections and appropriate assistance that supports physical and mental health. Assisted living might be a good next step if you notice signs of loneliness in your loved ones.
Assisted living can make loved ones’ lives easier as they explore new growth opportunities, but you may discover advantages and disadvantages based on their needs. It is essential to discuss their comfort with the community and the services available to see how they may or may not benefit in the environment.
Assisted living communities prioritize residents’ physical health. With the help of community team members, ADLs are easier to complete so that residents can get back to doing what they love most. Whether they enjoy outdoor hobbies or activities where they work with their hands, residents can participate in numerous physically stimulating opportunities around the community.
Many assisted living communities schedule weekly physical activities such as walking trips, yoga and tai chi sessions, dancing lessons and sports games. Those who prefer to exercise outdoors may enjoy a relaxing workout utilizing community gardens and walking paths.
If your loved one requires help with activities of daily living, an assisted living community could be an ideal solution. It’s also essential that the level of assistance received is appropriate for their needs while helping them maintain their independence. Assisted living is one of the best ways to find and keep that healthy balance.
Socialization significantly improves mental health and may increase the feeling of belonging in a community. Assisted living communities typically offer daily opportunities for interaction with neighbors. Existing hobbies can be enjoyed, and new ones developed as residents meet others with similar interests. Movie nights, art workshops, games and baking are a few of the ways residents may engage socially.
Many assisted living communities also offer transportation to surrounding areas for residents to shop, go to doctor’s appointments, meet locals or enjoy a change of scenery. Socializing with residents in neighboring towns can improve the mental health of older adults as they stay connected to the world outside of the community.
If you’ve noticed signs that your loved one may need professional assistance with everyday tasks or is suffering due to loneliness, you may want to consider assisted living. An assisted living community can be a great next step that provides support where they need it most.
Low-income assisted living in Colorado is accessible for all families and may provide some of the same benefits. If you think this is the right step for your loved one, you can find more information about assisted living here.