An active social life isn’t just for young people. Senior citizens also benefit from socialization.
Human beings are social creatures. It is a part of our survival. We thrive through cooperation with others. Social interactions influence our mental and emotional wellbeing. This has a direct influence on our overall health.
Elderly people are at a higher risk for medical conditions. They are also more likely to experience feelings of loneliness and depression. As we age, we tend to experience more life changes. One of the biggest is the loss of those around us. Physical limitations can make it difficult to expand our social circle. While loved ones grow older and pass away, many seniors find it challenging to meet new people and remain socially active.
If you or someone you love is a senior, it’s important to be proactive about being social. Find opportunities to meet people and connect with friends. Whether it’s in person or online, interactions can help us live happier, longer lives.
Why is an active social life an essential part of healthy aging?
- Social Seniors Tend to Be Mentally Healthier
An active social life encourages better mental health. It helps lower the risk of depression. Spending time with others prevents feelings of isolation.
Seniors who socialize regularly are less likely to experience feelings of despair and worthlessness. Mental health has a significant impact on a person’s physical wellness as well as their outlook on life. Many elderly adults decide to live in a retirement community because of the benefits of social interactions.
- Socializing Encourages Seniors to Be Physically Active
Seniors who are social are also more likely to be physically active. Getting out and meeting people makes us move around. Even if you aren’t doing exercise as a group specifically, just the act of going to an event or visiting a friend requires moving.
This can have a profound effect on overall health. Physical activity reduces the risk and impact of illnesses.
Research has found a link between isolation and loneliness and many common health conditions like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. Staying social will reduce your risk of these and other medical problems.
- Social Activities Nurture a Sense of Belonging
Being such social creatures, humans want to feel like they belong. A person’s sense of belonging can be shaken as they face life changes like the effects of getting older.
Socializing helps elderly adults feel like they have a place where they belong. It allows them to connect with peers or strengthen bonds with younger generations. Assisted living communities are a great place to inspire a sense of belonging. These places offer activities and events that residents can join with a group of peers. Seniors can find others who they can relate to with similar life experiences or meet people who are different, adding variety to life.
- Friends Help Us Lower Stress and Improve Mood
The effects of aging along with personal commitments and health changes can increase stress. Socializing helps seniors reduce stress and improves their mood.
Talking with a good friend can help a person relax. Discussing concerns and worries helps us work through these feelings. It gives us a way to vent and help our minds think clearer as we navigate life. Building friendships provide an outlet for seniors to find healthy ways to work through what they are feeling and experiencing.
- Socialization Can Boost a Senior’s Self-Worth
Friends and loved ones make us feel better about ourselves. Getting older can make it difficult or impossible to do the things we once did, like work or engage in hobbies. This can lead to feelings of worthlessness that may worsen as a person ages.
Everyone deserves to feel worthy of living. The people around us remind us of what makes us unique and valuable. They give us meaning in our lives. Friendship requires give and take. Being a part of that makes a person understand that they are needed and wanted.
- Gives Seniors a Stronger Support System
As loved ones pass away, many seniors find themselves with little to no support system. This can become a serious problem if they require assistance.
Some seniors may not realize that they need help until something bad happens, like a fall injury. Staying socially active helps fortify a person’s support system. Having more people in a senior’s life gives them more places to seek support if they need it. It also means that more people are around to notice if anything changes in an elderly person’s ability to care for themselves and live safely and comfortably.
- Those Around Us Help Us Live More Purposefully
Having a purpose helps many people wake up in the morning. It motivates us to keep going or look for opportunities to improve.
As seniors age, they sometimes feel like they have no purpose. They may no longer work and may not be able to do things that they used to do. Building friendships give us a purpose. These relationships require give and take, making both people feel needed. Having another person who cares about you will give you purpose.
Social events and interactions also give us something to be excited about. Anticipating an upcoming event or activity gives a senior something to look forward to, which helps us feel like we have a reason to exist and be present.
- Seniors Who Socialize Have Increased Cognitive Function
Seniors who socialize have increased cognitive function. They tend to perform better on related tests compared to those who have less interaction with close partners.
A study conducted at the Center for Healthy Aging at Penn State found that adults ages 70 to 90 who had pleasant social interactions showed better cognitive performance the same day or over the next two days following the interactions.
A six-year study published in 2013 also found that participants over age 65 who had more social interactions were less likely to develop dementia. In the study, social interactions included trying new things, reading the newspaper, and spending time with others.
Research has also indicated that quality is more important than quantity. Simply having a lot of friends isn’t enough. Seniors need to have meaningful interactions that involve give and take to get the benefits of being socially active.
- Social Interactions Inspire Positive Living in Seniors
Social interactions inspire seniors to live more positively. Older adults who build strong friendships tend to have a more positive outlook. They are usually happier and experience a better quality of life compared to those who are isolated.
Meeting others and building relationships exposes us to new ideas and experiences. These enrich a senior’s life and help them stay positive as they age.
- Socially Active Seniors Tend to Live Longer
Scientists have studied longevity for generations. Current data has shown that a varied social circle helps many seniors live longer. This is primarily because of the many other benefits that come with being socially active.
The University of Texas at Austin researchers found that older adults who interact with a broader range of people were more likely to be physically active and displayed improved emotional wellbeing. These factors can add years to a person’s lifespan.
Assisted Living Communities and Senior Social Lives
One of the best benefits of moving into an assisted living community is the social opportunities. These facilities place seniors among a group of peers with built-in activities. No travel is required to participate since most events and groups are hosted on-site.
If you would like to learn more about how assisted living can strengthen a senior’s social life, let us know. Visit Vista Living Senior Care now to get in touch or schedule a tour of our community.
Assisted living communities provide conveniences and support that an elderly person doesn’t usually have at home. Many benefits come with moving an aging loved one into a senior care facility.
However, the process isn’t always that easy. For many seniors, the thought of assisted living is scary. It may feel like a loss of independence. The nursing homes of long ago have painted an unpleasant picture of what this type of situation looks like, even though it’s far from the truth today.
Assisted living communities provide everything an elderly person needs, even beyond medicine, food, and shelter. They provide socialization and opportunities to make new friends. They host on-site events and gatherings, which provide entertainment and enrichment. The modern approach to senior care is more holistic than it used to be. Assisted living isn’t just about health, it’s also about happiness and wellbeing.
While this may be true, it’s not always easy to convince someone that assisted living will offer them a better way of life as they age. Even as the activities of daily living become more challenging or even impossible to handle on their own, some seniors are reluctant to make the move.
When the time comes, it’s important to provide support for your loved one. They need reassurance that you will be there and that they will continue to live life as independently as possible after moving into assisted living.
What can you do to help your loved one adapt to life in an assisted living community?
Plan a Tour Before Move-In Day
Moving into a new place can be intimidating at any age. Getting familiar with their new surroundings will help your loved one prepare. Plan a tour of the assisted living facility before move-in day. Let your parent or grandparent see what’s available and get acquainted with the layout of the facility. Eliminating some of the uncertainty will make your loved one feel more confident.
You can also say hello to the residents and staff. Your loved one may find someone who they have things in common with before they move in. Homes like Vista Living Senior Care favor a cozy residential atmosphere that makes residents feel right at home.
Call us or visit our website to schedule a tour before your loved one moves in.
Bring Personal Belongings into their New Home
Transitioning to assisted living usually means downsizing. Seniors going from a single-family home to a room or apartment will likely have to offload many belongings. This can be a difficult and emotional process.
Plan to bring in some meaningful items that can remain with them in assisted living. The size and quantity will depend on available space. Choose their favorite decorations, collectibles, memorabilia, or keepsakes. These can be used to personalize their assisted living accommodations.
You may even be able to bring in small pieces of furniture, like a chair or nightstand. Talk to the assisted living facility if you have questions about what can be brought in.
Help Your Loved One Get Settled In
Even if you are paying someone else to move your loved one into their assisted living community, you should be there to help. Your presence will be calming and reassuring. You can also help your loved one set up their space once everything is in.
Arrange furniture however they like, hang up family photos, or display their favorite belongings. You can also help your loved one communicate their preferences when setting up their room.
Your presence alone can help your loved one feel reassured during their first day in assisted living.
Make Sure They Have Access to All Medical Needs
Make sure the facility is aware of your loved one’s medical needs. Some things may require the services of an outside medical professional. Find out how they will communicate with that professional and how services are rendered. Do they need someone to take them to appointments? Will the care provider come to the facility to administer services?
Also, verify that they have all their necessary medications. Find out how they will obtain refills when needed. Will someone have to go to a pharmacy for them? Does the facility offer medication management services?
Make arrangements as needed to ensure that your loved one will have access to the medical services and prescriptions that they need after they move into assisted living.
Look at the Events Calendar Together
Social events are a big benefit that comes with moving into assisted living. Loneliness and depression are serious concerns among elderly populations. These facilities help maintain emotional and mental health by encouraging a social lifestyle.
You can help by showing your loved one how to view the events calendar. Take a look at what’s coming up and see if there is anything that might be appealing. Most facilities offer a broad range of options, including holiday dinners, parties, fitness groups, workshops, classes, and more. These are opportunities for enrichment and help assisted living residents expand their social circles.
Talk About Fears, Concerns, and Worries
Be open to discussions about assisted living. Give your loved one a chance to sit down and discuss what’s on their mind. Find out if they have any fears, concerns, or worries related to the move. Knowing what is bothering them will give you a chance to find ways to address their concerns.
Talk about services and amenities that the facility has that address their concerns directly. In some cases, the concern may not be so easily overcome. For example, a loved one may worry about being forgotten after they move into assisted living. While you can’t immediately counter that concern, you can reassure them with promises to visit. You could even come up with a visitation schedule.
Plan to Visit Often and Remain in Contact
You may not be able to visit all the time, especially if you don’t live in the area. If that’s the case, you should also let your loved one know about other ways you can stay in touch.
The internet makes it possible to communicate from any distance away. Set up an email account for your loved one or show them how to use a chat program. After COVID-19, many facilities started using tablets with video call capability. Show your loved one that they can still reach you even if you aren’t physically present.
Find Ways to Keep Your Loved One Independent
Your loved one’s level of independence may vary from that of other people their age. Some seniors are very independent while others may need help with most tasks due to health conditions. Look for ways that you can help your loved one remain independent and feel in control of their life.
If they can no longer drive, find out what transportation services are provided by the facility or available in the area. If they enjoy cooking and can still do it, make sure there is a kitchen that they can use.
Safety should always come first, so consult your loved one’s doctor and assisted living staff if you have questions about what they can comfortably do on their own.
Encourage Your Loved One to Make Friends
Encourage your loved one to meet their neighbors and make new friends. Research has shown that people who maintain satisfying relationships with others tend to have fewer health problems and lived longer. They are also happier overall.
You can’t force your loved one to be friends with anyone, but you can create opportunities to build bonds with their peers. Plan a gathering in their room or a communal space and invite their neighbors. Ask ice breaker questions to help them find common interests and experiences.
Find Ways to Help Them Do What They Love
Hobbies make our lives more fun and interesting. Find out how you can help your loved one continue doing the things they enjoy. For example, if they love gardening, many facilities have raised garden beds for seniors to work in at their leisure. If none are available, you could also bring in a small planter that can sit on a windowsill in their room.
If your parent or grandparent loves art, find out what art classes and groups are on the event calendar. Provide them with art supplies like drawing paper, pencils, paints, or whatever they prefer.
Some hobbies may be harder to fit into an assisted living lifestyle than others. If your loved one used to go horseback riding, they may not be able to do it now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take them to look at horses. You can also find books on horseback riding with photos or watch documentaries on horses and related topics.
There are many things you can do to ease the stress of transitioning to assisted living. Learn more by visiting Vista Living Senior Care.
Moving an elderly loved one into an assisted living community is not something families take lightly. Many are concerned about the level of care and safety provided for an aging parent or grandparent. In some cases, medical conditions can make it difficult for a senior to do things on their own, which means they will rely heavily on the facility that they live in.
A lot of consideration should be given before moving a loved one into an assisted living community. Many great locations are out there and offer different accommodations and services. Families should look for somewhere that will give their loved ones the best quality of life with maximum safety.
The good news is that assisted living communities like Vista Living Senior Care are among the safest places your loved one can reside. They are designed with the needs of seniors in mind, which allows them to create an environment that feels like home but with a lower risk of injury.
A national survey found that 91% of adult children with a parent living in a retirement community were pleased with the safety and physical security provided by the facility. The survey also found that 60% of seniors who live alone felt unprepared for an emergency while 93% of retirement community residents felt that there was a safety plan in place to protect them.
Those with a loved one who is experiencing cognitive decline can look for facilities that also provide memory care. Even if a resident isn’t at the point of needing support now, it will be available when or if that day comes.
What is it about assisted living communities that make them safe for seniors?
Staff Members Are Available 24 Hours a Day
As a loved one’s care needs increase, it can become difficult for family members to juggle the responsibility and keep up with their own commitments. Assisted living communities lift that burden and allow seniors and their loved ones to live without the stress of an increasing workload.
When choosing a location, you should ask about staff availability. Someone should be on-site 24 hours a day. That means if your loved one has an accident or needs assistance in the middle of the night, help will be there.
Even if your loved one lives with other family members, it’s difficult for someone to be awake all night long. Assisted living communities typically schedule staff so that someone is available and awake all the time. This allows for a quicker response time and ensures that the person responding is alert and ready to provide support.
Rooms Include Railings, Handles, and No-Slip Surfaces
Assisted living rooms and communal spaces are designed and built around the needs of the seniors who will live there. That means they will have fewer tripping hazards and more safety measures.
These usually include things like sturdy railings on all stairways, handles in bathrooms, and non-slip surfaces on steps, hard floors, and bathtubs. They may also have additional features like a button to call for assistance.
Halls and doorways are sized to ensure that there’s plenty of room for walkers and wheelchairs.
Support for Activities of Daily Living
Activities of daily living refer to the things a person has to do to take care of themselves each day. The list includes things like bathing, eating, dressing, moving, and using the bathroom. These are things that most people take for granted. When a person ages or develops a health condition, it can affect their ability to do one or more of these on their own.
An assisted living community like Vista Living Senior Care provides additional support for activities of daily living. The care provided is customized to the needs of the resident so that they can live as independently as possible but remain clean, properly fed, and healthy.
It may not be immediately apparent that a senior is having a problem with activities of daily living at home until the situation becomes more severe. They may begin to miss meals or stop bathing. In an assisted living community, support is available along with staff who can monitor for changes that need to be addressed before they become a health problem.
Continued Monitoring of Health, Hygiene, and Wellness
Age comes with its challenges. Physical changes or medical conditions can make it difficult to live independently. Depression and other mental health conditions also become a bigger risk.
Moving into an assisted living community will help give families peace of mind. Staff continuously monitor seniors to watch for changes in their physical and mental health. They can alert a medical professional and family if an evaluation or further care is required.
Many conditions are much easier to handle and treat when they are caught early. Experienced staff will also understand how to look for the early signs of common age-related conditions and will know where to direct the resident or their family members to get assistance.
Extra Security Measures to Prevent Wandering
Security is essential to the wellbeing of seniors. Remembering to do things like lock the doors and windows at night can become difficult. A senior may look like a vulnerable target to a criminal. Keeping strangers out of your loved one’s home is important.
There’s also another side to the safety equation when it comes to senior living. Dementia can cause seniors to change their behavior suddenly and unexpectedly. They can begin to do high-risk things like wander off at random times, even in inclement weather. This is extremely dangerous and can have heartbreaking consequences.
Assisted living communities have locking doors to keep unauthorized people out and prevent residents from leaving the safety of the facility. This is especially true if the community includes a memory care unit.
Cameras are also usually installed in key areas. Staff monitor residents so they know where everyone is at all times. It is a level of security that is difficult to achieve at home without making significant changes and having someone present 24 hours a day.
Encourages Better Physical and Mental Health
Good physical and mental health contribute to safety. When a senior is physically well, they are less likely to experience a fall injury or become ill. Being active won’t eliminate the risk, but it can help lower it.
Assisted living communities host groups and activities that can boost physical and mental health. Senior fitness classes give residents a fun way to build strength and flexibility. Having opportunities to socialize is great for their mental health, which helps the brain stay sharp.
Groups and activities are available outside of these facilities but having them conveniently located on-site makes it much easier for seniors to attend.
Housekeeping is Included in Care
Cleaning, yard work, laundry, and home maintenance are a normal part of living on your own. Even if you rent an apartment without a yard, you still have to clean it. These are tasks that become more difficult as we age.
A senior carrying a basket of laundry up and down stairs every week could be putting themselves at risk of falling or could suffer a back or knee injury. If an elderly loved one cannot keep up with the housework, their home may become dirty and unhygienic, which increases the risk of illness.
Vista Living Senior Care handles all the housekeeping so that residents remain safe and comfortable in a clean, tidy environment.
If you have questions about safety in assisted living, let us know. Visit Vista Living Senior Care now to learn more or to see our Phoenix assisted living community.
How to Know Your Fall Risk and Protect Yourself From Injury
Fall injuries are common, especially among adults over age 65. Approximately one senior in the United States experiences a fall every second. It is the leading cause of injury death in older adults. One out of every four seniors in the U.S. fall annually.
The problem isn’t isolated – it’s a public health concern.
Around 36 million falls are reported annually among older adults, with 32,000 resulting in death. Emergency rooms treat 3 million seniors for fall injuries each year with 300,000 hospitalized for hip fractures. Over 95% of all hip fractures are caused by a sideways fall.
Women tend to be at a higher risk than men for falls, making up around 3/4ths of all hip fractures.
Older people also tend to take longer to heal, which makes fall injuries a bigger concern. When an elderly person falls, they usually have a hospital stay that’s twice as long as those of their peers who are admitted for other reasons.
The risk of a fall injury increases as we age. This occurs because our bodies don’t work quite like they once did. Muscles tend to lose strength and our eyesight tends to wane, making it more likely to trip and fall.
Physical limitations can also force a person to overexert themselves, which further increases fall risk.
Staying in shape is a good way to help counter these changes, but it isn’t a guarantee. Even a senior who is in excellent condition can be just as likely to fall as other older adults. They are still prone to the common changes that come with aging.
That’s why it is important to know your fall risk and take steps to protect yourself from an injury. Avoiding a fall is the best way to stay healthy. Even if you are health conscious and physically fit, you still need to know the risks and how to avoid a trip and fall situation.
Assessing Your Fall Risk
The best way to assess your fall risk is with the help of your doctor. You should schedule a fall risk assessment. This usually begins with a series of questions about your health status and history. Your doctor will need to know about medical conditions or concerns you currently have.
You will be asked about any past falls as well as whether you have noticed changes in your ability to walk, stand, or balance.
Your doctor will perform a fall risk evaluation to determine if you have a low, moderate, or high risk.
Most doctors use the STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries) approach. You will be asked to perform a series of actions that test your balance, gait, and strength.
The “Timed Up and Go” or TUG test assesses your gait. You will be asked to sit in a chair and then stand up, walk approximately 10 feet, and sit again. Your doctor will time you. If it takes more than 12 seconds, then you may have a high fall risk.
You’ll also be asked to perform the 30-second Chair Stand test. You’ll sit in a chair again, this time with your arms crossed over your chest. When your doctor tells you to begin, you will stand up and sit down again, repeating the process for 30 seconds. Your doctor will count the number of repetitions you can do in that time. If the number is low, then you may have a higher fall risk.
The third part of the fall risk assessment is the 4-Stage Balance test. You will be asked to hold four different positions for 10 seconds each. The first involves standing with your feet side by side. Then you’ll be asked to move one foot halfway forward followed by one foot fully in front of the other. The last position involves standing on one foot.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend annual fall risk assessments for adults over age 65. People who have a high risk may need additional evaluations, treatment, or may need to consider extra support like assisted living.
How to Avoid a Fall Injury
It is impossible to eliminate the risk of a fall. Even young children can fall and injure themselves. However, there are steps you can take to minimize risk and stay as safe as possible.
If you have a moderate to high risk, you should consider what adds to that risk. Do you have medical conditions that could be better managed to protect yourself? Do you live a sedentary lifestyle causing your muscles to weaken? Do you take medications that increase your fall risk?
Consider all these factors when deciding what to do to protect yourself.
Stay in Touch with Your Doctor
Your doctor is a valuable resource when it comes to your health. Stay in touch with them and make sure you follow the recommended screening schedule. Your doctor can advise you if you need more frequent tests to monitor for changes.
Keep your doctor in the loop when making lifestyle changes or if you experience any difficulty or challenges related to physical or mental health.
Live an Active Lifestyle
Staying active is good for you in general. Keeping muscles strong and your body limber will help you avoid a fall. It can also help you react more effectively if you end up tripping or losing your balance.
Remember to be careful and use senior-friendly exercises when getting fit. Doing too much too fast will make you vulnerable to injury. Your doctor can recommend good exercise options based on your age, ability, and body condition.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Never ignore your body when it tells you something is wrong. New aches and pains indicate a problem. Even if the cause isn’t concerning, the discomfort will increase your risk of a fall. For example, backaches may not be uncommon, but they can alter the way you stand and move – which could cause you to lose your balance.
Talk to your doctor right away if you notice changes. Even if it is something minor, they may be able to recommend a solution to alleviate the problem or adapt to avoid a fall.
One of the reasons many seniors move into assisted living communities is safety. These places are designed to minimize fall risk with senior-friendly designs, railings, grab bars, and non-slip surfaces. They also have staff on hand to provide support and assistance as needed. Assisted living makes it much easier and more convenient to remain as independent as possible without raising your fall risk.
If you have questions about safety and assisted living, let us know. Visit Vista Living Senior Care now to see how we help older adults live their best lives without increasing their fall risk.
Safety and health are important in an assisted living home, but they aren’t the only things that matter. Seniors should be able to live life as fully as possible. They should have a place that they are proud to call home.
Vista Living offers beautiful accommodations that feel like a residence rather than a facility. While the visual appeal of an assisted living home is important, we also understand that seniors need to feel like they belong. They need a place that they can make their own. We encourage our residents to add personal touches that bring comfort and happiness to their accommodations.
There are several ways to make an assisted living room feel like home. The following list will help you and your loved one get started.
Talk to Your Loved One About the Move into Assisted Living
Communication can make the transition into assisted living much easier. If your loved one is moving into a new senior living home, make sure you talk to them first. Find out what is important to them when setting up their new room. For example, some seniors want to have a comfortable chair or a spot with good lighting to read.
If you have questions about what can be brought into a room, ask the facility’s staff. They can help guide you or provide suggestions that worked for other residents.
Choose Meaningful Pieces to Bring into Assisted Living
Moving into assisted living usually requires downsizing. Many seniors transition from a single-family home into an apartment or room. Space limitations mean that they cannot bring everything with them.
Having to give away, sell, or otherwise discard belongings can be heartbreaking for some seniors. It is much easier to begin decluttering and reducing a while before making the move. This will help your loved one adapt and reduce the workload when the time comes to leave their old home.
A good way to compromise is to choose a few meaningful pieces that will fit in their assisted living room. Seniors can pick out items that are important to them. Bringing these items along will help make their room feel more like the home they once loved.
Display Family Photos and Favorite Art on Walls
Looking at photographs brings back fond memories. They also remind seniors of the many people who love and care about them. The move into assisted living can be difficult. Loneliness is a big concern for elderly people who worry about being forgotten.
Displaying pictures in their room will serve as a reminder that people care about them. They can also inspire positivity with memories of happy times.
Art can have a similar effect. Find creations that are significant to your loved one. If they enjoyed outdoor activities like camping or hiking, then images of nature might be a good addition. If they loved sailing or fishing, consider seaside art. If they were a musician, look for art that features music and instruments. Anything that matches their interests and personality will help make their assisted living room more inviting.
Arrange Furniture to Recreate Home
Most people are familiar with the layout of their homes. It’s a comfort to know right where everything is situated. While you likely can’t recreate every room due to limited space, you can try to arrange furniture to be similar to your loved one’s favorite rooms at home.
If they always had a chair next to a table or window, try to do the same in their senior living accommodations.
Using a familiar setup will help seniors feel more comfortable. And chances are they liked the previous layout and would appreciate something close to it in their new place. It can also make navigation easier for older adults with mobility concerns.
Use Their Favorite Colors, Patterns, and Themes
If you are looking for new décor for an assisted living room, try finding items in the resident’s favorite colors, patterns, or themes. This is a great way to add a personal touch while working with the available space.
A few good ideas are things like throw pillows, curtains, or a chair. These are items that can usually fit safely so they aren’t a tripping hazard and can introduce something special to the room.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, ask your loved one about their favorite colors and patterns. If they love nature, consider using earthy tones with patterns that feature leaves or wildlife. If they love classic style, look for fabrics with ornamental patterns like damask, houndstooth, or quatrefoil.
Introduce Something New for a Fresh Start
Moving into assisted living is the start of a new chapter in a person’s life. That shouldn’t be viewed as a bad thing. Instead, it should be presented as a positive. It’s a chance to begin again. They can meet new people, enjoy comfort, and try new things.
To commemorate the occasion, introduce something new to their living space. Is it time to upgrade their old television? Consider buying a new model with a better picture. Maybe a new comfy chair to relax in or a beautiful lamp to brighten their living space would work well. Try to find something that your senior will really appreciate in their new home.
Keep in Touch After the Move into Assisted Living
One of the biggest things families can do to make their loved one feel at home in assisted living is to stay in touch. Check in and find out how they are doing. After they have had some time to adapt, find out if there is anything that they would like to change about their accommodations.
Make a point to visit them and spend time together in their new home. It’s a chance to create new memories and reassure them that you are still thinking about them.
Learn More About Life at Vista Living Senior Care
If you have questions about setting up an assisted living room, let us know. Vista Living senior care staff are available to provide suggestions and information on senior safety. Together, we can create a healthy, welcoming environment for seniors.
Visit Vista Living senior care to learn more or to schedule a tour of our Phoenix assisted living home.
The prospect of moving into an assisted living community is frightening for many adults. Some fear losing their independence while others worry that life will become boring and dull. The words “assisted living” often conjure images of old nursing homes full of elderly people simply existing for the remainder of their days.
The reality of today’s assisted living homes is far from that musty old stereotype. The senior living industry has fully embraced the concept of living life to the fullest at any age. Elderly people deserve happiness and fulfillment just as much as younger people do. Moving into a retirement community doesn’t change the fact that senior citizens are human beings with thoughts, feelings, and unique personalities.
Those fears often make people hesitate when it is time to move into a retirement home. Some choose to age in place because they worry about what awaits in an assisted living community.
Living alone poses many risks for someone who is getting older and needs more support and care. Debunking the myths will help more people overcome their fear and find a better way to live as they age.
Before you decide where to spend your golden years, make sure you know the facts about assisted living communities.
I Don’t Want to Lose My Independence
Assisted living communities work with residents to determine the level of care and support that they need. Residents do not lose their independence. They can do as much on their own as they can.
You can decorate your living space however you like. There may be space limitations that reduce the amount of furniture and belongings you bring, but otherwise, it is treated like your home. You can hang photos, arrange furniture, and do whatever you like. You choose when you eat meals and when you go to bed.
A good assisted living community treats residents like adults and provides the assistance required without overstepping. An added benefit is that if your care requirements increase as you age, staff and resources are available to provide the extra support if and when you need it.
I Won’t Be Able to Do the Things That I Love
Moving into an assisted living community doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the hobbies and activities you love. While some seniors have medical limitations that reduce their ability to do intense physical activity, the facility itself will not stop you from enjoying your favorite things.
The best part is that living in a retirement community means you’ll have fewer responsibilities. You won’t have to maintain a home or lawn. All those chores are handled for you. That leaves more free time to do what you love or to try something new!
I’ll Live Alone in a Small Room
The size of your accommodations will vary based on the assisted living community you choose, but most offer cozy spaces that have everything you need. Modern facilities are designed to feel like a residence rather than a hospital or medical facility.
You will always be close to a group of your peers, so you have opportunities to socialize whenever you want. Communal areas are usually included, like dining rooms or living rooms.
Assisted Living Homes Are Depressing
Assisted living homes are far from depressing. Many are built to be active, lively places that nurture positivity. This starts with an inviting architectural design and extends into how the staff manages the location.
You should speak to an assisted living community like Vista Living to learn more about amenities and spaces that are available to residents. At Vista, we have luxurious accommodations inside and outside as well as activities so there’s always a reason to get up and enjoy the day!
Seniors Are Not Permitted to Leave
Assisted living communities are not prisons. While many will have security in place, this is meant to keep residents safe. Most will have cameras around entry points and in communal areas. Depending on the type of accommodations, guests may be required to check in.
That doesn’t mean that residents have to stay put. Many facilities offer transportation for medical appointments or to visit businesses and attractions. Some even plan trips so that groups of residents can enjoy a day out together. You can experience local shopping, dining, sightseeing, and entertainment outside of the facility.
Loved ones can also take residents to events, holiday gatherings, or to spend some quality time together.
I Will Have No Privacy in Assisted Living
Many people value their privacy. Moving into a group setting may sound intimidating. Assisted living communities provide an ideal balance of socializing and privacy. You can go out and meet up with groups of your peers but also escape back to your own private quarters.
You choose when you have visitors and decide when staff can enter your apartment or room. You still have full control over your living space.
The Food Served There is Horrible
Nutrition is an important part of good health. Assisted living communities work hard to provide healthy menu items that are also tasty. Many serve homemade meals that are carefully chosen with fresh ingredients that are good for the body.
These places also create a diverse menu so there’s something for every taste. Many facilities include three full meals per day plus snacks, so residents never go hungry.
When looking for an assisted living community, you should ask about their menu. See what’s currently being served. You can even ask to sample the food before you decide so you or your loved one know what to expect after moving in. You should also discuss allergies and dietary needs with the facility to make sure they can accommodate you.
Assisted Living is Just Like a Nursing Home
Many people use the words “nursing home” and “assisted living” interchangeably, but they are two different things. A nursing home provides more medical care in a clinical setting. Assisted living, on the other hand, provides personal care in a residential setting that’s more social and home-like.
Seniors who cannot live alone but want to continue having an active lifestyle will love assisted living. It is ideal for older adults who need minor nursing care and assistance with activities of daily living but want to remain as independent as possible.
I Can’t Afford to Move into Senior Living
The cost of senior living varies from one location to the next. When looking at fees, it is important to remember that moving in will eliminate many of the separate costs the average person pays when living on their own.
All daily care needs, housing, and food expenses are rolled into one monthly fee. Instead of paying for groceries, rent or a mortgage, utilities, cleaning services, transportation, and social activities, all of these are included.
You should consult the assisted living community you are considering to verify all costs and what is included. Paying one lump sum a month also makes it easier to manage finances with fewer surprises during retirement.
If you would like to learn more about assisted living or want to schedule a tour, let us know. Visit Vista Living Senior Care now and see what retirement living is really all about.