As a growing percentage of the population ages, the question of living arrangements for seniors becomes more pressing. The number of choices can be daunting, making it difficult for seniors and their children to decide what the best arrangement might be. While it is important to choose the option that works best for you, independent and assisted living communities simply beat living alone on many fronts.
Seniors who live alone are much more likely to feel lonely and isolated, which can lead to deteriorating social skills and significant mental health issues such as depression. This is especially true if their spouse has passed on before them.
Senior living communities provide elders the opportunity to live in a vibrant community of their peers where they can make friends and socialize as much as they want. A wide variety of clubs, activities and gatherings are scheduled for you, and you can choose to attend any that you like.
Senior living communities provide various amenities for their residents. Offerings vary by location, but they may include a fitness center, pool, place of worship, beauty salon, medical clinics and more.
Utilizing these amenities can have significant health benefits too. Seniors who live alone may not be as inclined to exercise, which can lead to joint deterioration and weight gain. Seniors with ready access to fitness communities with fun classes, on the other hand, are more likely to partake in physical activities that will keep them healthier and feeling better for as long as possible.
Medical Care Is More Readily Accessible
In a senior living community, help is always right around the corner, which can give both seniors and their children peace of mind. As you age, you are unfortunately more likely to experience health problems, some of them serious.
If you live alone and experience a medical emergency such as a fall or a stroke, you may not receive help in a timely manner – time that could cost you your life. Senior living communities have trained staff and medical professionals on site at all times to notice if there is a problem and ensure care is provided immediately.
Assisted Living Can Be Less Expensive Than Owning A Home
Home maintenance can be both expensive and physically taxing. This can be an issue for seniors who live on a fixed income or are no longer able to physically perform the tasks of routine home maintenance. With an assisted living community, you only have one monthly expense to live there.
You don’t have to worry about a mortgage, apartment rent and separate utility bills. This can help seniors better budget their available funds so they stay in a good situation financially. And of course, you will no longer be responsible for maintaining a home.
Provide A Healthier Diet
Seniors often have dietary needs and restrictions that can be difficult to provide for themselves at home. Worse, seniors may choose to make instant meals or skip meals altogether simply because it is easier. In a senior living community, a meal plan will be created just for you based on your current and evolving nutritional needs.
The consumption of a balanced diet will ensure you are getting the nutrients your body needs to maintain optimal health. You will also no longer need to shop for groceries, which is both easier on your budget and on your body.
Improved Security and Safety
Living alone can leave senior citizens more prone to theft and fraud while senior living communities are protected by security systems and personnel to deter criminal activity. Your home itself can become a safety hazard as you age as well, with stairs, showers, tubs and other common household structures becoming serious obstacles.
At senior living communities, staff will help you take care of your needs to prevent falls, and buildings are designed with the mobility needs of seniors in mind. These features can include limited stairs, hand rails down hallways, grips in bathrooms and more.
You Can Still Have Autonomy
Don’t believe that once you move into a senior care community you will be trapped there. Regular group outings take place to nearby areas of interest, and if you want or are able to go out and do something on your own, you certainly can.
You will also have your own space which you can furnish and decorate any way you like. These communities understand that your privacy is important to you, and will do their best to maintain it while still providing seniors the care they need.
Different Arrangements Are Offered
Many senior communities now offer several tiers of living arrangements. This is incredibly advantageous because residents can change from one arrangement to another based on their needs without having to experience the stress of moving to a new community and leaving their social community behind.
Some seniors may be able to return to independent living after recovering from an injury, some elders may desire assisted living, while others may eventually need memory care. Having all of these options available to you in a single community truly allows you to make that community your home.
The decision to downsize into a senior living community can be a difficult one. However, it should be known that an independent or assisted living community offers substantial advantages for the elderly over living alone. These living arrangements are worth considering by all seniors and their families to experience the best of their golden years.