Caregiver and Fatique {and planning a vacation}

What is Assisted Living For Seniors? {and is it a good idea?}

There are many apparent gray areas when it comes to assisted living. So what is assisted living and is it a good idea?

The idea seems to be that seniors who need help on a daily basis can maintain somewhat of an independent lifestyle at an Assisted Living facility. Most often these seniors are victims of dementia and struggle with day to day functions.

JUST HOW MUCH HELP DO THEY NEED?

Chances are, seniors with dementia will need much more help than an assisted living facility can actually provide. Supposedly, staying in an assisted living facility will allow seniors to enjoy an independent lifestyle of sorts for as long as possible.

What is Assisted Living For Seniors? {and is it a good idea?}
Seniors with Dementia might need a lot of extra care.

In many cases, this seems next to impossible. They will most likely need help with bathing and dressing on a daily basis. They might also need help with eating. In reality, they are independent.

Independent Living facilities are truly retirement living arrangements for seniors who are capable of looking after themselves without needing assistance. Most of the seniors who choose this option like the idea of having an improved social life and a sense of purpose.

If you are a caregiver in need of help or advice, be sure to visit caring.com.

Many seniors do not have much of a social life available to them while living in their own homes. Isolation and loneliness were all the reason they needed to look for a better option.

REASONS FOR CHOOSING ASSISTED LIVING OPTION

In most cases, it’s family members who persuade the senior in their lives to leave the family home and move into an assisted living facility. In almost 90% of cases, this is a family member decision.

What is Assisted Living For Seniors? {and is it a good idea?}
Independent living is idea for seniors who can care for themselves.

The second largest group to choose assisted living is the seniors themselves who make a conscious decision to leave their home on their own. In many cases, the senior in question had not controlled whatsoever about being moved into an assisted living facility.

There is also a group that is convinced by their physician to make the move.

Many families convince themselves that assisted living will provide the necessary care and service for the senior in an atmosphere much like home, while at the same time allowing them to keep some semblance of independence.

Check out this video on eight things you should know about assisted living.

ARE SENIORS AT THE MERCY OF ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES?

The actual contract is between the facility and the resident. The problem with this is that the contract is not negotiated and offered on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

What is Assisted Living For Seniors? {and is it a good idea?}
Care-givers, seniors, and assisted living facility should decide together what’s best.

Ultimately, this means that the resident is left to the mercy of the facility. They decide how long they can stay depending on the health concerns they have. Unfortunately, there is no federal law regulation for assisted living. All the decisions are made on a state-by-state basis. Further, variation is allowed from facility to facility within individual states.

There are many variations involved. These include who the facility admits and who they choose to deny. They might also decide who is discharged or transferred against their will.

Families and caregivers should not automatically assume that assisted living is the best choice. Chances are, not all health care conditions can be dealt with in every assisted living facility.

ASSISTED LIVING RESIDENTS COMMON HEALTH ISSUES

it’s not uncommon for over 40% of seniors in Care facilities to have short-term memory issues. Many also suffer from disorientation most of the time. It’s hard to imagine they are living anything close to an independent lifestyle.

What is Assisted Living For Seniors? {and is it a good idea?}
Almost 50% of seniors are dealing with some sort of dementia.

Close to 50% of senior retirement facility residents in the USA have Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia. This requires comprehensive assessment and care strategies by very well-trained staff.

Severe insomnia is a big issue for residents in assisted living. The bigger problem is that insomnia leads to depression and that in turn requires an even greater need for assistance.

Incontinence is also a very big issue with seniors in care facilities. Assisted living can only go so far in helping a senior deal with incontinence, If a senior is unable to manage their incontinence on their own, they are at a far greater risk of being admitted to long-term care.

Seniors who have suffered a stroke can be left with serious effects on motor skills, speech, and cognitive ability.

Anemia is also quite a prevalent health issue for seniors. Diets rich in iron and vitamins can prevent anemia caused by iron and vitamin deficiency.

Maybe they should take a page out of the book of the woman in Europe who was diagnosed with anemia when she was very young. A doctor prescribed three eggs a day. So for over eight decades, that’s what she did.

Better yet, she never went to hospitals and never lived in any sort of retirement facility. She lived a single independent lifestyle in her own home until she was 115.

What is Assisted Living For Seniors? {and is it a good idea?}
Emma’s 117th birthday. She was the last living person born in the 1800s.

For the last two years of her life, she had someone living with her and her doctor would visit once a week to check on here. She passed away at 117 years of age. At the time she was the oldest woman in the world.

Ultimately, many seniors will leave an assisted living facility for a variety of reasons. Some may require more care than can be provided. Others may want to be closer to family and a significant amount are simply not happy with the care that is provided.

So ultimately, it’s often family caregivers who must deal with caring for the senior member of their family.

Seniors living on their own should have some sort of medic system in place.

OPTIONS FOR CAREGIVERS

It can be quite expensive for a senior to live in an assisted living facility. The money saved from not being in assisted living can be used for private health care. That way someone besides family members can look out for the well-being of the senior.

What is Assisted Living For Seniors? {and is it a good idea?}
Students can make excellent care-givers.

Often it is senior children caregivers who have to devote much of their time to looking after their parent. In many cases, this can mean the care-givers retirement plans have to be put on the back-burner.

In some cases, there are several children who can share the duties of looking after their senior parent. This can work out well as it allows some free time for each of the children. It also eases the emotional and physical burden of caring for a senior who might suffer from dementia or a host of other diseases.

There is a fairly new caregiver option that has worked out well in many cases. In many cities close to learning facilities, students will exchange free accommodation in return for helping look after the senior. This option can be a winning situation for all concerned.

The senior has company on almost a daily basis, the pressure is taken off of family caregivers, and the student can ease the financial burden of paying for accommodation.

What is Assisted Living For Seniors? {and is it a good idea?}
Several seniors sharing a home can be an excellent idea.

Of course, the student would have to be carefully vetted and the senior must agree to have someone else sharing their home.

Another strategy that is gaining momentum is several seniors sharing a home and looking out for each other. They all share in the upkeep of the home. They also offer each other companionship and can look out for one another in the event of a health crisis. On top of everything else, they stand to save a lot of money.

Consider if you have four seniors sharing a home. If they paid just $3000 a month to live in a retirement setting(and it’s probably more)between the four of them they would save about $144,000 a year.

IN CONCLUSION

In some cases, but not all, assisted living might be the answer for a senior.

However, much depends on the amount of care involved as seniors can deal with a host of problems from dementia to incontinence.

Assisted living is meant to allow senior independence for as long as possible. In many cases, this is not possible because of the many health problems a senior might have.

The decision to admit a senior to an assisted living facility should be made with care and should involve a discussion between the family, the senior, and the facility in question.

Some seniors will do much better at home if there is a way to ensure that caregivers will be available to meet the many issues that seniors deal with on a daily basis.

With the cost of Assisted living rapidly rising, hiring professional in-home care for a senior might be a better option than living in a retirement facility.

Families should seriously consider the option of having a student share a residence with a senior in return for help with the looking after the senior.
Sharing a home with other seniors is also an option worth exploring.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. It’s good to know that family members typically persuade seniors to use assisted living. My mom is getting old, and she can’t take care of herself like she used. I’ll be sure to talk to her about assisted living in the future.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Dylan! It can be very hard on everyone if a senior is struggling to make it on their own with the help of family caregivers. You do what you can, but eventually, it’s time to let the professionals look after your mom. The best part is, that most times when a senior goes into an independent or assisted living facility they really expand their social circle and do not have to deal with loneliness. It often turns out to be the best plan for everyone involved.

  2. I like that you explain how assisted living allows seniors to be more independent for longer. If someone is looking for an assisted living facility, it would probably be a good idea to consider how much independence their senior loved one can handle. This could help them research the various facilities to learn which one can provide the assistance they need while giving them as much independence to keep them safe and comfortable.

    1. Hi Erika! Thank you for taking the time to comment. I truly believe that seniors want to maintain their independence for as long as they possibly can and everything should be done to make that happen. Seniors have paid their dues through years of working and raising families and deserve to enjoy their golden years as much as possible.

  3. I would like to know what is an assisted living. I like how you mention that many people believe that assisted living provides the necessary care and service for a senior. Thank you for the information. I’ll have a talk about this with my grandma and see if she wants to live independently.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Jay! Assisted living is for seniors who need a bit of help with everyday living, but at the same time allows them to maintain a certain level of independence.

  4. It’s awesome how assisted living is meant to give the senior as much independence as possible while still keeping them safe and healthy. My mom is getting pretty old and she can’t do a lot of basic things anymore. Sometimes, she’ll forget to eat for an entire day! I think assisted living will not only make her a lot healthier, but she’ll enjoy the independence that she still has.

    1. Thanks for your comment Randy. Yes, it is good to know that there are several options for seniors that ensure they will have quality of life for as many years as possible.

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