When a senior has the ability to take care of themselves they are good candidates for an Independent Living arrangement. What that means is they can live in a senior community and take care of themselves in an apartment or housing co-op.
In most cases, they are active and able to cook and care for themselves. When a senior is unable to be independent, many caregivers ask, what is senior assisted living? They want to know what the next step is.
Senior assisted living is for those seniors who are unable to do everything for themselves. They may live in an apartment type of arrangement in a senior community, but there are many differences from an independent living situation.
For instance, seniors who may suffer from some sort of cognitive disability might have living quarters that require more security measures. This might include extra surveillance equipment and no kitchen.
INDICATIONS THAT ASSISTED LIVING IS NEEDED:
There are certain behavior patterns for caregivers to look out for that might indicate that it’s time for assisted living.
- A senior may exhibit aggression. It could be physical or violent and is typical of seniors with dementia.
- There is added stress for caregivers and this is a sure sign that things are getting out of their control.
- A senior may need more help than a caregiver can provide and this can escalate over time.
- It gets to the point where a senior is not safe in their own home.
- Some seniors with dementia might wander as soon as they are out of caregivers’ sight. This could result in injuries from falling.
BENEFITS OF ASSISTED LIVING:
- There will help with daily functions like dressing, eating, and bathing.
- Assisted living can adapt as changing needs require.
- The senior will not have to look after a home.
- It’s a home-like setting with privacy. This is one of the main differences from a nursing home.
- With assisted living, seniors can still take part in the senior community activities and socialize with others.
- Assisted living is more cost-effective than a nursing home.
- Normally, there is a community dining program that includes three meals per day.
- There is access to Educational activities
- There are usually exercise activities
- In case of emergency most assisted, living communities will have emergency call systems in place.
- Assistance with managing medications
COST OF ASSISTED LIVING:
The average cost for a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living community can be anywhere from $3500 a month to $5000 depending on the state or province and level of care. It’s a bit difficult to pinpoint an exact cost as it changes every year.
Although it appears to be very expensive, one should keep in mind that housing, utilities, meals, and care services are all included. Still, the cost of senior retirement facilities puts them out of reach for many.
Research organizations in the assisted living industry estimate that the average length of stay in assisted living is 28 months.
Seniors can remain in their own homes as long as caregivers are able and willing to care for them. However, there are distinct advantages to choosing an assisted living option.
In a community situation, the senior is able to interact with other seniors and take part in structured events. If they are living in their own home, the opportunity to socialize is severely diminished. There is a big difference in just surviving and perhaps thriving mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Actually, the same can be said for the caregiver. It can almost reach the point where they are living their seniors’ life instead of their own. This can be very stressful.
MAKING THE DECISION:
As difficult as it may be, the will come when a decision has to be made. It only makes sense that seniors will want to stay in their own homes as long as they can. The time might come, however, when it becomes unsafe and too stressful for everyone involved.
The best way to come to a decision is to talk to an assisted living representative. They can answer all the questions that the senior and caregiver might have and point you in the right direction. Caregivers should not feel bad about having to make this decision.
It’s just the cycle of life and besides, the quality of life for both the caregiver and senior might well be enhanced. So what is assisted living in a nutshell?
It’s the opportunity for a senior to live in more of a community setting and as a result, get as much enjoyment out of life as possible.
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