Whether your loved one’s independence is at risk at home or they’re starting to experience feelings of isolation, assisted living may be the right choice for them. Typically, the base fee includes housing, utilities, meals and snacks, housekeeping and transportation services.
Some communities offer scheduled transportation to doctor’s appointments and other errands, while others have guest speakers and classes on topics like technology or writing. Safety is also a priority, with features like accessible bathrooms and hand rails.
Many elderly people feel socially isolated due to their age and loss of function, which can be detrimental to mental health. This is why Assisted Living facilities make meaningful social engagement a major focus on their activities programs.
These activities may include interest-based clubs, gardening groups, or volunteer opportunities to connect with peers. They also offer a variety of group exercise classes, such as yoga and dance, or classes like learning trending TikTok dances that can keep seniors physically and mentally active.
Visiting several nursing homes that provide the services your loved one needs is an important part of finding the right facility. Try to make these visits on a regular basis, so that your loved one gets to know the staff members and other residents.
Many seniors have difficulty cooking for themselves due to health conditions, appetite loss and even a lack of desire or energy. Assisted living communities offer restaurant-style meals that are healthy, flavorful and tailored to each resident’s dietary needs.
On meal prep days, residents may prepare ingredients for several meals in advance. This is a great way to ensure that nutritious foods are readily available, without risk of spoilage. Labeled storage containers are also helpful for locating items when needed, and keeping foods like washed greens, hardboiled eggs or a bowl of chopped fruit front-and-center so they don’t get forgotten. The results of binary logistic regression models linking the duration of meal preparation activities to self-rated health and stress show a positive association for both, with greater levels of meal preparation activity associated with lower stress and higher self-rated mental health.
When it comes to medication management, nursing homes need to keep up with new technologies and improve the ways they administer medical treatment. For example, Birmingham Nursing & Rehab Center recently began using a person-centered medicine program to improve interactions between care workers and their residents.
The program uses an inductive thematic analysis process to review field notes. Two overarching themes emerged: resistance and negotiation. Resident resistance is characterized by an attempt to assert control over their own health care, such as by asking for more medicines.
If your loved one’s injuries are increasing or they’re having trouble managing their personal care, it may be time for assisted living. Check out the differences between these types of residences, and find a community that offers the amenities your loved one needs.
Having reliable transportation is essential to maintaining your loved one’s independence. It helps them get to their doctors’ appointments, and it’s a great way to socialize with peers.
Many assisted living communities provide their own transportation services, and some work with local transit authorities to offer specialized rides designed for seniors. These programs are usually free or cost a small fee.
Other community transportation options are non-profit and volunteer-based, and include door to door service that’s often much cheaper than a taxi. Check with your county’s Area Agency on Aging to see what programs are available in your area. In metropolitan areas, bus, rail and trolley lines may offer a wide range of options. Similarly, on-demand ride services like Lyft are popular and offer low prices.
Personal home care services offer a variety of activities that promote meaningful social interaction. If your loved one is prone to isolation and depression, they may benefit from this type of care.
If your loved one has been displaying signs of neglect or poor hygiene, it might be time to consider a move to a senior living residence. Sudden weight loss may also indicate a more serious health problem.
Before you visit a residential care facility, make sure it is licensed by your state. Ask about fees, admission and discharge policies. Applicants should be aware that the vast majority of assisted living program participants are Medicaid beneficiaries. If you are concerned your loved one will exceed the Medicaid asset limit, consult with a Medicaid planning professional to explore options.