Many seniors dread moving into assisted living. They fear it means an end to independence, but all it means is that you are getting more support for the things you need. Assisted living can be one of the best ways to live out your golden years, as long as you fully embrace all it has to offer. Here are some of the many benefits of moving into assisted living.
This may feel counter-intuitive; after all, surely it is cheaper to just stay at home. Well, not really. Once you take into account mortgage payments, utilities, maintenance, taxes, food, and at-home care services, things start quickly adding up. And that’s not to mention the home modifications that most seniors would need to do to make their home safe, which can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 on average.
Everyday Care and Support
Of course, this is the single biggest advantage of assisted living. A facility can help with things like medication management, showering, and getting dressed, as well as providing everyday services like laundry and housekeeping. You and your family will work together to design a daily schedule of the tasks you need help with, and there are always staff members on hand to help out with any impromptu demands.
Additionally, assisted living facilities also frequently provide transportation when needed. For instance, if you’re loved one is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan through a company like Aetna and wants to schedule an eye exam or a dental checkup, the facility will provide the means to get them there. This will take a lot of the worry out of scheduling a ride for your loved one or finding a way to take off work to take the trip yourself.
It is important to understand that assisted living is not the same as a nursing home. Nursing homes look and feel more like institutions and offer round-the-clock medical care. Assisted living facilities usually look like apartments and provide only the support you need to live a full life.
Built-In Social Life
Assisted living provides you with a community of people your age with similar interests, but shy seniors may still find it difficult to socialize. Luckily, facilities also offer various great activities, from gardening to book clubs, crafting, pet therapy, and more. These make it easy for people to chat with each other and form meaningful relationships, but also to foster hobbies and passions.
If you need some extra help, this article by the AARP has some great advice on how to make friends in a retirement community. Being positive and open to conversations helps, as does choosing a facility with a welcome committee for newcomers.
Health and Wellness
Gym memberships are expensive, and gyms can be intimidating places for seniors. At an assisted living facility, you will have access to exercise classes and activities that keep you fit and healthy, all in a friendly and inclusive environment. Some of the best exercises for seniors include walking, dancing, and strength training, so look out for these.
Assisted living provides you with three healthy meals a day, you don’t have to worry about preparing your own food. Is it good, though? Well, that depends on the facility. When doing tours, make sure to ask questions about the food. Places with a lot of varied, ethnic options and who take pride in their chef and ingredients are the ones you want.
Choosing the Right Facility
Ultimately, the biggest factor in how much you enjoy assisted living is your choice of facility. To make sure you make the correct choice, bring along a checklist and make sure to record your impressions. This will make it a lot easier when it comes to comparing your options.
The first step to thriving in assisted care is understanding just how beneficial it can be for you. With the support and care you need to live safely, you can make the most of your golden years. Find yourself in a hobby, make new friends, get fit, and enjoy a life perfectly suited to your needs. What is there not to love?