When Aging in Place is Not the Best Option
Brian SheridanFeb 17th, 2022
It's perfectly natural for an older person to want to spend their vintage years in the home they've lived in for decades. After all, at home they're surrounded by lifelong possessions and the cherished memories of raising children and family celebrations.
However, as they get older, aging in place might not be the best option. Their home is indeed a center of happy memories, but in many cases, it can also become a place of loneliness and isolation, especially if illness or mobility issues present themselves.
In my experience as a senior placement advisor (Brian Sheridan, 904-559-3203 or firstname.lastname@example.org), when I'm visiting an elderly client at home, they're excited, engaged, and seemingly happy. But their reaction has less to do with me personally than it does that I might be the only person they see that week. When I or any other visitor leave, there's a risk that the person might return to feeling sad, lonely, and depressed. Their mental acuity may also become dimmed from a lack of regular human engagement. Television or radio cannot replace actual in-person contact.
Isolation becomes more of a risk when the person cannot drive anymore. This loss of mobile independence might cause them to feel "stuck" at home, especially during winter when staying inside is easier than contending with snow-covered or icy sidewalks and freezing temperatures.
Fortunately, Senior Living communities offer a viable option to aging in place and the potential adverse effects of doing so.
Senior Living Communities: Where older people can thrive
Senior living has evolved over the last 60 years, replacing the outdated images of going "into a home" with an atmosphere of fun, engagement, and optimal care. With so many options available today, including Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care, the focus is now on creating personalized care experiences for residents to enjoy during their vintage years.
Many communities resemble 5-star hotels, with nearly every want and need fulfilled. They're not places to be feared but rather looked forward to as a viable alternative to aging in place.
Benefits of a Senior Living Community over aging in place
The transition from aging in place to a Senior Living Community can seem daunting at first, but the truth is that once they are placed, they truly begin to thrive. Someone who, just days ago, felt isolated and alone is suddenly laughing again, engaging with people, and making new friends for the first time in years. It's remarkable to watch a new resident blossom with the change in environment.
Some of the other benefits to placement in a Senior Living Community include:
Becoming healthier through regular exercise
At home, chances are the older person got little exercise beyond walking between the bedroom, living room, and kitchen. In a Senior Living Community, they'll be walking from their apartment to activity rooms, social events, and to eat in the dining hall.
Better access to nutrition
Many older people neglect to make wholesome meals at home, especially if they live alone. Residents are served delicious meals and snacks that prioritize nutrition in the dining hall. Menus include heart-healthy, brain-healthy meals that support overall well-being and brain function, which is especially important when living in Memory Care.
Household services that focus on their needs
Sometimes, older people might neglect simple household chores or maintain personal grooming for various reasons. This can lead to them living in an unsanitary or unhealthy environment. Nearly every type of household service is available in a Senior Living Community, including vacuuming, laundry, maintenance, and, if needed, help with bathing, dressing, and grooming.
Improves overall mood and well-being
Instead of feeling sad, lonely, and sensory-deprived when living at home, older people enjoy all sorts of fun activities, only steps outside their door, with staff encouraging them to get involved. There are social hours, drink nights, games and activities, trips, and so much more that add up to an optimal quality of life and a decrease in symptoms of depression.
More enjoyable family visits
With their older relatives relaxed, refreshed, and enjoying their vintage years in a safe, welcoming community made just for them, kids, grandkids, and other family members enjoy better quality visits. When the visits are better, they become more frequent. Plus, many senior communities encourage family members to partake in the social activities and meals, so no resident or visitor will ever be bored!
In every way, the overall health of someone in a Senior Living Community is much better than when they lived alone in their home. I've seen successful placements thousands of times. I know that there's something for every senior to look forward to in these communities.
Find Quality Independent Senior Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing in Northeast Florida
Searching for the right Senior Living Community can be a daunting experience. With so many options available, you need to be sure that you choose the best-fit community for your elderly loved one's needs.
When you're starting your search for a Senior Living Community in Northeast Florida, contact Brian Sheridan of Assisted Living Locators. Brian and his team will take the time to get to know your relative needs, wants, and requirements and recommend communities best suited to meet them. They'll even accompany you on community tours and attend meetings with staff to ensure you get all the information you need to make the most informed decision possible.
Contact Brian at 904-559-3203 or email@example.com to find the best Senior Living Community for you or a family member today!