When considering assisted living for a loved one, taking the time to tour facilities is important. Ask administrators, staff members and residents questions about life in the community. Visit regularly, including during mealtimes.
A focus on quality of life: Both independent and assisted living communities provide ample opportunities for physical health, social engagement, spiritual interests, and meaningful relationships.
Many seniors who live alone suffer from a reduced quality of life due to isolation. Assisted living communities prioritize social interactions among residents by providing them with opportunities to enjoy meals and participate in activities together.
Unlike functionalist theories, contemporary sociology recognizes that individuals are active participants in socialization. It’s not a one-time event during childhood; it continues throughout adulthood, especially when people enter new groups or organizations. For example, a woman who leaves her home to join a corporate office will experience a period of socialization as she learns the rules and norms of this new environment. These socialization processes are referred to as acculturation and enculturation in the literature. Assisted living communities foster social engagement through social events and activities, such as art workshops and salsa dancing.
Sense of Belonging
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the sense of belonging is a fundamental human need. Psychology, psychiatry, and sociology professionals commonly illustrate this hierarchy as a pyramid with physical survival needs at the base and self-actualization at the top. A sense of belonging is the subjective feeling that one belongs and fits into a community. Research has shown that this underlying motivation is critical to psychological health.
A lack of belonging leaves seniors vulnerable to a range of problems. Isolation, for example, increases the risk of falls and other incidents that can lead to injury and death. Assisted living communities offer regular staff and residents who get to know each other and standard safety equipment such as bars in showers, ramps, and panic call buttons.
Boosting self-esteem is crucial in improving quality of life, especially for seniors. It helps them maintain their independence, feel confident, and encourages them to pursue healthy habits like staying physically active. Unfortunately, health issues, eyesight changes, and empty nest syndrome can wreak havoc on self-esteem. Fortunately, assisted living can provide a supportive environment for seniors to thrive. It also allows them to build friendships with other residents and team members who help them daily, enhancing their social circle. In addition, many communities have activities that are both fun and social, giving seniors something to look forward to and improving their quality of life. Learn more about senior living options, including applying for Medicaid coverage and getting the necessary care.
Loss of independence is a major fear that many older adults have as they age. But assisted living is not about giving up freedom – it’s about getting the right kind of help. Assisted living communities provide apartment-style living for older adults who benefit from daily assistance with routine tasks. Residents receive individualized care plans monitored and adjusted to promote positive progress toward health goals while maintaining independence.
Rather than worrying about housework, cooking, yard maintenance and more, your loved one will be offered meals prepared by an experienced chef that considers their health needs. In addition, amenities such as a full calendar of events and activities, out-trips and more make for a hassle-free lifestyle. Assisted living is typically a monthly rental option that can be paid for by savings or personal funds, long-term care insurance or home and community-based waivers through state Medicaid resources.
The sense of security seniors experience in assisted living is vital. When they’re home alone, they might feel vulnerable to injury or illness. But in an assisted living community, staff members are always nearby to lend a helping hand.
Plus, a typical aging-in-place community has a system that lets residents check in on each other. Known as Tel-Tron, this feature works like a check-in station, where seniors push a button to indicate they’re alive and well. If they fail to press the button, a staff member will call them to ensure all are well. To ensure the safety of your senior loved one, take some time to learn about a specific facility’s security systems.