Why Assisted Living?

Posted on

Feb 02, 2016

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Why Assisted Living?
Its no secret that many seniors do better living in an Assisted Living community than at home alone or in a nursing home. Why is this? Research points to four major reasons: healthy diets, companionship, meaningful activity, and wellness care.

Too often, people living alone fail to eat nutritious meals. But we all know the importance that diet plays in our overall health. Seniors who have a well-balanced diet tend to recover from illness more rapidly, spend less time in the hospital, and have a better sense of overall well-being and increased energy. Who isnt happier when you are feeling energized?

When one walks into an assisted living community you see people reading, chatting and playing games in the living room, taking art and computer classes, and baking muffins in a group cooking class. Active, involved people are more alert and healthy. Thats why most assisted living communities offer a wide array of social and fitness activities, live entertainment, educational events, and opportunities for spiritual growth.

All this activity offers plenty of companionship, another major happiness factor in assisted living communities. Research shows that the more time older adults spend socially with friends and family, the more likely they are to report happiness and enjoyment in their lives without a lot of stress and worry. Conversely, social isolation can lead to premature death, lower general well-being, depression and a high level of disability from chronic diseases. It turns out that good friends and laughter really are the best medicine!

Speaking about medicine, assisted living communities offer on-site personal wellness care and help with managing medications which plays a huge role in keeping seniors healthy. The average octogenarian takes a minimum of five medications daily. Medication-related errors are a leading cause of hospitalizations for seniors. Assisted living offers daily reminders to residents to take their medications in the right dosage and on time, and will keep family members and doctors informed about any medication-related concerns and changes in health. This helps seniors remain healthier and more independent for as long as possible.

There are a number of resources available to you if you are considering assisted living or memory care, so do your research and youll find tools to help you determine when it is time for assisted living, whether you can afford assisted living, and checklists for your assisted living tour.

This article was written by Nancy Crowley, RN, BS, Director of Quality Improvement and Education at Senior Living Residences and former executive director at Concord Park Senior Living. For 25 years, Senior Living Residences has been providing Massachusetts seniors with assisted living options and research-based Alzheimer treatment programming. The company currently manages 12 assisted living communities across Massachusetts. For more information on Senior Living Residences, you may visit www.SeniorLivingResidences.com.

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