Right from childhood, we strive to become and retain independence over virtually every facet of our lives. As we grow, we learn powerful, lifelong lessons about the value of doing things for ourselves, putting us on the road to happiness and success.
When we enter our vintage years, our desire to remain independent is as strong as ever. It contributes to our sense of well-being and preserves our self-worth, even as other aspects of our lives begin to change.
However, the ordinary course of aging can make staying independent challenging for many older people. Physical or mental limitations might creep in, causing living in their home to become difficult, especially if they live alone. The effect on older people can be devastating if they can no longer carry out simple tasks they’ve been doing all their lives without assistance. We call these simple tasks the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), which include housekeeping, bathing, grooming, meal preparation, and much more.
Families often take the proactive approach of searching for alternative living arrangements for their older loved ones so they can maintain a healthy quality of life by getting the support they need. Senior living communities, which include different levels of care, such as independent living, assisted living, and memory care, offer the perfect setting where older adults of all abilities can thrive.
It’s important to note that these communities, contrary to what many believe, don’t take independence away from residents but rather allow them to maintain it. This critical aspect of senior living communities is vital for older adults to live with joy and happiness as they age.
There are several ways that senior living communities help residents stay independent, including:
Comprehensive services that remove the stress of daily routines
It can be stressful for older adults when they have difficulties with ADLs. Not being able to bathe or groom themselves properly can take a toll on their confidence and lead to physical illness, depression, and other issues. Services are available in senior living communities that help with ADLs, so your loved one can continue to feel comfortable and cared for while maintaining their independence.
Residents stay in charge of their care choices
Senior living communities understand the importance of residents being involved in their care choices. That’s why the care programs, treatments, and activities the resident experiences are tailored to their individual needs with input from the resident, their families, and their primary healthcare providers. In many cases, the resident has the final word on everything. However, in memory care, decisions are often left to the family and healthcare providers.
Ample social opportunities
Many seniors who live at home tend not to leave the house, especially if they have mobility issues. Isolating at home can lead to loneliness, illness, and depression. Fortunately, senior living communities offer an environment with ample socialization opportunities right outside their door. Your loved one will be able to make new connections from the day they move in. Residents of all abilities are fully accommodated and encouraged to participate, so no one is ever left out. Oftentimes, seniors who were resistant to moving into a senior living community will discover how much happier they become after they move in, due to the increased opportunities to make friends and become involved with activities.
Nutritious meals prepared for them
Older people with health and physical limitations may neglect shopping for healthy ingredients and opt for quick heat-and-eat meals that might be convenient but lacking in nutrition. Poor eating habits can lead to low energy and illness. The dining rooms within senior living communities offer healthy meals made fresh by professional chefs and served in comfortable dining halls. Having access to a healthy diet gives the residents more energy and enhanced independence without worrying about shopping and preparing food.
Most families are concerned about their older loved one’s ability to take medications as prescribed. Whether caused by natural aging or dementia, memory problems may cause people to forget to take medications or “double dose” if they can’t remember if they took them. Medication errors can lead to illness, hospitalization, or worse. Senior living communities offer medication management services that ensure residents get the proper dosages at the appropriate times, keeping them healthy, safe, and able to continue to do the things they love independently.
Available transportation services
Many older people give up operating a vehicle for safety reasons. If they aren’t comfortable taking public transit or important places are too far to walk, they might neglect to shop, visit friends, or keep medical or other appointments. Many senior living communities offer transportation services, so residents can run errands, go shopping, and get to appointments safely. These services preserve independence as the older person’s ability to get around is no longer limited.
Maintaining independence doesn’t mean your older loved one has to live alone in their house. The services and support available in a senior living community will enhance their ability to live independently and help them thrive in an environment created just for them.
No-cost help finding a senior living community in the Nashville Metro area and Middle Tennessee
Searching for a senior living community for yourself or a senior loved one can be overwhelming, especially if you’re doing it alone or for the first time. When families in the Nashville Metro area or Middle Tennessee need a senior living advisor, they contact Tim Tuttle of Assisted Living Locators at 615-375-3553 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tim’s expert guidance, exhaustive research, and trusted partnership help families make the most informed choice possible, all at no cost to you or your family.
Start making the search for the best-fit senior living community easier by connecting with Tim and his team today. We’re always happy to help!