As adult children see their parents struggle to live in independently, the thought of providing them with some level of assistance becomes a priority. Whether there’s been a diagnosis of illness, an injury, or just the natural process of aging, adult children then begin to research the many care services available to older adults and the benefits of assisted living.
But when is the right time to bring assistance into the life of your aging loved one? This blog post will provide answers.
Health care professionals measure a person’s need for assistance by assessing their ability to carry out activities of daily living, or ADLs. ADLs determine someone’s ability to provide for their own basic needs.
Basic ADLs include:
- Moving freely, including on stairs.
- Feeding oneself.
- Dressing oneself.
- Bathing and hygiene.
- Going to the bathroom independently.
There are more advanced activities that are also necessary for independent living. These are known as Instrumental ADLs.
Instrumental ADLs Include:
- Driving or transportation
- Meal preparation
- Finance management
- Communication through mail, phone and email
- Medication and self-care management
If there’s a noticeable decline in hygiene or grooming, or the house is consistently messier than it should be, or dishes are piling up and groceries are not getting purchased, these may be signs that your parent could benefit from care services.
It’s also important to notice more subtle changes. Are they more frustrated than usual? This could be a sign that they’re not keeping up with their basic needs. Are they as socially active as expected? Social isolation is a major contributor to a decline in a person’s health and quality of life.
What Are the Benefits of Assisted Living?
Today’s assisted living facilities offer a higher quality of life than ever before. They’re typically attractive apartment complexes that provide care services to increase a person’s comfort and ease of living. Of course, the services provided can vary greatly, based on a resident’s needs and budget.
One of the most basic benefits of assisted living is an end to home maintenance and yard work. Moving to assisted living means chores and home repairs become a thing of the past. Many communities offer gardening spaces for those who still enjoy getting their hands in the soil.
Another advantage is quality nutrition and opportunities to exercise. Access to a dining room with chef-prepared meals designed to meet nutritional needs can be a wonderful change. And options for walking groups, yoga classes, swimming pools and quality workout equipment can have residents looking and feeling their best.
Assisted Living Offers Peace of Mind
There’s also the important opportunity for ongoing social engagement. Organized activities are available regularly, with all sorts of options to choose from. It’s been proven time and again that spending time with like-minded people doing activities they enjoy plays a crucial role in a person’s quality of life and long-term health.
The most immediate concern about whether an aging parent may benefit from an assisted living community is safety and easy access to healthcare. Senior care communities are designed to be free of dangerous obstacles and stairs, to have wide walkways and handrails, and immediate medical care is usually just moments away.
These care services not only make their residents more relaxed and comfortable, but they help their adult children to know their loved one is able to get help if necessary, and is being given every opportunity to enjoy themselves and get more out of life than they might if they were still living at home.
The Difference Between Assisted Living and a Nursing Home
It’s important to realize an assisted living community does not provide every possible service your aging loved one may need, especially as time passes and additional care may become necessary. An elderly loved one may need a skilled nursing facility if they require full-time care by trained medical professionals. This could include memory care due to age related dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Some assisted living communities offer what is called a continuum of care, where a resident can stay in place as their needs for medical care increase. This can be an attractive service to look for because a loved one would not have to uproot to a new home as their needs change.
Choosing the Right Community
Visiting assisted living facilities can remove any hesitation a loved one may be feeling about making the move. Schedule a tour. Meet the staff. Arrange to eat a meal. A pleasant dining experience and quality food are major benefits of assisted living.
When you arrive, notice the overall feel. Is it open and welcoming? Are the staff warm and friendly? Does every room look clean, well-lit and pleasant? Does everything smell fresh? Are there ample common areas for activities and social groups? Is the floor plan spacious and easy to follow?
Ask about social activities. Is there a hair salon? A cafe? Access to Wi-Fi? Is there an exercise room with modern equipment? Is there proper safety and security in place? Do the bathrooms have handrails? Do they have emergency call buttons? What is the caregiver-to-resident ratio?
Most importantly, ask residents if they’re happy.
Find Quality Care at Garden Plaza of Florissant
The assisted living benefits at Garden Plaza in Florissant, Missouri, make it an ideal home for family members in need of senior care. This resort-style community offers a long list of services and amenities that take the stress out of everyday life, from housekeeping to health care to high-quality dining. Residents can spend their days worry-free and focused on living their best life.
Contact us to arrange a tour and see for yourself how we make assisted living comfortable, safe, fun and fulfilling.