Is assisted living the right fit for Mom or Dad?

| Dena Boheim | April 25, 2013 | 0 Comments

Navigating the senior housing and care industry can be challenging and overwhelming, especially if it is your first time exploring the options.

With the right knowledge and tools, however, the journey can be a smoother one. Assisted living is one of many choices for you or a loved one.

Assisted living is often thought of as a bridge between independent living and skilled nursing care — the best of both worlds.

Older adults who require help with daily living activities but not complex medical care may find that assisted liv-ing is the right combination of housing, personalized support and health care. With skilled caregivers always nearby, seniors find the support and assistance needed to remain as independent as possible.

Getting some help

Seniors who seek assisted living services may have had a slight decline in health and need assistance performing one or more activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming or dressing.

Seniors who would like to live in a social environment with little responsibilities or where care is easily accessible whenever they may need it are the type of seniors you will find in an assisted living community.

People often seek assisted living when they:

  • Need more help than their family and friends can provide, and in-home assistance isn’t an option;
  • Feel isolated at home, lonely or depressed because they can no longer participate in social and recreational activities or see friends;
  • Suffer from limited mobility and are at risk for falling;
  • Find that their health issues make cooking, cleaning and laundry a burden — or prevent them from accomplishing these tasks at all;
  • Can no longer drive, have limited access to public transportation and are increasingly housebound and dependent on others;
  • Need limited care after suffering from an illness or injury, or while recuperating from surgery.

Services and assistance are tailored to the needs and preferences of the individual and may include: meal preparation; personal grooming; assistance with dressing, bathing, and other activities of daily living; medication management; transportation; recreation opportunities; housekeeping assistance; spiritual care offerings; and sometimes, even assist with things like pet care to support peo-ple’s preferred lifestyle.

Secure, homelike environment

Typically, assisted living communities ­offer prepared meals three times a day and help with light housekeeping and laundry.

Depending on the community, residents may have access to a fitness center, swimming pool, beauty salon, post office and transportation. Communities will also plan events, activities and trips that allow residents to remain active and social.

In an assisted living community, you’ll find a secure, homelike environment, with care and services that are likely to include:

  • Private rooms, shared rooms or apartments
  • Full baths and kitchenettes or kitchens
  • Professional staff that includes nurses, physicians and other qualified caregivers
  • Medication reminders
  • Assistance with mobility, dressing, personal hygiene
  • Common dining room, sitting room, and meeting or activity rooms
  • Laundry, housekeeping and meals
  • Recreational activities and transportation

Assisted living residents have the companionship of friends their own age, and they live as independently as possible — with help available around the clock.

 

Boheim is director of marketing at Benedictine Health System. This month’s Catholic Senior Services article is provided as a service of Benedictine Health System, an affiliate of CSS.

Visit http://www.catholicseniorservices.org or call the Catholic Senior Services Help Line at (877) 420-6461. For more information about Benedictine Health System, go to http://www.bhshealth.org, or email info@bhshealth.org.

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Category: From Age to Age