Assisted living communities are offering more options to seniors, and the kinds of options they're offering are changing. Besides senior living facilities and communities becoming more like home, they're becoming more like extensions of the greater community.
With seniors generally living healthier and longer lives, what you want in assistant living is likely different from what your parents expected just a couple of decades ago. Before making a choice, consider what you want and expect from the indoor and outdoor living space an assisted living facility or community has to offer.
Trends to look for in a senior assisted living community:
Individualized living spaces. Whether you are considering a single room, suite, or apartment unit, look for an assisted living unit that offers both privacy and comfort.
Living quarters designed to accommodate aging in place. If you lose strength and mobility due to health issues, as your needs change, you can benefit from features that require less physical effort on your part to accomplish routine tasks.
An assisted living unit that offers more space to maneuver, larger bathrooms, and easier accessibility can help keep you more independently functional. A kitchen designed for wheelchair access offers you the ability to approach counter tops and reach cupboards whether you are seated or standing. Under-cabinet lighting, wide doorways, walk-in showers, and motion-sensor night lights are additional features that help make your life easier.
Interior designs that look more residential than institutional. It may be a senior living environment, but that's no reason why it can't still look and feel like home.
The colors of walls, flooring, window treatments, and furniture fabrics play a role in making your living space an appealing and safe environment. For example, neutral and warm colors are a better pick if your eyesight isn't what it used to be. In addition, strong contrasts in color between walls, furnishings, and flooring can also help you see better.
Benefit of assisted living services when you need them. Assisted living communities offer a wide range of supportive services to help you live a safer, healthier lifestyle. Assistance you receive should focus on helping you remain as independent as possible.
Access to technology and remote connections. Technology in the form of the Internet and wireless connections keeps you connected to your family, friends, and the larger community. In fact, a Pew Research Internet Project reported that individuals age 74 and older are among the fastest growing generation of users accessing social media sites.
As the use of iPhone, iPads, and social networking sites grows, you can rely on the technology for communicating to others outside of the assisted living community. Large computer monitor screens, large print, easy-to-see keyboards, lightweight tablets, and touch-screen features make the technology easier to use.
Also available are mobile heath apps that can track your weight, diet, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other health issues. Remote access allows you, your family, and your health care providers an additional option for monitoring your health.
Outdoor amenities. If you're an outdoor person, assisted living communities with beautiful landscaping, gardens, terraces, court yards, walking trails, and park-like settings may be what wins you over.
Neighborhood amenities. If you're a senior who wants to continue living an active lifestyle, you don't have to feel isolated living in assisted living. Nearby communities with large shopping malls, community theaters, college campuses, better restaurants, wellness and fitness centers, and a variety of entertainment venues can be a draw.
Another alternative for social interaction is an assisted living community (such as Queen Anne Manor Senior Living) that opens the doors of its campus programs to the general public. This gives assisted living residents the opportunity to get to know and socialize with residents of the surrounding communities. It also offers a way to encourage intergenerational activities among the aging and the young.
As an elderly care worker, I have witnessed the deaths of many individuals. I have seen family members become angry, sad, and completely silent at the end. I have also seen individuals refuse to see family members out of denial. People deal with death in different ways, and the strong emotions are often unfamiliar and scary. If you have a parent or grandparent who is elderly, then I want to share with you what I know about end of life care and dying process. We are a society that does not talk about death, and this can cause great pain when a family member dies. Learn about the process and find out how to deal with your own emotions and how to love your family members at the end. If there is only a small amount of time left, then I want you to cherish the final moments.