Independent Living; Assisted Care; Home Care; Nursing Homes; Memory Care; The list goes on! When discussing care and living opportunities for older loved ones, the term ‘overwhelmed’ may be an understatement. Mom or dad – ya know, the ones who will actually experience the transition – will be understandably overwhelmed as well. Luckily, the staff here at Lumia in Mequon know a thing or two about senior care. When it comes to senior communities, the options and variety are immense. Trying to share information and advantages of such communities to seniors can be difficult. Bringing up the idea of an assisted living community to your older loved ones can even be a trial itself; therefore, let us help you out with some tips, and more importantly, explain the benefits of senior assisted living communities.
What is a Senior Assisted Living Community?
Senior assisted living communities specialize in assisting seniors with every-day activities while allowing seniors to live as independently as possible.1 Different from retirement/independent senior living communities, assisted living communities, like Lumia, offer personalized care in a residential community setting. The emphasis of such assistance places socialization and ADLs (activities of daily living) at the top. Medication management, housekeeping, laundry, and even transportation are tailored to each senior and monitored by a staff working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Why an Assisted Living Community? What are the Benefits?
The personal benefits of assisted living communities for your older loved ones are immense. First, curated assessments are usually done to create individual plans for new seniors that balance daily assistance with safe independence. Some communities, such as the Lumia in Mequon, also provide memory care. This specialized care incorporates individualized, around-the-clock support to help with Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms.
With a focus on retaining independence, assisted living communities continue to be an effective solution for helping older loved ones enjoy life. Unlike nursing homes or other care “facilities,” assisted living communities are built around their very name: community.
Greatest Tip? Emphasize Community!
Whether communal gardens, game tournaments, live performances, local trips, diners, and much much more, quality assisted living communities make it hard for seniors to be bored. Considering that one in ten retirees will report that they are bored after only five months of retirement, the benefit of community, and the connections made within, cannot be overstated.2 In fact, close to half of surveyed retired seniors reported wanting some kind of connection or purpose, “just to get out of the house.”2
Creating opportunities that stimulate and connect seniors is perhaps the greatest benefit of assisted living communities. Many assisted living communities, especially those operated under Koru Health, have full time staff such as Activity Aids/Directors, Life Enrichment Managers, Lifestyle Support Specialists, and more all dedicated to creating an engaging community in support of a purposeful and exciting post-retirement life. Conveying this to your loved one, therefore, should be the ultimate focus of your efforts. Mom or dad likely do not want to be put “in a home” as the saying goes, making conversations about their living and wellbeing difficult. It is necessary to drive home the fundamental fact that assisted living communities are everything BUT a nursing home.
Any Tips For Finding More Information?
The staff here at Lumia routinely support families and loved ones on their journey to assisted living care, and are happy to help; however, if you or your loved one want further insight and information, we are happy to direct you in your efforts to explain the benefits of assisted living communities. Showing your loved one the state Department of Health Services’ guide to assisted living communities is a great step in your efforts of explaining the role and benefits of assisted living communities, as well as their various locations. Additionally, you can contact your local Aging and Disability Resource Center to find out more information on local elderly care, resources, and tips.
While resources and information are great, the best tip for explaining the benefits of assisted living communities to a loved one is to actually show them and have them experience it. Most assisted living communities offer guided tours, staff/management interviews, and much more. Perusing through websites can get tedious and can never quite paint a whole picture of the community experience. Call and schedule a time to visit an assisted community instead. See for yourself the activities and living arrangements. Most importantly, ask questions! Many surveys regarding the quality of assisted living communities come from the residents themselves. Don’t be afraid to meet some older strangers and shoot them a question! Even if your older loved one doesn’t quite like aspects of the community, the experience can still be a positive social one.
Being bombarded with information and resources does not help with the anxiety surrounding the search for a quality senior community. The most important tip you will hear from us as experienced care providers is this: YOU know your loved one the best. Sit down and talk to them about their goals and vision for post-retirement life. Share with them the various resources and benefits covered here and encourage them to visit and see a community for themselves. Finding a new community for your loved one should not feel like homework; rather, it should be a deep, interpersonal experience involving the ones closest to you, while keeping their quality of life above all else. Your older loved ones deserve to live a purposeful and exciting life as they navigate their elder years. We know how challenging talks surrounding assisted living can be. Let us here at Lumia do what we can to help you along your journey of finding quality senior care.