Staying active, independent and healthy is something we all want, no matter how old or young we are. However, as we age, it can become more difficult to keep those goals. This is especially true once we reach a point where we can’t do the same things we always did. Many seniors try to ignore or overcome this by stubbornly continuing to live in the same way they always have, but this can actually backfire in a big way.
“Many seniors refuse to consider moving into assisted living because they don’t want to go into a ‘home’,” says Lauren Kessler, Executive Administrator of Bartley Healthcare. “A large number of people still view assisted living as a nursing home, which to them means a place where people go to wait out the rest of their lives. Although this is certainly not the case, we still have a lot of education to do for seniors and their families to help them see that today’s assisted living communities are designed to help boost independence and overall wellness.”
Lauren says that Baby Boomers have helped shape how senior living looks, feels and sounds for the better. The biggest shift, she says, is that assisted living communities and other forms of senior living now focus on providing assistance to help meet residents’ needs instead of trying to have seniors conform into a cookie-cutter lifestyle. “Assisted living is all about personalization,” Lauren explains. “Our goal at Bartley Healthcare is to provide dignified and caring assistance for the things our residents require help with, which then allows them to do the things they can and want to do. We also provide a lifestyle that’s focused on overall wellness with all the things residents need to remain healthy and age well with a high quality of life.”
In honor of National Wellness Month, we’ve put together some of the top ways that assisted living helps seniors achieve overall wellness. If you or a loved one have been considering this type of senior living, perhaps these points will encourage you to make a healthy move of your own.
How Assisted Living Improves Overall Wellness for Seniors
It removes the stress that comes from maintaining your home.
You may not automatically think of “owning a home” as something that can be detrimental to your health, but that can be the case for older adults who are usually living in a situation that isn’t optimal for aging well. The house you currently live in can be uncomfortable and downright dangerous for individuals who have health or mobility issues. Features like staircases, small and cramped hallways, slippery bathrooms and even landscaping mean a lot of physical labor that can result in falls, broken bones and other issues that spell a trip to the emergency room. Not to mention the immense amount of work that can result from doing laundry, cleaning house, going grocery shopping, running errands … this can eventually become a monumental task. Many times, seniors end up having to let maintenance and upkeep fall by the wayside, which results in even more safety issues. However, life in an assisted living community is completely chore- and maintenance-free. Residents reside in their own private apartment but receive the benefits of having a staff that handles all the maintenance and chores for you. Living spaces and the community overall are also designed to help older adults function as highly as possible. Safety features like emergency call systems, grab bars and zero staircases make it easy for seniors to get around and stay active.
There’s 24/7 security and safety.
A huge concern for many seniors and their families is safety. What happens, for example, if Mom or Dad falls in the middle of the night and can’t reach the phone? Or what if there’s a fire or some other accident – how will Mom and Dad get to safety? No one wants to feel helpless, especially in their home. Assisted living provides that watchful care while also respecting residents’ privacy. Communities have team members on site around the clock so that residents always have access to help and assistance whenever they need it. Many communities also have security staff that ensures that no one comes in or out of the community without their notice. If there’s an accident or an incident, systems are in place so that help is available within seconds. This gives seniors and family members the opportunity to relax, knowing that if issues do arise, they won’t be alone and will have the resources to get the best care possible.
It helps seniors stay social.
Loneliness and social isolation are huge issues for older adults, especially when mobility or health issues make it difficult to get out and engage with friends and family. Being lonely can take quite a toll on a senior’s physical health, resulting in high stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and health issues and potentially even increasing the risk of cognitive disease like dementia. An assisted living community opens up a world of social opportunities for seniors. There’s always something going on, whether it’s a fitness class, a book club, an outing or event – most, if not all, communities have a full-time activities director on staff who makes sure that the monthly events calendar is chock full of engaging, entertaining, educational and energizing things for residents to do. Being in a community also makes it easy to strike up new friendships since the entire community is made up of other seniors who are looking for fun and friendships as well. All seniors have to do is step outside their front door – it’s probably harder to not be social than it is to be social.
There’s a focus on wellness and healthy living.
It gets harder and harder to live a healthy life as we age. For starters, things that we take for granted, like eating a healthy meal, get complicated and difficult. It’s hard to have a healthy meal if you can’t get out to buy fresh ingredients or if you just don’t have the energy to make meals because you live alone or are finding it difficult for some reason. Assisted living communities are focused on providing overall wellness to residents, which includes things like a nutritious dining plan filled with fresh, healthy ingredients that are tailored to each individual’s diet, preference and nutritional needs. Fitness opportunities are also available and they’re designed with the limitations of older adults in mind. The point is to have an environment where residents are able to enjoy their best lives, and staying healthy and well is a key part of making that happen.
It creates a more enjoyable life.
Lauren says that all these benefits and more combine to create an environment where residents can live a happy life – which is, ultimately, what wellness is all about. “I would encourage any older adult, no matter how much or little help they need, to look into senior living as an opportunity instead of something that should be avoided,” she says. “We believe that every stage of life can be fulfilling and enjoyable, and assisted living communities do that by providing caring assistance and opportunities to do the things you love. What is overall wellness but that?”
Empowering Lifestyle. Trusted Care.
The Orchards at Bartley Assisted Living is our assisted living community conveniently located on the Bartley Healthcare campus.
At The Orchards at Bartley Assisted Living, residents can embrace a fulfilling, independent lifestyle in an elegant setting while experiencing the security and comfort of a qualified, compassionate team. We take care of it all – housekeeping and delicious dining, scheduled transportation, programming to meet varying interests and more.
And if your care needs change down the road, we offer our Cedar Spring Memory Care program, as well as transitional care and respite stays featuring our Step By Step program and Bartley at Home home care services.
For more information or to schedule a tour, contact our team today at 732-372-4055.