How do you determine if assisted living is the right senior living lifestyle option for you or for a loved one? And what things do you consider most important to have in an assisted living setting? Asking yourself some questions first will help clarify your search as you consider your assisted living decision.
Assisted living defined
Assisted living is a type of senior living that provides housing, personalized care and support with activities of daily living. The goal is to help you remain independent and enjoy an engaging, purposeful life. Care may be included in the monthly rental fee, or provided on a tiered or à la carte basis where you get just the help you want and need.
What to expect
Residents receive assistance with bathing, dressing, eating and managing their medication, as well as some onsite medical care when needed. They enjoy the convenience of a homelike setting without the worry of home upkeep, cooking, cleaning and yard maintenance. Social opportunities are also integral to daily life in assisted living with a range of scheduled programs, activities and outings.
Download your free copy of our Family Decision Toolkit.
Making the assisted living decision: is it the right choice?
Consider these questions as you consider a move from home for yourself or a loved one:
- Are appliances being turned on and forgotten about?
- Have there been any close calls with kitchen fires or water overflowing in a sink or tub?
- Has your loved one become lost in a familiar place?
- Is there a high risk for falls due to changes in vision, or problems with balance?
- Are medications being remembered and properly taken?
- How close is help in an emergency: health, fire, natural disaster or other?
- Have there been any fender benders, damage to the garage or carport, or other incidents while driving?
Being safe in your living environment is key to healthy aging and quality of life. When considering an assisted living decision, think about how important it is for you to know that an older loved one is living in a setting designed for senior safety, from the physical design of the community, to a caring, professional staff on hand to assist with medications, to scheduled transportation to a physician’s appointment. In addition, with delicious, chef-prepared meals on the menu, there’s no worry about the possible hazards of preparing food.
- Has there been sudden weight loss or gain?
- Is it difficult to get up from a chair, navigating stairs and/or around furniture?
- Has there been a recent health scare or trouble recovering from common illnesses such as colds?
- Are chronic health conditions getting worse or harder to manage?
Aches and pains are common as a person ages, yet chronic diseases and serious changes in health are another matter. Knowing that you or your loved one will benefit from 24/7 monitoring for changes in health status can offer precious peace of mind. In addition, you also benefit from an atmosphere focused on wellbeing and longevity. Give some serious thought to how important this is to you as you make your assisted living decision.
If memory loss is a concern, it’s important to know that some assisted living communities, such as The Herrick House, include a memory care component. The Herrick House also offers 24-hour licensed nursing on site.
- Are there social opportunities available to you?
- Do you find yourself avoiding activities you previously enjoyed?
- Do you have active friendships?
Even if you would describe yourself as an introvert, you need regular social interaction in order to maintain good mental and physical health. The National Institute on Aging reports that social isolation and loneliness has been linked to higher risks for a variety of conditions, from heart disease and anxiety to high blood pressure, obesity and cognitive decline. In short, being disconnected from others is very bad for you.
As you list the benefits of making the assisted living decision, keep in mind that you can be as active and social as you choose in assisted living. Learn to paint, join the group for an outing, watch a movie, enjoy the outdoor patio, celebrate the holidays with friends…or just enjoy the privacy of your apartment, knowing you are never without company if you so desire.
Life is meant to be lived fully in assisted living, and amenities play a big role in that. Every assisted living setting is different, so you want to have an idea from the start of which amenities matter most to you.
As an example, here are some of the perks of choosing The Herrick House in Beverly, Massachusetts, as your retirement address. Our community features:
- Parlor with a baby grand piano and fireplace
- Private dining room
- Activities and arts center
- A covered porch
- Country Kitchen
- The Heel Tapper Pub
- Private garden
- Patio with wooden benches
- Walking paths
Making your assisted living decision easier
If the time has come for you to seek a greater degree of safety, personal care assistance, and social interaction for yourself or a loved one, we invite you to explore how The Herrick House can be of help.
Download your free copy of our Family Decision Toolkit. Contact us to learn more about The Herrick House or to schedule a tour.