How Senior Living Facilities Promote Independence
There are senior living communities all over the United States, and American Senior Communities estimates that by 2014 there will be over 14 million people living in one. While nine out of 10 people in America who are over the age of 65 want to live at home for as long as possible, independent living is truly possible in today’s senior living community.
The Need for Independence
Just because someone has reached retirement age or more does not mean he or she is ready to live a life of inactivity. A Pew Research poll done in 2016 found that almost 20% of senior citizens are still working full time. A similar study by Pew Research done the year before found that 12% of seniors are actively using dating sites and even mobile dating apps. Amazingly, 50% of all people over 65 are actively participating in volunteer work in their communities. Clearly, America’s seniors have a lot to contribute to society and are interested in maintaining their independent living habits.
How Senior Living Communities Can Help
Independent senior living facilities provide a way for older people to retain their autonomy through independent housing options that allow them to keep up an active community life while still having access to medical care and assistance as needed. In an independent senior living situation, seniors generally have their own apartment or even home, yet still have access to common areas where they can have community or even get a meal if they aren’t up to cooking for themselves one day.
Assisted senior living facilities also strive to provide independence but recognize that some seniors need more help in order to maintain as much independence as possible. In this type of living situation, residents live in private apartments arranged around the common spaces, so that needs can be quickly identified and help can arrive swiftly if needed. If the assisted living center specializes in helping seniors with memory issues, there are frequently increased security measures and private kitchens are not allowed.
Promoting an Independent Lifestyle
All senior living situations aim to provide as much independence as possible while still protecting residents. At an independent living facility, this means reducing the responsibilities of residents by providing lawn and landscaping services, laundry service, and housekeeping, as well as providing meals for those who want them. Independent living facilities will have medical staff attached to the site who can arrive quickly in an emergency but generally do not provide full-time medical care.
If a facility is providing assisted living, they offer more help with the activities of daily life, such as dressing and bathing. Full-time custodial and medical staff are on hand to help if necessary.
The Realities of Aging
Any kind of senior living facility takes the realities of aging into account when considering how to best serve the residents. This normally means that activities, games, exercise classes, and support groups are readily available. Most also offer transportation for those who need to run errands and help with getting to and from doctor’s appointments.
Senior living communities are built and run with the needs of seniors in mind. Everyone involved is concerned to offer all residents as much independence as possible, while still providing the assistance and medical care that senior citizens may need. If you or someone you love is struggling to maintain independence at home, consider how a senior living community can help you get the most out of this stage of life.