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How Senior Housing Ensures Your Safety – Ask

Keeping older adults at home for as long as possible instead of moving them to a senior facility is a growing trend. Commonly called “aging in place,” this concept allows seniors to live in the comfort of their own residences and communities safely and independently.

This is fine until something happens. Your loved one can break a hip from falling, experience a downward change in physical or mental health, or become too fragile or weak to take care of an entire house alone. It’s when things get this serious that families start considering senior housing for their loved ones.

Senior woman with aide, to illustrate article on senior-housing safety.

Many people question senior-housing safety and often feel guilty about having to place a loved one in this type of environment. They fear that their parent, grandparent, or elderly spouse won’t get the proper care and be kept safe. However, in a senior living facility, there are several types of care your loved one will receive if she needs to be kept safe in certain situations.

Memory Loss Care

When a person has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the tendency to wander or endanger herself increases as the condition progresses. According to the National Alzheimer’s Association, roughly 60 percent of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease will have a tendency to wander.

If you are the child of a parent with a memory loss disorder, the safety benefits of senior housing for this type of care include:
· A quicker response to emergencies such as medical issues or fires.
· Decreased chance of wandering off because most residents are issued wearable alarms that go off if they open doors to the outside.
· Activities such as cooking are either prohibited or only allowed with supervision.

Medication Management

Bottle of pills, to illustrate article on senior-housing safety.

Whether it’s one pill a day or 12, it’s important for your loved one to have someone oversee her medication schedule. This ensures that every dose is taken, and the risk of overdosing or underdosing is eliminated. Many senior living facilities such as assisted living have medical personnel on-site who can distribute medications. If insulin injections are needed, a nurse can administer those.

Errands and Appointments

When you reach a certain age, activities such as driving and running errands become more difficult to accomplish. Reflexes become slower and eyesight may begin to fail. By moving into independent living or a 55-and-over facility, your loved one will most likely have bus transportation available, including regular trips to shopping centers or doctors’ offices.

For seniors with memory impairments, running errands alone can also be dangerous. Your loved one can:
· Get lost
· Spend too much money
· Forget how to operate a vehicle
· Forget where her vehicle is located
· Purchase items that aren’t needed

Cooking and Eating Meals

Pot on gas stove, to illustrate article on senior-housing safety.

One of the signs that seniors need to live with some supervision is when they stop eating or have trouble cooking meals. They may purchase food and let it expire, heightening the risk of food poisoning. They may also start cooking, leave the stove on, and increase the chance of a fire. Finally, they may not be able to get to the store, or they might forget to eat.

Living in a senior community such as assisted living means your loved one will have help in these areas. Your loved one will be safer than being alone, and you won’t have to worry about food poisoning or lack of nutrition.

What Are Your Senior Housing Questions?

Ask After55 is a monthly feature of by correspondent Mary Beth Adomaitis. Submit your questions for consideration in one of two ways:

– Comment below on this article. (Your question will be displayed publicly, so we suggest that you don’t include personally identifying information.)

– Fill out this form. (Your question will be sent to us privately. Note, however, that we aren’t able to answer all questions, especially on individual situations.)

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  • Mary Beth Adomaitis

    About :

    Mary Beth Adomaitis a freelance writer living in Southern California. She has written about senior topics for several senior living websites. She also has a blog, Unwrinkled Hearts, which was started after her mother-in-law passed away in 2015. It focuses on elderly living in the 21st century. Mary Beth has been a writer/journalist for more than 25 years, lending her talents to companies such as The Los Angeles Times, where she also served as a copy editor and graphic designer.


    1. John Buckman says:

      Assissted living and Nursing homes for the most part are served “institutional food”. The medical world is owned by the Pharmacutical and Food industry, so be aware that your loved ones will probablty be in a place where good nutrition and medical advice will likely be less than the best.

    2. Is there such a thing as apsrtments for seniors that are not connected with care centers and do not supply the meals. more like a community of older people that want to live alone in their apts and possibly have somr community life. Sort of like trailer parks
      , but not trailers..

      • Hello, Rosalie. Yes, there are lots of apartment communities like what you describe. They generally go by the name Senior Apartments or 55+ Communities (and sometimes 62+ Communities). also includes listings for Homes for Sale and Homes for Rent. Depending on the area, some of those homes will be Manufactured Homes. Manufactured Homes are factory-built houses, on a permanent chassis, installed on site, so they are not “trailers” as you might envision them.

        You’ll find a lot more about the types of senior housing in our Senior Housing Guide:

        – Mark,

    3. Candy Lambuth says:

      thank you very much because my income is very low and find it difficult to find anything considering my income which is 976 a month

    4. I recently inquired online at 5 of your member senior housing member websites, but only 2 responded. I have been researching 55+ apartments in the San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys of Los Angeles counties. Do you have some sort of standards for your advertisers regarding responding to online inquiries? Could you remind your members that even a simple “Sorry, no vacancies expected in the next 6 months” would be useful information?

    5. My mother lives in Tampa , Florida. The housing I see is simply just too expensive. She lives off of her SSI. Is there any type of help that she can receive?

    6. Carlos Pella says:

      Looking for leaving Im working let me know place for renta. Im 60 years old Man. Contact me please.

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