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.
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.
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
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?
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