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From the Neighborhood Press

Assisted Living: why they’ll love it

It was a brisk October day in Colorado. The leaves were colorful and the holidays right around the corner. Ray Solero enjoyed the fall season. Although he lived in an assisted living community, his children lived close by and often visited him and took him for outings. He especially enjoyed it when they picked him up for the family Thanksgiving celebration. All the kids and grandkids would be there. Ray still wanted to live independently, but he also needed just a little extra assistance. He was thankful for the meals provided for him. With his medical conditions, he had quite a few medications to take every day and he needed assistance in remembering what exactly he was supposed to take and when to get to doctor’s appointments. He felt at home here, and he had the help he needed.

Do you have a parent or elderly family member who needs extra help? Family is always important but it’s also vital to know what resources are out there to help. In fact, taking a few steps to ensure your loved one’s needs are met in a warm and secure environment can make all the difference.

Independence. Many seniors like to keep living as independently as possible, in their own “home”. Senior living communities with assisted living options can provide the perfect balance between providing seniors with independence and at the same time offering assistance as needed. Families can relax and begin to do the fun things with grandma or grandpa, going for visits, bringing them fresh cookies and taking them for outings, knowing that they are taken care of. Sometimes, it can be difficult for an elderly person to rely on family members for personal care needs such as washing or dressing. They need to feel respect and dignity. And that’s ok. Sometimes, getting outside help can be very beneficial on many levels.

Community

Assisted living can provide your loved one with the opportunity to be surrounded by other seniors who share the same stage of life as they do. It’s easy to chat about the grandkids around the dinner table. These communities often provide group activities and special events to get residents involved and keep them socially active. Mental stimulation is very healthy and can be inspiring for seniors. Discover a community’s environment. Is it warm and welcoming? Do seniors feel at home here? Choose a community that provides opportunity for seniors to make friends and feel supported.

Special care. As your loved one ages, different challenges may arise. Assisted living communities can offer special levels of care to meet different needs. For example, if your senior is experiencing memory loss and developing dementia or Alzheimer’s, they may benefit from Memory Care. This allows for some structure and provides activities designed to provide just the right amount of mental stimulation. Or, if assistance is needed for showering or dressing, caregivers can address these needs as they develop. As your senior’s needs change, you’ll know help is always available so they’re taken care of.

Food. Nutrition is very important for seniors. Many can no longer cook for themselves or have loss of appetite due to many factors. Having tasty, nutritious meals cooked and provided every day is very important for overall health. Assisted living communities and nursing homes can meet this need, and even provide the opportunity to eat together with others during mealtime, encouraging some much needed social interaction. Some communities may offer events of holiday celebrations with special food menus to keep it interesting. If your loved one is one a special diet, make sure to talk to the community’s nutrition specialist to ensure they receive the proper food items. Some communities can provide a wide range of diets to meet different needs.

Keeping it local. It can be a good idea to choose a local assisted living community for your loved one. Family can remain close by, and they still can remain connected to the town or place they are familiar with. They can see old friends, get their hair cut at the same hairdresser, and perhaps even keep attending the same church, for example. At the same time, they will build new friendships within their new home and have shared experiences with these new friends. It can give seniors a sense of independence and control to live in a familiar area.

You can feel secure and confident about the future through all the challenges as your senior ages. Schedule some tours in your area to discover what assisted living communities may have to offer. Talk about specific needs and ask how family can remain involved in your loved one’s life. Make sure your senior feels supported and has the care they need!

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