Aging in Place is a strategy that supports people remaining in their residence of choice for as long as they are able and as their physical abilities change. Our traditional homes and communities in America don’t necessarily provide the flexibility required to age in place. A house presents increasingly difficult physical obstacles for seniors (stairs, basement & attics, and standard bathrooms).
One viable proactive option is an assisted living community. By moving to a more appropriate residential setting seniors can organize and down-size so they can continue to live in comfort without the burden and demands of owning property. Families can proactively support their loved ones instead of needing to react to challenging situations with limited options. Residents of assisted living communities easily transition in and out of daily routines and chores with an “a la carte” menu of services customized to meet each resident’s evolving needs. Adjustments to chores such as; laundry, meal preparation, distribution of medications, transportation and other services can be adapted to match the changing lifestyle needs of a person “aging in place”. Knowing these personal services can be changed as needed is reassuring to seniors and to their families.
The most beneficial component of an assisted living community is safety and oversight. Aging in place in an assisted living environment comes with the security of knowing that trained and qualified professionals are always nearby to help residents with medical emergencies or logistical challenges.
An assisted living environment can enhance independence, relieving the resident of the worries associated with owning a home while offering a variety of activities, discussion groups, and entertainment options. New friendships are made; old friends visit and enjoy the amenities as guests of assisted living residents. Special events and holiday celebrations weave a sense of community that’s a healthy counterweight to the threat of loneliness and isolation that may come with aging. Spiritual support is often offered across all religious traditions.
Embracing the Aging in Place mentality is a positive way to approach our senior years. It requires careful thinking, advanced planning, and exploring options that allow seniors to live in a flexible, independent environment. Assisted living communities should be part of the discussion. Seniors who can access adaptable services to meet their changing needs have minimal disruption to their lives and focus on being positive and productive members of a community that respects and values them – the very definition of successful aging in place!
This article was submitted by Scott Brigante, Director of Communications &Community Outreach for Youville House/ Youville Place Assisted Living.