Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Assisted Living - an Option for Caregivers

Five Reasons Caregivers Should Consider Assisted Living

Family members or caregivers need to move slowly and with compassion when they try to convince an elder to move from the family home. However, once the adjustment is made, many elders are thrilled with the change. Here are some reasons to consider an assisted living facility.
  • Safety. Assisted living centers are set up to provide a safe, comfortable environment for elders. Just the fact that there are other people around makes communal living safer than being alone in a house. Also, most assisted living centers have alerting systems so if residents have emergencies in their own apartments or rooms, they can summon help.
  • Meals. Appetites can diminish as we age, plus many people don't enjoy eating alone. In assisted living, meals are provided and they often offer many choices of food. But the biggest plus may be that people have company for their meals.
  • Transportation. Most assisted living centers provide group transportation for shopping and to community events. Each center is different, but the ability to go where they want is important to elders, and many seniors can no longer drive, or choose not to drive in heavy traffic.
  • Less worry. Even renters have to actively contact a landlord if there are plumbing or other problems in their apartment, and often they must follow up on repairs. Seniors can be taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors and repair people. There's no worry about the senior letting in a stranger to fix their bathroom pipe or getting bilked on the bill.
  • Socialization. Socialization is perhaps the most important reason why many people who insist that they will hate assisted living end up thriving. Many elders have slowly gotten so they don't want to go out of their home because it's too difficult to get where they want to go. Significant lifelong friends have health problems or have died.
While assisted living isn't the answer to every elder's living problems, it does help many have a healthier, happier life. This, in turn, often increases life expectancy. However, quality of life may be the key factor in the growing success of good assisted living facilities, as it should be with every service we provide for our elders.

Barbara McVicker
Barbara McVicker is one of the nation’s leading eldercare experts and national speakers for some of the largest companies, organizations, and healthcare institutions. Barbara is based in Columbus, OH. With additional offices in Roanoke, VA, Madison, WI and Los Angeles, CA, Barbara travels frequently and is available for taped or live appearance or phone interview upon request.

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