Recently we released a brand new infographic showing why people choose assisted living for their mothers. An assisted living environment has many benefits both for older women and for their families and loved ones who are concerned about their well-being. Today we wanted to look at some of those benefits in more detail.
Four of the key benefits called out in the infographic include:
#1 Relief from Social Isolation
Relief from social isolation. All too often we don’t realize how lonely older relatives feel when they live alone—or what a toll that can take on their health. Seniors typically have less opportunities for social visits or fun outings than they did when they were younger. They may look to family to be their main social outlet, but there’s a limit to what family members can provide, especially when working full-time jobs or raising kids. As a result, seniors often have little to do and no one to talk to.
This is more than just an issue of how they spend their days. For seniors, loneliness and isolation can be dangerous. Social isolation has been linked to increased mortality. This is both because of the direct effects of loneliness and depression on health, and because of the increased risk of accidents when living alone. On the other hand, regular social stimulation actually slows the decline of memory in seniors.
Assisted living offers both social time and new friendships, which make a real difference in seniors’ health.
#2 Better Mood and a Happier Lifestyle
Does your mother ever seem stressed, agitated, nervous, or depressed? Many older women experience changes in mood. This can be because of pain associated with arthritis and other conditions, because of confusion related to Alzheimer’s disease, or because of the loneliness mentioned above. It can even be related to not having meaningful activities to work on, especially when chores have become difficult. All of these stressors can lead to irritability or depression.
A positive living environment can change things completely. New residents at Dogwood Forest often go through a major shift, becoming happier, less stressed, more positive and more engaged with their surroundings. This transformation can be astonishing to family members. In some cases, family members feel like they can finally be “friends” with their mom again after years of difficulty.
#3 Fitness and Safety
Assisted living does more than just provide a positive living environment. Programming also helps seniors maintain their physical health. Gentle fitness programs help seniors stay in shape, improve their balance, and work out stiff or sore joints. Careful exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on arthritis, and better balance means a lower risk of falls.
#4 Proper Care (of All Kinds)
A good assisted living community will offer a variety of types of care, improving residents’ health and happiness. At a minimum, residents have all meals prepared for them and all housework done by professional staff. This releases them from worrying about day to day chores that have become difficult. Staff may also provide help with grooming, hygiene and medication support. At Dogwood Forest, we make a custom care plan for each resident. Specialized care including memory care and physical therapy are also available.
Trying It Out
These are just a few of the benefits that come with assisted living—but you don’t have to take our word for it. Come to a Dogwood Forest community near you and see for yourself the difference the right environment makes. We’re happy to arrange a free tour or answer questions.