Maintaining Senior Independence and Avoiding Social Isolation
The goal for many of us as we age is to live independently for as long as possible. The unfortunate reality for many older adults is that living independently can become more challenging as health declines. Home healthcare can extend the length of time someone is able to stay at home. This may be preferable but may not provide best quality of life.
Senior Social Isolation
Social isolation is one of the biggest concerns for family members in a caregiving role to an elderly relative. According to the CDC, seniors suffering from the loneliness that often results from social isolation are at increased risk for:
- Premature death
- Heart disease and stroke
- Depression, anxiety, and suicide.
The COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate senior loneliness because many of the community resources that seniors living alone rely on, may be closed or greatly diminished. The AARP recently launched a Community Connections website for seniors to find support from within their community.
Senior Care and Independence
You may be surprised to hear that many seniors actually feel more independent after moving to an assisted living community. Here are some of the ways senior living helps in maintaining independence:
- 24-hour access to care means that senior living residents can receive immediate attention when they experience incidents like falls.
- Care services (e.g. housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, and assistance with bathing etc.) mean that residents are less likely to be in a position where they may injure themselves.
- Restaurant-style dining means seniors don’t have to worry about grocery shopping or preparing meals. Family members feel peace of mind knowing their loved one is getting a nutritionally balanced diet.
- Scheduled transportation means seniors are not reliant on their caregiver’s schedule to get them where they need to go. It also eases the burden on caregivers to drive seniors to health care appointments.
The biggest benefit to senior living is the opportunity to socialize with other residents and caregivers on a regular basis. Senior living communities have robust activities programs with something going on at any given time of the day. Even during COVID-19, communities are getting creative in maintaining their activities programs while socially distancing. Many seniors express the wish that they’d made the move sooner after settling into their community.
Is it time to speak to an advisor about your senior living search? Find your nearest community.