If your parents are beginning to need assistance or a helping hand with maintaining independence, the good news is that there are options.
Two of the more popular alternatives include remaining at home and bringing in care and assistance services – or moving to an assisted living community.
Families are often uncertain about which choice might be the best fit. If you could use a little guidance, considering what each has to offer compared to the needs of your parents can be a great way to discover the right solution.
If their needs are few, remaining at home with additional assistance might be a good answer. But if they are requiring more help or if their safety is at risk, a more long-term solution may be better. In that case, senior living community life might be the best choice.
Benefits of assisted living vs. living at home
If you’re not familiar with everything that an assisted living community can offer, the following overview can provide a helpful summary of what you might find and especially how it might compare to life in their current home:
- Assistance with activities of daily livingAssisted living:
In an assisted living community, there is help with the basic tasks, including bathing, getting dressed, grooming or getting ready for bed.
Living at home: Unless a spouse or family member is available, you may need to contract with a home services organization to provide this assistance.
- Private residences
Assisted living: Most communities offer private residences for their residents who are encouraged to personalize their home to make it truly their own.
Living at home: Your loved ones may already have the privacy of their own home. However, if they will need to move in with a family member in the future, they may be limited in having space for themselves.
- Support to maintain independence
Assisted living: Even though assistance is offered, many people don’t understand that this actually prolongs a person’s independence. Apartments and all common spaces are also designed to be age-friendly and accessible.
Living at home: Your parents may feel as if they are losing their independence if they have to rely on family, friends or neighbors to help them with several tasks. Their homes may also present accessibility challenges.
- Healthy and delicious meals
Assisted living: Your loved one will appreciate having selections to choose from so that they can eat healthy and delicious food daily. And the bonus? They don’t have to shop, cook or clean up.
Living at home: Unless someone else is handling this, your parents may be at risk of poor nutrition, weight loss or gain, and experience a decline in their physical and cognitive health if they become unable to prepare healthy meals.
- Monthly activities and social events
Assisted living: Boredom isn’t going to happen if your parents move into an assisted living community. There are planned monthly activities and social events, with enough options bound to offer something for everyone.
Living at home: If health or mobility issues arise, your parents may find it more difficult to attend events, entertainment or participate in activities with friends as they once did.
- Opportunities to make new friends
Assisted living: Your parents will find it’s never been easier to meet people and make new friends after they’ve moved into a community. It’s natural to strike up conversations during activities, social events or in the common areas.
Living at home: Social isolation can become a real threat to the health of your loved ones if they are unable to have access to others.
- Physical and cognitive fitness
Assisted living: Most communities provide a fitness center, exercise classes, games and other stimulating activities so their residents can remain physically and cognitively fit.
Living at home: Your family members may not have access to a fitness center and may not find many opportunities to stay in shape at home or in the neighborhood.
- Safety and security
Assisted living: The benefits of an assisted living community’s safety and security extend to the family members as well. You’ll rest easier knowing your loved one will never truly be alone if help is ever needed.
Living at home: Their home may not be age-friendly or safe and if your parents live alone they may experience increased anxiety if they’re concerned about falling or having an injury.
- Scheduled transportation
Assisted living: Another great benefit of assisted living is the scheduled transportation that is offered to shopping and entertainment, as well as access to flexible transportation to doctor’s appointments.
Living at home: If your parents are no longer driving and don’t live where there is easy access to alternative modes of transportation, this can contribute to isolation.
Life at a Northbridge community
We understand the importance of helping a loved one make the decision whether to remain at home or move into an assisted living community. We hope the above information helped clarify a clearer picture between these two options.
If your loved one could use a helping hand but still wants to live an independent life, we hope you’ll consider one of our Northbridge assisted living communities.
We offer innovative and quality senior living solutions across the New England area, creating both living environments and programs to encourage freedom and lifestyle choices. Our goal is to support your loved one to live life to the fullest.
We’re here to answer any of your questions about our senior living communities. If your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, we also invite you to download our complimentary guide, the Family Decision Toolkit.