By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

With assisted living communities celebrating National Assisted Living Week from Sept. 11 through 17 this year, I wanted to share five of the benefits of assisted living.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Joyful Moments.”

What I so often hear from residents of the assisted living communities that we manage is that they are so happy they made the move. Many ponder what took them so long to make the decision to move. They cite the ways assisted living has had a positive impact on their lives.

The joy I hear from residents stands in stark contrast to all of the research that shows older adults do not want to move from the place they currently are living.

One of the biggest differences is that the research encompasses the opinions of all older adults, many of whom currently do not have any need for assistance. Respondents are projecting their opinion of how they think they are likely to feel sometime down the road if and when a need should develop.

Assisted living can be a wonderful option for older adults and for adults with disabilities who need some assistance to maintain their independence.

Here are five of the benefits:

Residential Lifestyle

Residents of the assisted living communities Gardant operates live in private apartments that they can furnish and decorate to their taste. The apartments feature a kitchenette; spacious bathroom, with raised toilet, shower, and grab bars; individually controlled heat and air conditioning; and emergency alert system. There also are plenty of community areas for residents to use.

Both the apartments and community areas are designed around the needs of older adults and adults with disabilities, including the type of flooring and the furniture.

Residents are able to come and go as they please.

Better Health

Personal assistance, help with medications, and support services such as three meals a day plus snacks, housekeeping and laundry services are available.

Staff is on-duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist with a resident’s scheduled and unscheduled needs.

Wellness programs such as exercise classes, walking clubs, and programs designed to evaluate and improve balance are available.

What we see so often is improvement in the health of residents as they are taking their medications as they should, they are getting the nutrition they need; and there is improvement in their ability to ambulate.

Decreased Loneliness

Research shows that social connectivity is one of the key elements to healthy aging. Residents living in the communities Gardant operates benefit from all of the opportunities that are available to socialize with family, friends, and neighbors. Family and friends can visit anytime. Residents can visit with neighbors in their apartment or a community area. When the weather is nasty, they don’t have to go outside or drive anywhere to socialize.

Residents also benefit from all of the opportunities available to participate in social, recreational, educational, and wellness activities.

At the same, residents have the opportunity for privacy in their apartment.

Enhanced Continuity of Care

The nursing staff at the communities Gardant manages conducts assessment of residents and develops individualized service plans.

They are able to review the medications a resident is taking and monitor their reaction to the medications. They can advise residents about talking with their physician about adjusting medications as appropriate.

They can remind residents of their appointments with health care providers. They can either help arrange or provide transportation and provide residents with a list of medications to take with them. Many of the communities have a physician who can see residents at the community if a resident so chooses.

More Cost-Effective

Assisted living is much less expensive than nursing home care and can be as or less expensive than home health care when you add in all of the other costs associated with living in one’s current place of residence. A home health aide in the Chicago area providing four hours of help five days a week can cost nearly $2,775 a month.

Illinois and Indiana have programs that make living in many of the Gardant-managed assisted living communities affordable to individuals of virtually all incomes, including those on or who would qualify for a Medicaid-waiver for assisted living. (NOTE: In Illinois, the communities that can serve individuals on a Medicaid-waiver for assisted living are certified as Supportive Living communities).

To see a list of Gardant-managed communities, click here.

5 Comments

  • The cost-effectiveness of assisted living is a benefit I really want to make more use of. This could help us keep my father in good condition and in a caring environment without having to break the bank. That could also help us have more free time to ourselves, so I’ll ask around for any assisted living communities we can help him settle into.

  • My grandfather has been really concerned about getting around the home because last month he was badly injured from falling down the stairs. He has been really nervous since the accident and has been thinking about getting some assisted living help, to make sure that he can be safer. I’ll be sure to tell him about how they will be able to help him with his nutrition, wellness programs, laundry, and housekeeping.

  • Kate Hansen says:

    I loved how you said that the community can match their needs. My brother and I are wanting to find a community our grandma can live in since she can’t live on her own anymore due to old age. I appreciate you helping me learn more about the benefits of assisted living communities. We’ll have to look into finding one where she can stay!

  • Thank you for letting me know that assisted living communities are designed to accommodate any older adult needs. My friend told me that their senior needs constant monitoring and assistance. I should advise her to look for an assisted living facility with positive feedback.

  • Eve Mitchell says:

    It’s great to know that assisted living centers provide lots of social connectivity. My mom is getting older and she has really bad joints, so it’s hard for her to live alone. I’m hoping to help her find an assisted living facility this week.

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