Modern senior living offers a variety of levels of care so seniors can choose exactly how much or how little care they need to remain independent, happy and healthy. Understanding what each level of care has to offer can be challenging, though. While many seniors feel an Independent Living retirement community is the best choice, there are many things to consider before choosing.
Independent Living retirement communities are a wonderful choice for seniors who are totally able to care for themselves but prefer a lifestyle free from the responsibilities of home ownership. Thus, the key aspect to consider when choosing between an Independent Living retirement community and other options like Assisted Living or Memory Care is the type and amount of help a senior needs.
Often families step up to lend a hand with heavy lifting chores like lawn care, housekeeping and home repair, just to keep their loved ones safe. However, when needs become more personal such as daily help with bathing, dressing, and medication management that’s a sign that an Independent Living retirement community is not the best choice.
For example, Assisted Living offers all of the services and amenities of an Independent Living retirement community, with the added benefit of daily assistance with tasks that have become difficult or even impossible for a senior to manage alone. Seniors retain their independence and can enjoy a carefree life knowing help is always close at hand. For seniors who have memory loss or dementia, Memory Care is the perfect choice because residents receive all the help they need in a safe and secure environment. Take an in-depth look at the levels of care available in our blog, “Senior Living Care Options: A Look at Choices.”
Another aspect to factor into the equation when considering an Independent Living retirement community is mobility. Aging can make getting around unaided difficult and mobility problems are often the cause of falls and other injuries that can be life changing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one in five falls among people age 65 and older causes a serious injury, including 95% of hip fractures. Falls are also the most common reason for traumatic brain injuries in seniors.
While an Independent Living retirement community offers a level of security and accessibility that often cannot be found at home, seniors who require help getting around safely should consider Assisted Living instead. In Assisted Living, team members are always available to help and residents can enjoy all the benefits of a vibrant community without worry. Get the facts about fall risk among seniors in our blog, “Fall Prevention: Keeping Yourself and Older Loved Ones Safe.”
Aging sometimes brings about cognitive changes that present special challenges for seniors and their families which make an Independent Living retirement community not the best choice. Memory loss tops the list because while occasionally forgetting something is normal, the onset of dementia is not. But dementia isn’t alone. According to the Psychology Today article, “Mental Health Concerns and Aging,” seniors may also suffer a variety of cognitive problems like feeling anxious, depressed, vulnerable, sad, guilty, or helpless, and may have trouble sleeping, being rational, and may become restless or withdrawn. In turn, these feelings can increase the risk of physical problems like type-2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and increased risk of dementia.
Although anyone can have mental health challenges at any time in their life, for seniors it’s a sign that they may need to embrace a more social lifestyle with experienced and compassionate caregivers to help them over the hurdles. For many, assisted living or memory care can be the perfect solution simply because that help is always available and team members can work with physicians to ensure each senior is getting all the support they need.
An Independent Living retirement community like Thrive Senior Living is the perfect choice for seniors who don’t require help with daily activities such as showering, dressing, or taking medication – and are looking to downsize and foster daily connections. When seniors can live safely on their own, an Independent Living retirement community offers a lifestyle that includes a beautiful secure community, lovely housing options, onsite amenities like hair salons, barbershops and fitness centers, daily social events and activities, outstanding chef-prepared meals, and services like light housekeeping and maintenance and repair. Best of all, residents know they can move up to a higher level of care when needed, so they won’t have to move again and leave friends behind.
Considering your funding options for moving to an Independent Living community? Download our free guide, “Family Guide to Paying for Senior Living.” Contact us to learn more about Thrive Senior living and schedule your tour today!