Why Social Activities for Seniors Improve Quality of Life at Assisted Living Communities

Giving a round of applause and laughter when his friend wins a game of Bingo.

Singing her favorite song with joy among peers and caregivers.

Moving to the beat at his favorite exercise class every Monday morning.

Moments like these are common at assisted living communities that provide seniors with a selection of fun, interesting, and engaging social activities.

Perhaps your loved one is living at home and is struggling with social isolation. And maybe you’re just beginning to consider how the activities for seniors at assisted living communities can help. Here’s what you need to realize…

Senior living social activities don’t simply fill your loved one’s calendar…they also provide a number of benefits.

Read on to discover three specific reasons why social activities improve your loved one’s quality of life at an assisted living community.

#1: Social Activities for Seniors Build Relationships among Residents and Caregivers

Making a move to assisted living communities involves a process of building new relationships and engaging in activities to become closer to fellow community members.

Social activities act as that necessary bridge for new members, particularly those that may be more introverted and need an easy “in” to new friendships and bonds.

Whether your loved one signs up for a book club or cooking class, these activities are perfect ways to meet others with similar interests.

Beyond fellow residents, social activities also act as a catalyst for relationship development with caregivers.

For example, at The Ashford, our caregivers are often involved in facilitating and encouraging social activities within the community.

This opportunity for engagement beyond assistance-based tasks only strengthens the caregiver-resident bond.

#2: Social Activities Improve Seniors’ Confidence Levels and Build Trust

The benefits of social activities for seniors extend beyond the increased opportunities for social engagement and relationship building.

These activities also provide a chance for residents to try new things and increase their confidence and trust in themselves and others.

As the saying goes, it’s truly never too late to try something new.

Maybe it’s seeing your father discover a new sense of joy out in the community garden.

Or perhaps it’s hearing your mother talk excitedly about her first watercolor painting class.

Whatever it may be, your loved one’s participation in these activities plays a big role in maintaining a healthy level of life satisfaction and happiness.

#3: Social Activities Act as Stress Relievers and Improve Overall Wellness

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Oftentimes, when seniors decrease their level of physical activity, their health will decline rapidly.

In fact, the BMJ Journal reports that “worldwide, around 3.2 million deaths per year are being attributed to inactivity.”

Understandably, for many people, the motivation to stay physically active can be hard to maintain alone.

That’s why group physical activities for seniors—such as light yoga classes, aerobics, and even gardening—are helpful and encouraging for many residents to stay active and fit.

Beyond physical health, these activities improve mental health and brain functioning in older adults.

Life Science describes how one study found that “U.S. adults ages 70 or older who engaged in mentally stimulating activities at least once or twice a week were less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment four years later, compared with those who did not engage in mentally stimulating activities as frequently.”

Based on these findings, it’s safe to say that with the reduced stress, improved brain functioning, and optimal physical ability, physical activity can greatly improve a senior’s overall life experience.

As the son or daughter of a senior, knowing that your loved one has numerous opportunities to stay engaged and healthy at his or her fingertips will give you peace of mind.

At The Ashford, our assisted living communities offer the chance to engage in social activity each and every day. From dining events to exercise programs, we help our residents stay socially engaged with each other.

To see our atmosphere for yourself, schedule a visit to one of our communities…or plan your visit in advance to The Ashford at Sturbridge, our newest community, which opens in late fall of 2018.

Have a Parent in a Rural Area? Beware of These 3 Senior Safety Risks

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

There are a variety of factors that influence senior safety.

From your loved one’s dietary choices to his or her sleep patterns, a number of variables will affect Mom or Dad’s mindset, way of thinking, and quality of life.

A big factor for your parent’s safety?

Don’t underestimate the importance of where your loved one lives.

For example, take a few moments to think about how the location where you reside—whether it be a rural, urban, or suburban environment—affects your daily life.

Although younger people may experience an improved quality of life by escaping the big cities and moving out to the countryside, this is often not the case for senior citizens.

Living in a rural environment drastically affects a senior’s safety and quality of life–and it’s often not in a positive sense.

In this post, we’ll dive into three reasons why rural living can increase senior safety risks and how making the move to a senior living community can make a world of difference.

Senior Safety Concern #1: Decreased Access to Medical Support

To put it simply, rural areas are less equipped to deal with large and small medical emergencies.

As one New York Times article puts it, “medical care is accessible in some places, absent in others, and cellphone service can be unreliable.”

With approximately 25% of Americans older than age 65 living in small towns or other rural areas, this dynamic presents our country with a worrisome dilemma.

However, the downside to rural living for seniors doesn’t simply stop at medical safety concerns.

In addition to a lack of access to medical facilities and personnel, there’s generally less access to resources needed for daily life…

Senior Safety Concern #2: Less Access to Caregivers

As seniors age, tasks that used to come easy become more challenging.

In fact, senior safety risks can come from relatively simple tasks. For instance…

If the closest grocery store entails driving for a half hour or more or the nearest technician or plumber is based several towns away, getting things done or fixed isn’t going to be easy. Rather than asking for help, your loved one may undertake tasks alone…and risk a fall or accident.

You may think that hiring a caregiver to assist your loved one at home is the ideal solution to this problem.

However, a 2017 study by Population Health Management explains that with the “migration of younger individuals to cities for career and social opportunities,” there’s now a “smaller pool of potential caregivers” in these more rural areas.

Even if you do find a caregiver for your loved one, when it comes to social engagement, the solution pales in comparison to living in a community of other senior individuals.

Which brings us to our next point…

Senior Safety Concern #3: Higher Cases of Senior Isolation and Loneliness

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In the Population Health Management study, researchers found that, in addition to the food insecurity, mobility challenges and chronic health conditions that come along with rural living, the resulting social isolation is also a challenge.

Unfortunately, isolation and loneliness in seniors affects more than their psyche.

As we shared in our post 4 Facts about Senior Isolation That Will Surprise You, seniors who experience loneliness are more likely to develop dementia and other conditions, as well as engage in unhealthy behaviors such as a poor diet and smoking.

Fortunately, senior living communities can address all three of these safety concerns and serve as an ideal solution for many seniors in rural areas.

How a Senior Living Community Can Make a Difference

As the Population Health Management study puts it, “Today, healthy aging is not just about living longer but about living better.”

Even if your loved one tells you he or she is fine staying put in a rural environment, your parent may not realize how much his or her quality of life will improve by moving to a senior living community.

These communities not only provide easy access to resources and assistance in daily tasks, but there are also numerous opportunities for daily social interaction.

Making the move sooner rather than later is your better option as waiting until an accident has happened isn’t an ideal strategy.

At The Ashford, we offer several assisted living communities for your loved one, including a new property opening in the quaint town of Hilliard, Ohio—The Ashford at Sturbridge.

Schedule a tour today to see how one of our communities can improve your parent’s safety, security, and overall well-being!

Senior nutrition

5 Dietary Guidelines for Senior Nutrition

When you think of preserving long-term health for your parent or loved ones, a few things may come to mind.

Maybe you think of the various medications that keep their ailments and chronic conditions under control.

Or taking them to their monthly doctor appointments.

Or perhaps it’s encouraging them to attend a weekly exercise class.

Although there is certainly a place for these things in your mother or father’s long-term health plan, there’s one area that can make a huge difference when it comes to healing and preventative care.

A Clinical Interventions in Aging study found that “16% of those >65 years and 2% of those >85 years are classed as malnourished,” and the study predicts these figures to rise dramatically in the next 30 years.

In this post, we’re covering five senior nutrition tips and information that every adult child of an aging parent should be aware of.

1. Seniors Need to Increase Their Intake of Calcium, Vitamin D, and B12.

Generally speaking, seniors need less calories than younger adults.

However, they need just as many nutrients, if not more.

This is because, as we age, our ability to absorb nutrients decreases.

Calcium, Vitamins D, and B12 are particularly important for seniors, because…

  • Calcium is key for maintaining strong bones.
  • Vitamin D helps the body better absorb calcium and fight infection.
  • B12 is good for making red blood cells and maintaining proper function of nerve cells.

Whether it be taking supplements or adding in nutrient-rich foods for meals prepared at home, it’s important to take proactive steps to ensure your parent won’t be deficient in these nutrients and vitamins.

2. Seniors Should Be Aware of Food Interactions with Their Medication.

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Certain prescribed drugs can affect your parent’s appetite, digestion, and nutrient absorption.

Additionally, medications can have negative interactions with various foods.

Therefore, it’s important you educate yourself and your parent about what to expect and avoid while he 0r she is taking medications.

Fortunately, caregivers and other staff members at assisted living communities remain proactive and mindful when it comes to ensuring residents’ diets comply with their medication requirements.

This way, you and your parent can rest easy knowing you won’t risk negative consequences of combining foods and medication.

3. Seniors Need to Stay Hydrated.

According to Agingcare.com, “older adults are more susceptible to fluid and electrolyte imbalances.”

Additionally, our ability to both conserve water and sense thirst diminishes as we grow older–the perfect recipe for dehydration.

Making the move to an assisted living community can make a huge difference in this regard.

Professional and mindful caregivers are responsible to remind residents to stay hydrated throughout the day–adding an extra layer of reinforcement.

4. Older Adults Require Different Serving Sizes.

People at different stages of life will require different portion and serving sizes.

Older adults require less food bulk and calories than younger people.

For example, according to the National Institute on Aging, adults 50 and over should follow the following daily portion guidelines:

  • Fruits: 1½ to 2½ cups.
  • Vegetables: 2 to 3½ cups.
  • Grains: 5 to 10 ounces.
  • Protein foods: 5 to 7 ounces.
  • Dairy foods: 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk.
  • Oils: 5 to 8 teaspoons.
  • Solid fats and added sugars (SoFAS) and sodium (salt): keep the amount of SoFAS and sodium small.

Although these are simply suggested guidelines and don’t need to be strictly adhered to, they are helpful when it comes to minimizing the chances of overeating.

5. Loss of Taste or Smell Can Affect a Senior’s Appetite.

As we age, our ability to taste and smell may become diminished–affecting our appetite and craving for food.

As the Mayo Clinic recommends, “If loss of taste and smell is a problem, experiment with seasonings and recipes.”

Utilizing this information can make a huge difference in your parent’s quality of life.

Luckily, for those that reside in an assisted living community, dining services make it easier to follow these senior nutrition guidelines.

At The Ashford assisted living communities, we provide excellent cuisine options served in a home-style setting.

We work hard to ensure that our culinary offerings are both delicious and meet the nutritional guidelines stated above.

Visit our communities’ dining rooms to learn more about how we can help your parent maintain high-quality nutrition!

Contact us today to schedule a tour of one of our communities…

boxes for moving

Downsizing Tips for a Stress-Free Move to Assisted Living

 

Deciding where and when to start.

Determining what’s really necessary to keep–and what to donate or throw away.

Figuring out how to best preserve breakable or sentimental items.

Moving homes has the potential to be an overwhelming and stressful task, regardless of what age you are.

Once a senior and his or her family make the decision to move to an assisted living community, downsizing is the first step in making the move.

Fortunately, there is a way to go through this process with minimized stress.

With our years of experience assisting residents and their families, we have a few suggestions to minimize stress and make the process of downsizing a relatively positive one.

Read on to discover helpful tips and advice to help a loved one in your life downsize before moving to an assisted living community.

Start Early.

First things first–procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to start the downsizing and packing process will only add unnecessary stress.

Instead, start as early as possible and map out a timeline of what you want to accomplish by when.

Spacing out and breaking up the process will make things less rushed and easier to mentally digest.

Additionally, your first instinct may be to put everything into storage to deal with at a later date.

However, this can be a waste of money and only put off the inevitable.

Save money and reduce stress–go through the process sooner rather than later.

Be Realistic.

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Paring down belongings can be difficult, especially when certain items are sentimental.

Of course, your loved one should bring along certain family heirlooms and other special and treasured items.

However, the more things your parent tries to fit into a smaller living space, the more cluttered and potentially dangerous it can be.

It’s time for you and your parent to get really honest about what will be necessary while living in an assisted living community.

As a suggestion, try to sort belongings based on whether they will be…

  • Needed on a daily basis in your parent’s new home.
  • Donated to a local thrift store or shelter.
  • Passed on to family members and younger generations.
  • If needed, placed into storage.

By paring down belongings, your parent will be able to…

  • Fully enjoy the items that he or she keeps.
  • Locate possessions more safely and easily.
  • Let go of additional items that could be both mental and physical clutter.

Offer Emotional Support.

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Downsizing a home isn’t only physically exhausting–it has the potential to be emotionally taxing as well.

As your parent makes the transition to assisted living, he or she will need you to be as supportive and sensitive as possible.

Though your patience may be tested, remember that if you remain positive, the more likely your parent will, too.

While you spend your days sorting through belongings with your mother or father, talk to them about the exciting aspects of making the move to an assisted living community.

From the range of exciting social activities to the greater ease in performing activities of daily living, keep your mother and father engaged and looking forward to their new home!

Another way to get your loved one excited about the positive aspects of making the move to assisted living is to set up a tour of the community.

Contact The Ashford on Broad, The Ashford of Mt. Washington, or The Ashford at Sturbridge (opening in fall 2018) today to set up a tour of our wonderful communities.

elderly lady

5 Tips for a Smooth Transition to Senior Living

Making the move to a senior living community is often a highly recommended step to preserve the well-being for individuals and their families.

That said, big changes or shifts in life will initially require you and your loved one to go through some challenging processes.

Moving to a senior living community can be significantly less stressful for your aging parents if certain steps are taken.

In this post, we’re sharing five helpful tips to help make the transition to senior living as smooth as possible.

1. Start Downsizing Now.

elderly lady

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Whether your parent has lived in the same house for 5 years or 50 years, the moving and downsizing process can be an overwhelming task for everyone involved.

Which is why the sooner you start downsizing, the better.

Break the process into smaller tasks and plan it out week by week.

Figure out which items will be necessary in your parent’s new home versus what can be donated, passed down, or, if needed, placed in storage.

This way, your parent will be more easily able to emotionally work through letting go of items he or she will no longer need once living in a senior living community.

2. Make the Living Space Feel like Home.

Just because your loved one will be moving into a new residence does not mean the new setting won’t be a new home.

One way to help your parent feel at home in the new space is to plan out the furniture layout and decorative items in a way that will put him or her at ease.

If possible, you can even mimic the previous living space and arrange items as they were in the past.

At The Ashford communities, we offer a range of floor plans to meet the needs of residents.

Whether your parent wants a full kitchen to cook meals or a patio to enjoy afternoon tea, your parent can select a plan that matches the desired lifestyle.

Click the links below to view floorplans at…

To receive information on floor plans at The Ashford at Sturbridge, opening in fall 2018, contact us here.

3. Encourage Involvement in Community Activities.

Perhaps you know your mother is happiest when she is singing along to her favorite songs–and, therefore, the senior living choir group would be a terrific match.

Or your father’s mind is most stimulated and engaged when discussing the recent novel he read–making the community book club discussion group an excellent extracurricular choice.

Whatever your parent’s passions may be, encourage him or her to sign up and try out a range of community activities as soon as he or she moves in.

Not only are these activities great ways to engage the body and mind–but they are also helpful when it comes to meeting other residents and becoming socially involved right away.

At The Ashford communities, new residents can seamlessly get involved in exciting weekly activities, such as regular outings, group games (such as Mahjong–a resident favorite!), special dining events, group exercise classes, and more.

Whether at The Ashford on Broad, The Ashford of Mt. Washington, or The Ashford at Sturbridge, engaging in these offerings will enable your mother or father to feel engaged and happy after making the move to senior living.

4. Schedule Family Visits.

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Even though your parent is making the move into a new social community, he or she will have more peace of mind with scheduled family visits.

Being able to look forward to seeing familiar faces will make all the difference for your parent as he or she transitions into a new home.

Make sure that different family members–whether they be grandchildren, children, siblings, or extended family–make time to visit your loved one within the first few days or weeks.

Be sure to let your parent know when to expect each visit–hang up a calendar in the new living space that designates when loved ones will be stopping by.

5. Develop a Relationship with the Caregivers.

caregiver

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At The Ashford communities, each of our team members has a compassionate heart, a great attitude, and past experience providing senior care.

Our caregivers ensure personalized care and take the necessary time to get to know each resident as a whole person.

Developing a bond with your parent’s caregiver will give both you and your parent greater peace of mind and ease.

The experience of making the move to senior living will be rewarding–but the transition process will be smoother if you incorporate these five tips.

If you have any questions regarding transitioning to senior living, we invite you to contact The Ashford communities, and we’ll be happy to answer them.

pensive elderly woman on the background of autumn leaves

4 Facts About Senior Isolation That Will Surprise You

As your loved one ages, your concern for his or her physical safety and wellness may increase.

Whether it be preventing falls or ensuring that your loved one has a balanced diet, there are plenty of factors that affect his or her health.

One factor that has more impact than you may think is senior isolation and loneliness.

Aside from negatively affecting one’s mental well-being, senior isolation has also been linked to a decline in physical health.

Unfortunately, as people age, their likelihood of living alone only increases.

Whether it be the passing of friends and spouses, retirement, or an increasing lack of mobility, there are a variety of reasons why your parent may be at risk for loneliness.

Here are four surprising facts about senior isolation that demonstrate how detrimental living alone can be–even with hired help or family members that make regular visits.

#1: Suffering from loneliness elevates one’s risk of developing dementia.

From quickly recalling the names of friends from college to remembering where we’ve placed our reading glasses, losing long- and short-term memory is often a natural part of aging.

However, there’s a point where memory loss becomes more of a serious matter.

According to a Dutch study that appears in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, those who suffer from loneliness have a 64% greater risk of developing dementia.

A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s often results in a higher safety risk and lower quality of life in general.

Being in the company of others is critical when it comes to preserving life memories, personality, and other important characteristics that dementia can deteriorate.

#2: Illnesses and conditions that increase mortality are linked to senior isolation.

Taking vitamins, following a healthy diet, and incorporating a healthy dose of physical exercise in a daily routine may not be enough if your loved one is living alone.

Environment and opportunities for social engagement are just as important when it comes to preventing disease and illness.

According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, social isolation has been linked to a higher risk of mortality in adults ages 52 and up.

Often, this is due to a correlation between social isolation and serious illnesses–such as chronic lung disease, arthritis, impaired mobility, and depression.

In the interest of maintaining optimal health and a longer lifespan, it’s important to create conditions for social engagement and interactions.

Living among others and having easy opportunities to participate in social activities make it easy to ward off loneliness and stay healthy.

#3: People who are socially isolated or lonely are more likely to report risky health behaviors.

older lady smoking

Preparing meals and conducting other activities of daily living are an important aspect of living a high-quality and healthy life.

The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing found that people who are socially isolated or lonely are more likely to engage in behaviors such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, and smoking.

On the other hand, when people live in a community with lots of activity, they are more likely to follow healthy habits–especially when meals are prepared by others and exercise programs are just a few steps away.

#4: Socially isolated seniors are more pessimistic about the future.

Friends, family members, and acquaintances we interact with on a regular basis can easily be taken for granted.

When our social interactions are diminished, our quality of life decreases, and so does our outlook on life.

The National Council on Aging has found that seniors experiencing social isolation are “More likely to predict their quality of life will get worse over the next 5-10 years, are more concerned about needing help from community programs as they get older, and are more likely to express concerns about aging in place.”

Finding aging solutions that enable seniors to easily access a social community of peers ensures that their quality of life will only improve as time passes.

One may think that regular visits from family or caregivers at home will suffice and an assisted living community isn’t necessary, but evidence suggests otherwise.

According to T. Byram Karasu, MD, at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, even when a senior is being taken care of by family caregivers, there is often little attention paid to deep, engaging communication between a senior and the rest of the family.

Caregivers are often so busy and overwhelmed from their daily responsibilities that they don’t have the capacity to meet a senior’s emotional and social needs.

At The Ashford communities, residents have numerous opportunities to engage with others.

Whether it be joining their fellow residents for an exercise class or engaging in meaningful conversation with his or her caregiver over lunch, there’s minimized risk of senior isolation.

Contact us today to schedule a tour for you and/or your loved one!

This Financial Benefit Can Help Your Veteran Loved One Afford Assisted Living

Our servicemen and women give so much time and energy to protect and serve our country.

Ensuring dignity, ease, and care for veterans as they age is an important part of expressing our gratitude for their service.

However, navigating care in one’s later years can be complicated–from selecting the right care situation to navigating which care options are financially viable.

If you have an aging loved one who is a United States veteran (or is the spouse of a veteran), you may find yourself wondering “How can veterans get help with assisted living costs?”

Fortunately, the Aid & Attendance Benefit can be used to cover assisted living costs for wartime veterans and their spouses–though many families aren’t clear on the details or how to go about securing the benefit.

In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the Aid & Attendance Benefit, who qualifies for it, and how to apply to use it for assisted living services.

The Aid & Attendance (A&A) Benefit

The Aid & Attendance (A&A) Benefit is available to honorably discharged wartime veterans over the age of 65 with 90 days of active duty, and is also available to their surviving spouses.

The exact amount of yearly support depends on the situation. See below for more details provided by Paying for Senior Care

  • $21,531 per year for a veteran with no dependents.
  • $25,525 per year for a veteran with a spouse.
  • $13,836 per year for a surviving spouse.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, one of the qualifying criteria for eligibility for the Aid & Attendance Benefit is that he or she requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, going to the bathroom, etc.

If your loved one requires assistance with activities of daily living–there’s likely a case to be made for him or her to receive the A&A Benefit.

How to Apply for the A&A Benefit

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If it sounds as if your loved one may qualify for the A&A Benefit, he or she can apply by writing to the Pension Management Center in the state of residence.

Additionally, you and your loved one can visit your local regional benefit office to file a request. Use the VA Facility Locator to find the local regional benefit office closest to you.

In the application, make sure to include evidence (such as a report from an attending physician) that validates the need for Aid and Attendance.

This way, your loved one can receive the necessary rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs to use the Aid & Attendance Benefit toward assisted living costs.

More specifically, the application for the benefit should…

  • Be detailed enough to, as the Department of Veteran Affairs states, “determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs, and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.”
  • Indicate how well he or she gets around and what he or she is able to do during a typical day.

Utilizing these financial benefits can make assisted living an option for your loved one–so don’t hesitate to begin the application process as soon as possible.

If you’re worried your parent can’t afford assisted living, even with the Aid & Attendance Benefit, we have a helpful resource to share. Download our free checklist today to discover how affordable assisted living can be!

smiling older man with cane

4 Reasons Not to Wait to Move Your Loved One to an Assisted Living Community

When it comes to helping a loved one make the move to an assisted living community, it’s not uncommon to put the move off “until it’s absolutely necessary.”

Often, this conclusion is preceded by your Dad insisting that he is fine on his own, or Mom promising she can manage and doesn’t want to leave her home.

The idea of moving to a new location and changing one’s lifestyle can be daunting for anyone, and attempting to convince your parent otherwise can be a trying task.

Therefore, the decision is put off to be reanalyzed at a later date.

However, many residents at assisted living communities and their families realize, in retrospect, that they wish they had made the move sooner–and there are several reasons for this.

Read on to learn about four downsides, or unintended consequences, of waiting too long to move into an assisted living community…

#1: There’s an increased likelihood of falls and other accidents while living at home.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every eleven seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every nineteen minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

Falls are one of the biggest threats to safety in seniors, and once a fall has occurred, quality of life can rapidly decline.

It’s important to note that when tasks such as bathing, dressing, or maintaining the house become more difficult, the likelihood of a fall occurring increases.

It goes without saying, waiting until a fall has happened to make the move to assisted living is not the ideal strategy.

If you can start thinking of the move to an assisted senior living community as a preventative measure, you can take steps to ensure your loved one’s safety.

#2: There can be increased difficulty for family members who attempt to provide at-home care.

In many cases, families will either hire in-home care or attempt to provide the needed care themselves.

Many soon realize that the time and energy investment is more than they can handle, and the quality of time spent with their aging parent decreases as they attempt to assist with a variety of daily tasks.

On the other hand, professional caregivers at assisted living communities can provide compassionate assistance with feeding, bathing, and dressing–enabling adult children to spend more quality social time with their loved ones.

#3: Seniors have an increased likelihood of experiencing loneliness and not enough opportunities for socialization.

Lonely Tree

 

Social isolation is a real threat to the well-being of seniors in the United States.

In addition to increasing the risk of long-term illness, both “social isolation and loneliness are associated with a higher risk of mortality in adults aged 52 and older,” according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sitting home alone and watching television is a recipe for a decline in both physical and mental health.

Even if the children and grandchildren make regular visits, it may not be enough.

On the other hand, assisted living communities offer many instances for healthy social interaction and activities with fellow residents. It’s highly recommended to take advantage of these socialization opportunities while still in optimal mental and physical health.

#4: Making a move when the resident is less mobile and physically able is more difficult.

Regardless of age, moving to a new home can take up a certain amount of both physical and mental energy.

Making the move while one is in better shape makes for a smoother transition, with minimized exhaustion.

Assisted living communities offer a range of exciting activities and opportunities that are better enjoyed when in optimal physical and mental health.

If your parent moves to a community but can’t participate in the aerobics classes or bingo games, he or she may live with the regret of not having made the move sooner.

Although it can initially be difficult to talk to your parent about making the move, once settled at an assisted living community, you will likely find that it was the best decision your family could have made.

If you’re looking for a safe, engaging, and warm assisted living community option for your loved one, we invite you to schedule a tour of The Ashford on Broad or The Ashford of Mt. Washington.

We look forward to meeting you!  

Assisted Living 101: Activities of Daily Living

Younger, more able-bodied people often take for granted the ease at which they are able to perform daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and food preparation.

As we age, not only do these tasks become more difficult–they can pose a threat to our safety.

According to the National Council on Aging, one in four adults over age 65 fall each year, and “falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.”

These worrisome statistics, among others, make a strong case to utilize assisted living services offered at various senior living communities.

Although your mother or father may desire to continue living at home, at the end of the day, it’s important to prioritize his or her safety.

At assisted living communities, professional and friendly team members can provide your parent with the necessary help with ADLs, or “Activities of Daily Living.”

In this post, we’ll cover five areas of assistance for ADLs so you can better understand the value that assisted living communities provide.

Personal Hygiene

From clean skin to brushed or styled hair, having good hygiene and feeling groomed is essential in maintaining both confidence and optimum health.

If your parent needs help with personal hygiene, team members at assisted living communities can help with oral, nail, and hair care.

In addition to assisting with confidence-boosting and hygiene-preserving activities, team members help residents maintain a regular and safe bathing regimen.

According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), 80 percent of falls occurring in the senior population are in the bathroom–a statistic that makes a strong case for professional bathing assistance.

Continence Management

Although using the bathroom is a private matter, the fact is that emptying one’s bladder becomes more difficult as mobility declines. After a certain point, a grab bar doesn’t provide the necessary level of safety needed.

Continence management includes both one’s mental and physical ability to use a toilet successfully, and assisted living staff can respectfully assist your parent in using the bathroom seamlessly.

Dressing

Whether young or old, what one wears for both casual and formal occasions is important when it comes to comfort or purposes of self-expression.

However, hanging up clothes or dressing for the day ahead can be difficult and dangerous tasks to accomplish as one ages.

Team members at assisted living communities can ensure that putting clothes on and keeping a clean closet are manageable tasks for your loved one.

Meals

The consumption of balanced meals is an essential part of maintaining proper nutrition.

With the social nature of mealtime at assisted living communities, the last thing residents need to worry about is the struggle to feed themselves.

At assisted living communities, professional chefs and helpful team members work hard to make sure that mealtime is smooth and easy for residents.

With these resources at hand, your parent can focus on sumptuous flavors and engaging conversation, instead of struggling to prepare or eat food.

Ambulating

According to Kindly Care, ambulating is defined as “the extent of a person’s ability to change from one position to the other and to walk independently.”

Not all residents enter assisted living needing this kind of assistance, but when their situation changes, team members are there to make moving from one location to another comfortable and possible.

Assistance with Activities of Daily Living significantly decreases the likelihood of falls and other at-home accidents that are common for aging seniors.

However, beyond increased safety, another valuable aspect of assisted living communities is that they provide residents with compassionate and dignified support in accomplishing these activities.

At The Ashford on Broad and The Ashford of Mount Washington, we assess each resident’s level of ability and craft an assisted living care plan tailored to his or her needs.

Have any questions regarding how our team members can support your parent in his or her activities of daily living at The Ashford? Contact us today!

Explore Assisted Living Housing Options at The Ashford Communities

 

Home. It’s a concept that almost every one of us, despite our background, language, or nationality, can understand.

Think for a few minutes about what comes to mind when you think of a home.

Perhaps it’s a place you can relax and feel safe?

Or a space where you practice the necessary rituals in order to start and end each day?

Maybe it’s a space where you can reflect on the past and feel inspired about the future?

However you choose to define “a home,” more often than not people seek a space where they can relax, feel comfortable, and feel like they belong.

At The Ashford on Broad and The Ashford of Mt. Washington, we’ve put careful thought and attention into designing resident living spaces so residents can seamlessly embrace it as their home.

Prior to moving in, your parent will have the opportunity to select his or her private senior housing accommodations from a variety of floor plans.

In this post, we’re providing an overview of the various housing options our communities offer, their associated amenities, and how to select the best fit for your parent before a move to one of our dynamic communities.

The Ashford of Mt. Washington Housing Options

Studio Suite: With walk-in showers in the bathroom and mini-fridge and microwave in the kitchenette, our studio suites provide residents with a manageable yet spacious living space. The suite is also cable-ready for those times throughout the day when mom or dad wants to consume the news or watch a favorite show.

One-Bedroom Suite: For residents who would like a larger space and the option to cook full meals, our one-bedroom suites are the perfect choice. The full kitchens include a stove and oven, and the living room provides a desirable space for socializing with visiting family or fellow resident neighbors. As with the studio suites, the one-bedroom suites are cable-ready and include energy-efficient lighting.

To view suite floor plans for our Ashford of Mt. Washington community, click here.

The Ashford on Broad Housing Options

Studio Suite: Our smallest housing option at The Ashford on Broad, the studio suites are for residents that prefer to have a patio or balcony (complete with large French doors) versus a more spacious indoor living space. The kitchenette includes a mini-fridge with enough space for basic food items, making it a good fit for residents who would like to more heavily rely on our meal plans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Deluxe Studio Suite: Our deluxe studio option is a good choice for residents who want more indoor space than the studio suites, but aren’t interested in our one-bedroom options. A large picture window provides outdoor views and natural lighting, and the bathroom includes a walk-in shower. The deluxe studio suites also include a full refrigerator in the kitchenette, versus the mini-fridge that comes with our basic studio suites.

One-Bedroom Suite: As with our studio suites, our one-bedroom suites include a patio or balcony. The difference is that these suites include a separate living room from the bedroom, perfect for entertaining and hosting visitors.

Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite: The deluxe one-bedroom suites at The Ashford on Broad are an excellent choice for residents who prioritize maximum indoor space complete with large picture windows. As with our one-bedroom suites, the deluxe suite also includes a bathroom with walk-in shower and a kitchenette with a full-size refrigerator.

To view suite floor plans for The Ashford on Broad community, click here.

Whether your parent selects a studio suite or a one-bedroom suite, he or she will be able to decorate the apartment in whatever way he or she chooses–making it feel like home.

If you have questions regarding pricing, layout, and beyond, our team members at The Ashford communities are here to provide answers. Contact us today.

Worried your parent can’t afford assisted living? Check out our free checklist and discover just how affordable it can be.