By Kimberly Hayes
Life is full of changes — some we make willingly. For many seniors, making a move to assisted living is a change they often feel is out of their control. What seniors and their loved ones don’t always realize is that you have more control over this move than you think. From finding a center that’s a perfect fit for you, to meeting new people and discovering new passions, this next chapter is full of potential for joy and fulfillment in life.
Finding the Place Where You Belong
When you think of assisted living, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the stereotypical, institutional setting. The reality is that assisted living has much more to offer seniors these days, but you have to be mindful of finding the right one. Some of the most basic factors to consider are location, size, and essential services. Even these basic factors can make a big difference in your experience. For example, a smaller center may deliver more personal, one-on-one attention, whereas a larger center may have more amenities.
Whether you’re just now searching for an assisted living center or you’ve already moved, don’t underestimate the importance of services and amenities. One thing to keep in mind is that the amenities offered tend to impact the cost of assisted living. The cost of these communities can vary widely, with an average anywhere between $1,500 to $7,848 per month in Plano.
Staying Active and Engaged
Of course, cost is only one of many factors to consider, and a truly great center will offer more than just help with everyday care. Money Crashers explains that one of the main benefits of assisted living is that it provides much more engagement than most seniors can get at their own homes, including intellectual, physical, and social activities. These activities can be group events, fitness programs, book clubs, and crafting.
Being part of a community that is so active makes it easier for residents to meet new people, which is essential for fighting off the loneliness and depression that are problematic for many seniors. Along with social engagement, being involved in activities give meaning to life — the Huffington Post spotlights an 86-year-old man who learned to knit so he could make hats for premature babies! A thriving assisted living community is a place where like-minded seniors can come together to learn and enjoy old hobbies while also discovering new ones.
Creating the Comforts of Home
One of the best things you can do to make the best of assisted living is to recreate the comforts of home. Even the very best assisted living centers feel strange at first, but decorating and arranging your space can make a world of difference. Start by browsing your favorite magazines or websites for ideas to decorate a small space. We love Country Living’s idea to use mounted wall shelves for displaying photos and storing books. Whichever ideas stand out to you, focusing a little on decorating makes your space functional while also making it feel like you.
Keeping your favorite, familiar items around will make your space feel like home, but it’s also fun to shop for new items to spruce things up. This mix of old and new will give you a sense of familiarity while at the same time embracing new changes. We also love the idea of creating a space for entertaining. Even in a small space, making room for friends and family to visit is another way to stay socially engaged and fight off isolation.
Experiencing depression and loneliness is all too common for seniors. However, these problems are most common when seniors are isolated. One of the best things about finding the right assisted living center is that you can access resources to take your life back! Every new change takes time, and the transition isn’t always easy. However, seniors and their loved ones can take comfort in knowing the great potential not just for surviving but for thriving in assisted living.
Image via Pixabay