Moving a loved one into an assisted living facility can put their health at risk in ways that many people don’t realize. That said, before signing off on astronomical assisted living costs, remember that beginning the next chapter of life in a spacious, unfamiliar environment can lead to a greater chance of falls as they navigate the new terrain. According to recent studies, falling is the leading cause of injury for seniors residing in an assisted living facility, and injuries from falls are much more debilitating as aging occurs and the ability to heal begins to slow down.
Additionally, despite the communal environment, moving into an assisted living facility can be incredibly isolating. Your loved one may be moving away from friends, neighbors, and family members ready to lend a helping hand. When distanced from their support system, seniors are at an increased risk of depression. Feelings of intense loneliness are all too common, and depression is a significant contributor to a multitude of other detrimental health outcomes, like muscle wasting and decreased appetite.
While declining mobility and strength are an inevitable part of aging, the glimmer of your golden years doesn’t have to mean losing autonomy and leaving home. In-home care services from reputable providers, like those at www.24hrcares.com, are a better alternative to assisted living facilities. When weighing the pros and cons of in-home care services, take note of the must-know reasons why aging in place benefits seniors’ wellbeing.
Safer living situation
Assisted living facilities are often communal living spaces, with many people living under one roof and sharing common areas. They also employ many staff members who come and go while interacting with multiple residents. This environment is a metaphorical petri dish for illness, allowing it to grow and spread rapidly. Elders are particularly susceptible to bacterial and viral infections, often experiencing greater severity and duration of illness. Having multiple caregivers and more isolation from loved ones can, unfortunately, lead to a greater incidence of elder abuse. Aging in place limits the points of exposure to illness and abuse by decreasing contact with a large number of people while still allowing close connection with their network of support.
Home is where the heart is, and living at home rather than assisted living facility eliminates the need to adjust to a new environment. Allowing seniors to live out their lives in the comfort of their own homes can be immensely beneficial for maintaining confidence, physical ability, and mental health. Feeling at home has a high emotional value and doesn’t require downsizing any personal possessions to prepare for a move. Living in a familiar space is also ideal for physical health, as the chances of obtaining an injury from falling lessen.
Moving into an assisted living facility means giving up a great deal of autonomy, which can eat away at one’s confidence and sense of capability. Rather than conforming to pre-decided meals and having to ask someone permission to leave for a walk, seniors can maintain a great deal of independence. These seniors have the freedom to make changes to their physical environment, choose what and when they want to eat, and participate in activities they enjoy while still having help nearby when needed. Having greater autonomy through in-home care allows them to live life on their terms.
Stay close to a support system
Having a support system made up of family members, friends, and neighbors is crucial for meeting social and emotional needs. Seniors are no different, and home care lets them stick close to their network of support. Putting physical distance between your loved one and the people closest to them makes visiting harder and socializing more infrequent, causing their social and emotional needs to become harder to meet.
Better mental health
All of the factors detailed above contribute to mental health, which is incredibly important to maintain. Mental health is critical in older individuals, who may experience more dramatic physical consequences. Mental health directly impacts immune function, strength and mobility, and nutrition, which can all rapidly deteriorate in the elderly population. Preserving the mental health of your loved one goes hand in hand with safeguarding their physical and emotional health.
In-home assistance from carving providers offers more substantial benefits for seniors’ health and wellbeing than assisted living facilities. By preserving one’s autonomy, mental health, support system, and comfortable home environment, home care allows seniors to take control of their situation and live their lives as they see fit.