Many older adults struggle with the idea of relocating to a long-term care facility. It’s not hard to understand why; packing up memories, saying goodbye to one’s home, changing one’s routines, and opening a new chapter in one’s life can be a challenge for anyone, especially at an older age.
Additionally, people often have negative associations with places like nursing homes or assisted living facilities (which, as we recently discussed, are not the same thing).
Of course, when it comes to good long-term care facilities, those negative preconceptions couldn’t be further from the truth. But in addition, did you know that making the move to an assisted living community actually tends to improve psychological well-being for seniors?
In fact, for many seniors, the change can be just what they need to thrive and enjoy the quality of life they deserve in their golden years.
Read on to discover six surprising benefits relocating can have for you or the elderly loved one in your life.
6) A New Adventure
You’re never too old for a fresh start, and moving can be uniquely invigorating. A new home, new neighbors, and new things to see and do are perfect incentives to stay active — and staying active is a vital part of staying healthy when getting older.
What’s more, accepting and adapting to change is good for cognitive health. Although the biological structure of our neural pathways means the human brain is resistant to change, pushing beyond your comfort zone boosts brain function the same way that stretching your muscles increases flexibility.
Often, transitioning to a senior living community means downsizing to a smaller space. However, this can be beneficial, too. Decluttering may seem intimidating (especially if you haven’t done it in years or even decades), but the process of sorting through old memories can be cathartic, and streamlining and reorganizing your things can be a good way to reduce the stress that a cluttered environment can cause.
Completing the task also gives you a sense of productivity and accomplishment. As one analysis put it, it’s a way of “managing symbolic pollution.”
4) A More Independent Lifestyle
We all want to feel capable and self-sufficient. That’s why, for many seniors, one of the hardest parts of the aging process is feeling like a burden on their loved ones. Not being able to take care of everyday chores and activities as easily as in the past can be a frustrating experience, and can lead older adults to feel depressed and put a strain on their relationship with family.
Senior living communities not only offer support for a more independent lifestyle and relief from the obligations of homeownership — but they also provide more time for seniors to focus on hobbies and activities they enjoy.
3) New Friends and Activities
Between physical deterioration and friends passing away, many seniors find their social circle shrinking as they age. But assisted living provides many opportunities for socialization and connection. Shared meals and planned activities or events like yoga, gardening, exercise, book clubs, lectures and classes, crafts, movie nights, field trips and excursions, and more mean that residents have a regular supply of options to socialize and try new things with other people their own age.
2) Peace of Mind
Health or medication issues, an injury, or an illness, like the flu, can have serious consequences for older adults, especially when they live alone.
If a senior falls while alone, and is not able to reach a phone, the situation can be dire. Likewise, maintaining a healthy diet and managing medical issues can get much more difficult, and driving can become unsafe for the elderly, as well.
Fortunately, assisted living facilities generally offer services that can give their residents, and the resident’s loved ones, the peace of mind of knowing they are as safe as possible, and will not be alone in the event of an emergency.
Services vary from one facility to the next, but most communities feature safe transportation options, support for physical and mental health conditions, and even sometimes help with nutrition or medication management (although it should be noted these can sometimes come at an extra charge).
1) Good Quality of Life
What’s the biggest reason relocating to a long-term care facility can be good for seniors?
It allows them to take control of their future and enjoy the best possible quality of life.
Our aging loved ones deserve safety, independence, self-confidence, nutrition, social engagement, intellectual stimulation, and individualized assistance and counseling to ensure a positive and supportive living situation.
At Reflections Management and Care, we assist seniors and their loved ones in making the best decisions for their wellbeing. Our Relocation Management services are designed for seniors and their families who are considering a move. Our geriatric care managers provide and coordinate proper assessments, and, if the family and client with to move, determine and coordinate the right level of care and evaluate possible moving sites.
To learn more, and for tips on relocating for seniors, be sure to sign up for our mailing list. You can get started by clicking here.