Making the decision to place a loved one in an assisted living facility can be difficult. However, understanding the benefits – to your loved one as well as you – can make the decision easier. Specifically, assisted living provides three very important benefits.
Professional Medical Care 24/7
Unless you are a trained medical professional, you are not equipped to provide the level of medical care available at an assisted living facility. Even if you are a trained professional, you may not be available at all hours, or able to handle acute emergencies. All assisted living facilities have professional medical personnel on staff. Facilities that provide more intensive care have staff on hand 24/7 to handle urgent medical situations immediately.
Safety and Personal Care
Even if you live with your loved one (or your loved lives with you), safety and personal care may still be a concern when you can’t be there. At an assisted living facility, staff members are on hand to ensure the security of residents. Nearly all have monitored entrances not only to keep intruders out, but also to prevent residents with memory care issues from wandering away from the facility. Likewise, assisted living facilities have professional staff on hand to perform personal functions, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding residents while maintaining their personal dignity.
Socialization with Others
One of the most serious challenges of growing older is increased isolation. If your loved one lives alone, he or she may be isolated for much of the day. If he or she lives with you, there may still be long periods of isolation, especially if you are still working. An assisted living care facility provides opportunities for residents to interact with one another through shared meals as well as by participating in organized activities. Common areas also allow residents to interact with one another and with staff members on an informal basis.
You Can Still Visit!
Many assisted living facilities encourage family members to interact with their loved ones by participating in planned activities, as well as through individual visits. Seeing your loved one being well cared for and happy should relieve much if not all of the guilt you may feel about not serving as a full-time caregiver.