If we were to ask the question – has medical science increased the human life span – the answer would be an unequivocal yes! People do in fact life much longer than they used to just decades ago. However, if were to ask the question – has medical science improved quality of life – the answer would be somewhat more equivocal. Today, people do in fact live longer than ever before in recorded history and we are able to manage diseases much better; there is no doubt about that. However, we as a society don’t place as much emphasis on the quality of life as we do on the length of life. And, it is this quality of life, senior wellness that the best assisted living facilities in Elkton focus on.
The issue of senior wellness.
Modern medicine helps people manage illness effectively, and helps people live with and manage health problems such as diabetes, heart ailments, arthritis, osteoporosis and dementia. However, it does little or nothing to mitigate the other problems of the later years, such as loneliness, isolation, boredom, the risk of falling, reduced mobility etc. Even as popping pills helps to keep their cholesterol and blood sugar in control, older people find that they still have to battle the anxieties of living by themselves, reduced social interaction and becoming less autonomous.
Seniors living alone are more likely to have a poor diet, engage in less activity, experience memory and vision decline, abuse alcohol and become progressively more incapacitated, find studies. Older adults living by themselves may find that their emotional, physical, social and intellectual needs are not being adequately met. Friends of their age may be in similar situations, so they are unable to meet and do things together as they used. Meanwhile children and grandchildren may live elsewhere or may be unable to be involved in their loved ones’ lives to the extent they want and need.
Older people living alone may find that daily activities become burdensome and tiring. The home they love may become too much to look after and could actually pose dangers: too many chores, falling risks, isolation from social interaction, difficulty getting to the stores and so on. Shopping for produce and cooking regularly can become too much to manage. Oftentimes, these factors together contribute to the decline of healthy, vigorous, vital older adults.
A lot of research and study has gone into improving quality of life in the later years. Studies have found that increasing physical activity and getting regular age-appropriate exercise is seen to increase not only physical health but is also seen to stave off mental decline. The proximity of other people, the ability to interact with others and enjoy group activities in a convivial community atmosphere helps improve the mood and overall quality of life.
Having a secure dwelling space that is modified for senior living – with handrails in the bathrooms, raised toilets, ramps, stair-lifts and other elder-friendly modifications decreases risk of falls, injuries and physical strain. Engaging in fun activities with others is something to look forward to each day, which enhances the mood. Having an emergency response system in place means that accidents or ill health are swiftly dealt with, reducing chances of ER visits. It can be a big relief for older people not to have to bother with the physically demanding aspects of being in their own homes, such as cleaning, washing, mowing the lawn, raking leaves and so on. It goes without saying that it is great to have the daily bother of cooking and stocking the house taken care of.
Focusing on senior wellness in Assisted Living.
There are many structured and unstructured activities planned for seniors in Assisted Living. Additionally, seniors can join activities or classes of their interest in the area as and where possible. While individual assisted living facilities can vary considerably in the sort of activities made available for residents, the various activities can help to increase well-being:
- Fitness Regimes – Depending upon each resident’s health and mobility, they can engage in various exercises. Gentle yoga, tai chi and variations such as chair yoga help to increase flexibility and balance, joint and muscle strength. Walking or jogging has many positive impacts on the mind and body. Swimming, spin class and gardening are other physical activates to help keep healthy, limber and mobile.
- Dancing and Singing – Some seniors are seen to enjoy a Zumba class while others may enjoy belting out some favorite tunes along with a karaoke setup. Visiting kids’ choirs or private musicians’ shows can also be arranged time to time.
- Learning New Skills – It’s more than just crocheting and knitting we speak of here. It is never too late to learn a new language, a musical instrument or maybe pick up some computer skills. Seniors can also learn woodworking, painting, take a creative writing class, do drama or attend lectures or workshops of their interest.
- Entertainment and Special Events – Vising the museum, a fashion show, art show or vintage car display can be exciting outings to look forward to. Playing board games, video games including active ones like Wii, doing puzzles and taking field trips are things that seniors enjoy. If there is a birthday or holiday, there could be a cake to be baked or special meal that seniors may enjoy throwing together.
Seniors in assisted living can engage in as much activity as they feel up to participating in and opt out of things that don’t interest them. The important thing is that the possibilities are many. Plus there is the fact that there are other residents around to chat with and simply spend the time of day with. Loneliness and isolation are no longer issues to contend with. Daily chores, which are otherwise burdensome, are taken care of. Medications and physical health aspects are also monitored.
All of this adds up to a significant uptick in overall wellness of residents in assisted living communities. Call us now at (410) 343-7592 to know about the wellness protocols and activities for seniors in assisted living or get in touch to schedule a personal visit today.