Making the decision for yourself or a loved one to move into an assisted living facility can be difficult. There are a lot of pros and cons of assisted living to consider. It’s essential to make the right choice to ensure a better quality of life at an assisted living facility once you or your aging loved one is settled in.
Below we’ll discuss the 10 significant pros and cons of assisted living to help you better understand what’s involved in this type of care.
✅ The Pros of Assisted Living
There are several benefits to living in an assisted living facility as an aging adult, especially one that needs a little extra help with certain activities or is experiencing loneliness.
The main benefits of assisted living facilities include:
1. Help With Activities of Daily Living
Many aging seniors require support in carrying out their activities of daily living (ADLs) such as:
- Attending doctors appointments
- Getting dressed
- Medication management
- Meal preparation or eating
- Transportation needs
Assisted living facilities employ staff that are specially trained to care for aging adults that require this type of assistance. This helps to guarantee their safety and ensure that their personal hygiene is maintained for optimal health.
2. A Safer Environment
The second greatest advantage of assisted living facilities is that they provide a safe environment for their residents. This is done in a variety of ways, including:
- Gated entrances
- 24-hour security personnel
- 24-hour care personnel
- Thorough screening before accepting new residents
- Safe spaces that are set up to cater to the limited mobility of aging adults
- Tailored routines that reduce instances of confusion in seniors with cognitive decline
The goal is to ensure that your loved one not only feels safe and comfortable in their new home but also has access to care and medical assistance at all times.
3. Promote Healthy Social Engagement
Aging adults that live alone are at a much higher risk for social isolation and depression. Assisted living facilities promote social activities and encourage relationships by offering:
- Common areas for residents to gather freely
- Opportunities for residents to take up new hobbies via various classes and therapies
- Group fitness classes
- Social events, such as game nights and parties
- Organized trips for dining out, shopping, sightseeing, etc
- Family participation events
Many assisted living facilities work to ensure that residents feel connected and have the opportunity to create strong bonds for their overall health and happiness.
4. Nutritious Meals
Healthy cooking and eating is also something that can become challenging in an aging adult’s life. In an assisted living community, your aging loved one will receive nutritious and delicious meals prepared fresh daily as well as snacks. They’ll never have to worry about preparing their own meals, grocery shopping, or going hungry.
Moreover, mealtime will be held in a group dining setting, making it yet another opportunity to socialize.
Many aging adults are apprehensive about losing their independence. However, an assisted living facility allows seniors to maintain their autonomy with as much or as little assistance as they require.
- Each resident gets their own private room
- They can move around freely throughout the community
- They can choose which activities they want to participate in
- They can choose their meals
- They can arrange for transportation to go shopping or attend other events
❌ The Cons of Assisted Living
As beneficial as assisted living facilities can be for aging adults, they do come with a few disadvantages, including:
1. The Cost
Arguably the greatest disadvantage of entering yourself or a loved one into an assisted living facility is the cost. Assisted living can be incredibly expensive, especially if the aging adult in question requires a high level of care.
The costs of assisted living facilities are typically broken down into:
- A move-in fee
- Room and board
- Daily assistance required
- Other services required, such as advanced medical care or memory care
2. Limited Medical Care
While many assisted living communities offer medical services as an option, they’re not designed to provide regular professional medical care. This means they’ll likely be limited to:
- Administering medication, including injectables
- Wound care
- IV therapy
- Physical, speech, or occupational therapies
- Blood pressure monitoring
- Temperature monitoring
However, the level of skilled medical care will vary by community. Additionally, they don’t typically offer these medical services beyond regular business hours.
3. Lack of Privacy
Another potential drawback of assisted living is that there’s a lack of privacy. Residents will have their own bedrooms, but they’ll still have to share common areas with the other residents.
Some aging adults may feel uncomfortable having to share space with a lot of people if they’re used to living alone. Of course, having more people around to connect with us is often seen as a benefit.
4. Strict Policies
Assisted living communities tend to have strict policies that may take some adjusting to. For example:
- Residents may have curfews
- There may be rules or special hours for visitors
- Residents may be limited as to where they can go or how long they can leave campus
Keep in mind that policies like curfews are designed to keep residents safe. Of course, the policies will vary based on the community and it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a community whose regulation suits your loved one’s needs and preferences.
While maintaining a certain degree of independence is listed as a benefit of assisted living, some may feel that they’re losing independence by moving into a community. This is largely due to the fact that they may require some daily assistance — and more of it as they continue to age.
Losing independence due to cognitive decline or other health issues can be quite an adjustment for your loved one. However, it’s the reason why assisted living facilities exist.
Is Assisted Living Right For Your Loved One?
There’s a lot more to consider beyond the pros and cons of assisted living when it comes to choosing where to place your loved one. They may not require daily assistance or they may require a certain level of care that assisted living can’t provide.
If you think your aging loved one can benefit from an assisted living facility, get in touch with Sunflower Communities today. We’ll guide you through everything our assisted living community has to offer — and you can schedule a tour to see our community in person!