- Well-stocked pantry? Variety of fresh produce? Prepares nutritious meals?
- Has a social network that provides daily conversation?
- No episodes of confusion or getting lost?
- Practicing good hygiene?
- Aware of their medications?
As families gather for the holidays, children return home and may find themselves observing how their elderly parents are managing day-to-day living independently in the family home. Does that sound familiar? You might ask yourself if an alternative living situation may be right for them, and may be considering independent living for a loved one. The problem is, sometimes “independent living home” has a negative connotation, and it shouldn’t! Some families are skeptical of senior living. In fact, a survey done by A Place For Mom, an on-line senior living referral service, indicated that half of all families begin their search with a negative or lukewarm view of senior living. The survey (of 300 families) also found that the majority of seniors say they would rather live at home (if they could no longer live alone), while 73% of their families report that the senior is better off when they move into assisted living. In addition, 58% of caregivers said their own overall quality of life improved after moving their loved one into assisted living, while 28% said it stayed the same. While Mt. Pleasant Home provides an independent, not assisted, living environment for its residents, the same skepticism arises when elderly parents and their children look at the decision to sell the family home and move to a more supportive environment. So, what is the difference between assisted living and independent living? Assisted living is for seniors who may need help with basic tasks such as taking medications or bathing. Assisted living typically offers medical staff to help residents as needed. Independent living is just what the name suggests. It is simply a housing arrangement for seniors who can live independently and need little or no assistance, but choose to move for the sake of easy living and desire to be in a socially interactive setting. Here are a few things family members can observe over the holidays to evaluate the safety and well-being of their parents or other elderly family members: