Many of today's assisted living communities do a great job of helping seniors maintain an independent lifestyle while aiding them with specific, everyday activities such as grooming or shopping.
Just as importantly, they provide a community where residents can enjoy a full social life, lots of brain and body activities as well as continue the companionship of their family pet.
Will I Make New Friends?
Many assisted living communities provide an atmosphere where individuals are encouraged to socialize as much or as little as they wish. Even some of the most retiring retirees discover it is easy to make new friends in an environment where a smile and a handshake mean a lot.
Often newcomers get involved by participating in "get-togethers" that range from monthly birthday celebrations to a "night at the movies." Seniors also inevitably socialize at assisted living communities during meals, over morning coffee and television news, in the recreation center or at the beauty salon.
Many assisted living communities promote clubs like scrapbooking, quilting and sewing as well as community service opportunities such as crocheting baby blankets for use at a local hospital. Some individuals prefer activities such as teaching computer skills to other seniors, researching genealogies or gardening.
What Is There To Do?
Assisted living communities look and act much like gracious senior or retirement communities. Modern, full-service facilities often employ activities and recreation professionals and beauty and massage/physical therapy staff as well as offer a host of transportation and travel services.
Along with regularly scheduled opportunities for socializing, such as Friday night "Happy Hour," many facilities inspire residents to participate in a full range of activities. Seniors look forward to everything from shopping trips to a local mall and educational seminars to overnight excursions to regional sites, events and festivals.
Do I Have To Give Up My Pet?
One of the most attractive, recent trends in assisted living is that many communities not only allow residents to keep pets, they encourage them. Many communities now offer pet services such as dog walking and litter box cleanup.
Research shows what most people understand intuitively—that caring for pets adds to seniors' health and happiness. Pets can lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They can also help relieve loneliness and depression. Caring for a cat or small dog often motivates owners at assisted living communities to socialize, exercise and spend time outdoors.
Beyond care and compassion, many of today's assisted living communities offer residents a full range of social and activity opportunities. Whether they participate in a book club, take a trip to the mall or share their adorable pet with a new neighbor, seniors thrive in a setting that fosters community.
Find Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living communities are a great place for seniors who are no longer able or willing to live alone to receive care and companionship. Browse our comprehensive online directory to find assisted living communities across the United States and Canada.
Written by senior care writer Leslee Jaquette.