Is assisted living is the best option for senior citizens?

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Assisted Living (AL) is the perfect setting for those who can no longer live independently but who want to remain independent. My mother (age 91) has been a resident at an AL facility for almost five years. She has a private suite with a full bath and a large sitting room/bedroom. The daily routine provides her with choices. She is assigned to a dining table with three others and each morning they select their meals for the day from a menu with many choices. She participates in an excercise class and rosary recitation and then goes back to her suite to read the daily newspaper. There are activities and outings throughout the day but she seldom participates chosing to either read (there is a library) or work a puzzle in her suite. However, she does have choices. Everyone, with the exception of a few residents, uses a walker. She has the opportunity to walk indoors or outdoors during the summer months. If she lived independently she wouldn't have the meal selection and the ability to dine with others, nor would she be able to walk as much as she does. She has many choices to make every day which adds to her feeling of being independent yet she is in safe surroundings and assistance is available if she requires it. Many seniors who resist AL do so because they think they are being independent by staying in their homes when clearly the opposite is true as most of them require help with meals, shopping, cleaning etc and they are alone and isolated all day with few choices. The hard part is to find the right AL. Initially, my mother was in an AL where everyone had their own apartment. While they all had their meals in the dining room and there were daily activities, residents tended to stay in their own apartments more. Her current AL has a mix of private and semi private rooms. At first I didn't like the smaller living arrangements but I later observed that as a result the residents were out in the many common areas socializing and making the facility more welcoming and more "alive." I thought that the first facility was more in keeping with what I would prefer and I wasn't looking at the big picture. I'm glad that we made the change to the second facility. My mother functions very well in her current facility and she has independence that she would never have living alone or with me. If she wants to be around other people she can but if she wants to be alone she also has that option. The important thing is that she had choices and options as to how she'll soend her day.
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It all depends on the senior themselves. Some seniors are 55+ and are very active, thus a 55+ community would work well if they are at a point of downsizing because the current house is too big. I've seen seniors in their 90's who are just as active as someone 30 years younger, so they are able to live at home or move to a 55+ complex.

Some seniors have mobile issues or the start of memory issues. If they are still able to do things in the home but want to live in a more senior safe environment there is Independent Living where one can either buy or rent an one or two bedroom apartment. Some apartments are 900 sqft, some apartments can be as large as 3000 sqft. Depends on the complex. Some IL complexes offer "assisted living" options where you can pay extra for extra care.

My Dad was in Independent Living, had a very nice apartment with a full size kitchen... the rent was expensive but it offered weekly housekeeping, linen and towel service, one or all meals in the main dining room, nurse and aides on site if needed, transportation, etc.

Now for Assisted Living, again it depends on the senior and what are the mobility issues and memory issues. My Dad is now in Memory Care [Assisted Living] in the same complex. He lives in a studio apartment but doesn't mind that. In fact, the Staff said those with memory issues prefer a studio apartment as they can see all of their "stuff" from their recliner :)
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Well I am a senior citizen and do not plan on living anywhere except in my own home/apt. We just moved from Sun City, AZ (a retirement community) to Oceanside, CA, and the vitality of younger & older people biking, walking and being active has been a wonderful boost to my morale! I was at the ocean yesterday and had to climb back up stairs leading to the ocean, they were very steep and about 100 of them. After having packed, unpacked, moved and survived with a mending right wrist which had surgery, I made it up the stairs better than most younger people. I really surprised myself. So, in answer to your question, NO, assisted living is only for those who need help with activities of daily living, have memory impairment, and/or can afford the extraordinary costs. Doing for oneself is beneficial to both the mind and spirit!
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Assisted Living is for people who need some assistance. It is not for people who are quite capable of living independently. It is not suitable for persons who need considerable assistance with activities of daily living or who need 24 hour medical supervision.
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I dislike the term senior citizens! Probably because I, by some definitions (55+), I am one. And am, thank goodness, no where close to needing even an independent living apartment. I have downsized, still work, am active and can do everything I need to do for myself.

What is the age of your senior citizen? What services, if any do they need? Does that person want more socialization? Do they have resources to pay for a community that offers what they want and need? Are there medical issues?

Living arrangements are very dependent on the individual. There is not a one size fits all. Some live independently all their lives into their 90's and even longer with services necessary in their homes. There is some policy changes as many cannot afford the amenities provided by communities toward "aging in place". So, in a nutshell.... It depends on the person!
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I am definitely a "Senior" at 77 but also as Glad said hate being labeled as such.
Already a senior at the age of 58 I rejoined the workforce and held a full time job till age 68. Now I definitely need help and have a housecleaner, plus hubby has help with chores that used to be easy for him. It is also exhausting for me to cook a full meal so it would be a real luxury to be able to wander down to a dining room and make my choices.
Personally I would consider assisted living if I could afford it and I was alone. Unfortunately it would be hell on earth living with hubby in a small space.
I do still drive but would not consider making long trips unless it was a case of life and death.
Never been a social butterfly so would also keep to myself quite a lot but would enjoy the convenience of transport to shops. Being able to keep a small animal would also be important. Some amenities would also be very nice like a swimming pool. it really is all a matter of temperament and I think the wishes of older loved ones should be respected as long as they are in a safe environment and capable.
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I am a very healthy 85year old woman and live in a house of my own (paid for). I am just going into a phase of my life where I will finally be living alone. I am still able to drive and I have help running my house consisting of a gardening person and a house cleaner. I am going to try it out and see how I do. If it is a struggle in any way, I plan on looking into what alternatives are available and moving if anything else seems to be a better choice for me. Perhaps a housekeeper who would also cook my dinner would be a solution. I am sure there are other options. I am very independent, but sensible, and want my family to help me make the right choice when the time comes. Thinking and talking about the choices ahead make it easier for both my family and me. There won't be any family meetings about 'What do we do about Mom".
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Often family who just drop in and visit briefly have no clear idea of how much their parents have declined and their real care needs, this is true whether they live independently or in a facility. In my opinion it is up to the facility management to re evaluated their residents periodically and to set firm boundaries about the care they can offer. Unfortunately some companies focus too much on keeping every space occupied, even offering large bonuses to management based on occupancy. Here there has also been a boom in the building of new, high end ALs so that many older facilities are having difficulty attracting residents, so there is an incentive to hold on to clients who really do need a greater level of care. Add in the fact that there are also long waiting lists for long term care and you end up with a lot of people living, and unfortunately dying, with sub standard care.
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" Many seniors who resist AL do so because they think they are being independent by staying in their homes when clearly the opposite is true as most of them require help with meals, shopping, cleaning etc and they are alone and isolated all day with few choices." So true, and I can see this is exactly what my mother thinks.She will give up driving this month, so she will be isolated in her condo (she only drives within a limited range of her condo as it is, but she chooses when and where she goes). She will expect me to drive her around (currently I'm setting the boundaries of when/where I will go; hasn't been presented to her yet).

She was a very social younger person when she was younger, so I think the increased isolation is going to hasten her decline. It will be Fox News 24/7.

But she refuses to consider any type of senior living. (And I refuse to be her in-home attendant, housecleaner or cook.)
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Some ALs offer large suite or small apartment style accommodations and others are structured more like nursing homes only with less oversight. If I had the financial wherewithal to move to an apartment style home that offered meals and housekeeping as well as companionship, outings and activities I would go tomorrow. (And I'm only in my 50's LOL)
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