Will I be Bored at an ALF?
Aside from the normal apprehension of having to pick up and move somewhere completely new and unfamiliar, many seniors may be wary of moving because they think they’ll be bored—which is a perfectly legitimate concern, so let’s put it to rest right now.
Many communities for seniors range anywhere from homelike to the posh, luxurious feel of a high-end hotel or cruise ship, and they certainly don’t feel like an institution. A lot of people who have made the switch to assisted living communities are living it up, and report that they like it better than living on their own. Here are a few of the most common reasons why:
- 1. No Stress Yard Work and Home Maintenance
Keeping up with work at home can be quite difficult, especially for the elderly, or for anyone who may have developed some physical ailments or limitations. Things like mowing the lawn, climbing a ladder to change a light bulb, shoveling snow, pulling weeds, and vacuuming all have thankfully become things of the past. However, those who enjoy gardening need not worry, as residents are often more than welcome to adopt a garden.
- 2. Vanquishing Boredom
Being bored, while a legitimate concern, as we mentioned, shouldn’t be a concern at an assisted living facility. There are programs and activities for a wide range of interests that are available to residents on-site as well as out in the local community. Entertainment may range from visiting musicians or performers, to day trips that can include local landmarks, forays into nature, or just heading to the local art museum. Lots of things to do means that your loved one will hardly ever be bored, and those prior concerns will vanish when they find out how much there is to do.
- 3. Improved Family Relationships
Older people are often dependent on their grown children for help and support. Sudden role reversals may strain relationships and plant unhealthy feelings of resentment, both by parents and children. The younger family members are free from the role of full-time caregivers, and are able to assure that time with their older family member is both meaningful and of high quality. Elders are also glad to return to the role of family matriarch or patriarch and often are pleased their children no longer have to be a parent to their parent.
- 4. Better Food
There are a lot of residents of assisted living facilities who used to live alone and weren’t eating properly. At assisted living communities, though, they don’t have to worry about things like grocery shopping, preparing meals, or even brewing coffee. Instead, they get quality meals every day of the week. Food tastes good, and alternative meals are often available for those who have special dietary needs.
- 5. An End to Stressful Driving
Driving can be hard enough, let alone trying to do it as we age. Driving capabilities in the elderly may not be as sharp as they used to be when they were younger, so many residents at an assisted living facility take advantage of the free transportation the facility provides. They don’t have to worry about a car, but there is parking for those who still drive.
- 6. Feeling Like Myself Again
Living alone has drawbacks, like not being able to participate in games or activities we once enjoyed, that were both fun and helped keep us alert. However, senior communities offer a wealth of activities and opportunities to keep residents going. This may include favorite games like chess, bridge and poker, reading and discussion groups, and interesting classes and lectures on nearly every conceivable topic.
- 7. Making New Friends
Those adults who live alone often run the risk of becoming isolated, which is unhealthy regardless of age. At a senior facility, they can make friends, share meals and enjoy many different festivities with each other. Conversely, those who tend to be more introverted appreciate that privacy is respected, but are still often glad to be around people.
- 8. Finally Feeling Safe
Residents of assisted living facilities can rest easy and securely in the knowledge they are protected from thieves, con-men, and others who would seek to do them harm. They also feel better knowing that the emergency response systems in each apartment, or sometimes on the resident’s in the form of a pendant, is keeping them safe. This takes care of fears of falling and becoming trapped for hours or even days at a time.
However, there are those who are indeed getting along just fine on their own. An assisted living facility isn’t for everyone, but they are helpful for those who are living alone in either unsafe or unhealthy situations, and definitely something to consider.