Elder Care and the Continued Joy of Life in the Later Years


We human beings are social creatures. Even introverts need connection sometimes. It is nearly impossible to get through a lifetime completely alone, whether you prefer solitude or social scenes. This is how we learn, grow, and develop, from young ages in play groups and school systems, to clubs, organizations, and businesses through adulthood. Not only are multiple minds working together to solve a problem better than a single one attempting to go it alone, but interaction is necessary on an emotional level as well. It is in our nature to connect and share. This does not change as we age.

Elder care and senior housing

Society has put a very unfortunate, unfair, and unrealistic stigma on aging in general. Our gaze is constantly redirected by media to the younger look. Airbrushing and photoshopping lie about what real people look like, and rarely do you find models over the age of 40, and for women that number is often much lower.

So it is no surprise that very few people enjoy thinking about aging or what will happen when they start to lose skills or basic abilities they once possessed. Elder care facilities are often seen as places to avoid or not needed, but this too is an inaccurate portrayal. Finding a place that will help you function on a daily basis that will also provide a community of individuals like yourself for you to befriend sounds like a pretty good deal.

An eye on elder care and what is provided

Society and the media provide us with ample reasons, stigmas, and concocted fears to want to avoid growing older, or to avoid ending up in an assisted living community. But society needs to change its perspective, or we need to shift that perspective ourselves so that it becomes the norm. Aging is beautiful. Growing older means that you have seen more beauty, have learned more lessons, have more knowledge, wisdom, humor, and simple insight to impart. You have been around to endure and enjoy what life has brought to you, and you should be revered for that.

Elder care in retirement facilities and other adult communities can cover a pretty wide range of services. For some, senior care is pretty in depth, if there are medical conditions or physical limitations that require more assistance, which is, again, simply a part of aging. These types of facilities can have service and care available 24 hours a day and not only provide the main meals of the day as well as snacks but also encourage and promote wellness, independence and community. Many of these types of residences will have services covering health care, personal care, medication, social services, laundry and housekeeping, transportation and basic apartment or home maintenance.

Preparing for the future
Partially because of society\’s stigma and how we are brought up viewing age, and partly because most people love their independence and do not like the thought of needing assistance, there is a great underestimation of the likelihood of needing long term care later on in life. Only about 37% of people over the age of 50 believe that they might need long term care in the future, but the truth is that a much greater number, 70%, will eventually need extra help.

And when you do get to that point, or you are helping a loved one transition to a new home, there are many options available to you. About 60% of residents who responded to one survey said that they visited at least two residential communities before making a final decision. The reputation of a facility accounted for the deciding factor of about 44% of those contemplating their new homes, while about 40% were concerned with the location of the community.

Whatever the main reason for choosing their new community, there are always going to be new things to look forward to. One study showed that becoming a part of an independent living community during retirement allows for a greater likelihood of meeting new people, developing new friendships, and attempting new activities or adventures. Many people find the experience to be much more pleasant and enjoyable than their initial fears had them anticipating.