Do I Still Have My Independence in an Assisted Living Community?

Elderly women in sunglasses and trendy clothes

Yes, you still maintain your independence in assisted living!

A common assisted living (AL) myth is that you lose your freedom of choice after moving into an AL community. This misconception makes many seniors hesitant of looking at senior living options, but we’re here to tell you that this is far from the truth. In fact, many older adults have found that their quality of life greatly improved after making the move.

We want to give you peace of mind when it comes to other questions about your independence. Read on to learn more!

Can I Still Do Things for Myself?

Yes! One of the best parts of assisted living is the relative amount of freedoms entailed. Residents of an assisted living community are not monitored as closely as in nursing homes, and thus have the ability to maintain their usual schedule with extra help in certain areas of daily living, such as:

  • Medication management by medical professionals
  • Help with mobility and movement
  • Bathing, dressing, and personal care services
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Medical care services for different health issues and levels of care needs

However, moving into a senior living community does not mean you have to completely give up doing things for yourself. When it comes to some of the daily activities listed above, you can arrange with the staff what level of help you personally need (while taking into account your safety first).

For example, you may feel you can safely dress yourself, but still require help putting on your shoes. The assisted living caregiver can come in after you get dressed and help you finish up.

Am I Allowed to Leave?

Yes! Another common myth about assisted living is that you are not allowed to leave, which is just not true. In many places, residents are allowed to come and go as they please, provided they are healthy enough to travel and have proper support from a friend or family member. Many places also offer complimentary transportation services, including outings, social life activities, and scheduled transportation to your outside appointments.

Do I Still Have My Privacy?

Yes! You must understand that a senior care community respects your independence and privacy. You may even consider a community that offers ambient monitoring, which is a type of care that uses technology to verify the wellbeing of a resident remotely, so they can respect your privacy while still making sure you stay safe.

Stay Independent! Here’s How:

  • Keep up with hobbies and interests you did at home: Whether this is painting, knitting, reading, or anything else, you can still continue to do the hobbies that make your new living space feel just like home. In fact, you now have MORE time to do these activities now that you are living life free from the responsibilities of household upkeep and daily tasks.
  • Socialize with new and old friends: At your new home, you will be able to connect with new friends who also share your interests and hobbies. But you can also still leave the premises to spend time with old friends at parties, events, gatherings, and holidays.
  • Stay physically active: Physical activity is one of the most important components of your overall health and well-being. It not only has great cardiovascular benefits but can also release endorphins. Plus, if you take daily exercise classes, you are likely to be stronger, more flexible, and more mobile which means you can do things for yourself longer.
  • Bring your pet: Continuing to take care of a pet is a great way to feel independent and add purpose to your retirement years.
  • Take part in outings: The scheduled outings at each retirement community can be found on the community’s activity calendar and are open to all residents. Some examples of outings include trips to local stores, restaurant dining, bus tours, and museum visits. If you are originally from the area that the long-term care community is located in, these outings can help you remain a part of the wider community. If you’re new to the area, you get a chance to explore it and enjoy everything it has to offer.

Contact St. Andrew’s

Communities like St. Andrew’s are designed with independence and luxury in mind, and we look forward to giving you every opportunity to maintain control over your choices and independence, while offering assistance only when you need it.

If you are looking for assisted living for yourself or a loved one, contact us today for more information on care options.

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