Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Happy National Assisted Living Week!
The week of September 11-17, beginning with Grandparents’ Day, is designated as the week to honor assisted living. This year’s theme is Keep Connected. In 2005, 2% of older adults used social media; today, 35% do. It seems Granny is keeping up with the times!
Social media plays a great role in the lives of many seniors, including residents of assisted living. By staying connected with family members who live far away, they don’t feel as disconnected and lonely. Family members at a distance also appreciate staying “in the loop” with their loved one’s care and lifestyle. One of my residents was reassured to Skype with her grandson while he was deployed in Afghanistan.
The field of assisted living continues to evolve, primarily in response to market demands. There is no standard definition of assisted living due to this ambiguity. For this reason, those potential residents and their families should determine what services they require now, and are likely to require in the next few years. Costs will vary greatly depending upon the services offered. If the loved one can still be independent with many household tasks, can he/she perform them? If the person loses that ability, then can staff supplement and provide assistance?
A valuable guide to help in evaluating needs and making decisions can be found at http://www.helpguide.org/articles/senior-housing/assisted-living-facilities.htm.
During this special week of recognition, let’s express appreciation to the caregivers in assisted living, and recognize the valuable accomplishments that our assisted living residents have made. May our understanding and provision of assisted living services continue to evolve to meet the needs of our beloved seniors!
Contributed by Philip C. DuBois, CNHA, FACHCA
Program Manager, Long Term Care Administration, Saint Joseph's College
Posted by Twila Weiszbrod at 4:00 PM