What Are The Pros And Cons Of Assisted Living?

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Updated:

Thorough research must be done before deciding which assisted living facility to move into. Also depending on your loved ones' preferences and needs, assisted living may or may not be the best choice for them. So read on to learn more about the pros and cons of assisted living as well as other alternatives to consider.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Assisted Living
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What are the appropriate places for senior adults to live in? When should one move into these facilities? As you or a loved one gets older, it helps to start looking at living arrangement options to transition to like assisted living.

Different facilities have different rules, amenities, and the extent of care they accord to their residents. Choosing what assisted living facility to move into can be challenging, so you must conduct thorough research before deciding. 

Finding the best assisted living facility is key to maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle. A report on NCBI shows that most adults above 65 years old in America live in the community, and about 2% live in assisted living facilities.

It would help to consider several things when choosing an assisted living facility. But first, what is assisted living?

pros and cons of assisted living definition
Having a social life and engaging in fun activities are possible in assisted living facilities.

Definition Of Assisted Living

Assisted living is a facility that offers seniors comfort and community while providing them with access to the care they need. An assisted living facility may be an excellent choice for you or a loved one experiencing difficulty performing menial tasks around the house or fending for themselves.

America Senior Communities statistics show that 76% of residents in assisted living moved in from their homes. Transitioning into assisted living ensures a senior receives the caregiving and support they need.

Assisted living facilities are important because they also offer you the chance to have a social life and indulge in activities that are good for your overall well-being. You get the opportunity to live in a safe environment, make friends, and live independently while also getting occasional help whenever necessary.

Have you been struggling to perform everyday tasks? It may be time to start looking into assisted living facilities.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Assisted Living?

Assisted living facilities are an excellent living opportunity for seniors as they allow them to be independent but still have access to resources for support and assistance. Assisted living may not be the appropriate choice for everyone.

So, how do you determine whether or not assisted living is a good choice for you?

Here are the pros and cons of assisted living that may help you decide whether it is a good choice for you or your loved one.

Top 7 Benefits Of Assisted Living

The pros of assisted living include:

1. Enhanced Healthcare

Assisted living offers seniors a chance at improved healthcare as the trained staff here ensure you are doing well. The staff also ensures you schedule all your medical appointments and get immediate treatment if you develop a new condition.

The team at assisted living closely watches residents for any possible medical concerns or problems. While these facilities typically do not offer medical care, they have medical professionals around in an emergency.

2. Help with Everyday Activities

Living in assisted living ensures you no longer have to perform the day-to-day menial tasks around your home. The staff at assisted living facilities can help you with these tasks while also checking in to ensure you are doing alright. 

3. Social Opportunities

It is essential to socialize more often as you grow older, and assisted living improves your social opportunities. There are several people in the facility with similar interests as you whom you can interact with every day.

You can also meet more people at the assisted living facility during daily activities and events. It is an opportunity for seniors to make friends and share companionship.

4. Retain Your Independence

You do not have to give up your freedom when you move into assisted living. On the contrary, you can maintain your independence and only request support and assistance when necessary. You get to enjoy your hobbies and have control over your routine.

5. Adapt to Your Needs

Assisted living offers you flexible care depending on your specific needs. You can customize your care based on your requirements.

For instance, you can ask for help when you need it, and the staff can occasionally check in on you or choose to have complete care, which includes getting help with your cleaning, cooking, and personal hygiene.

6. Security and Privacy

Living in an assisted living facility guarantees you the ultimate security. You can socialize and take walks without worrying about your safety.

You also have as much privacy as you would at home since the setting is similar to a home. You can socialize and partake in activities in the common areas.

7. Activities

Assisted living facilities offer multiple activities that seniors can participate in and enjoy. These activities include hobby groups, games, trivia, movie nights, and dances.

They also organize a range of other events that seniors can enjoy. You get to choose whether or not you want to take part in an event or an activity.

pros and cons of assisted living cons
Adjusting to a new environment with unfamiliar people can be stressful for your loved one.

Cons Of Assisted Living

As with most things, assisted living has its cons, including:

1. Adjusting Can Be Stressful

Adjusting to the new environment of the assisted living facility can be pretty stressful. Allowing a stranger to take care of you and have some form of control over your everyday routine can be stressful.

You will also be living in a new environment where you do not know anyone, and it may take some time before you get used to living in the facility.

2. No Personalized Care

At assisted living facilities, the staff takes care of different individuals, meaning their entire focus is not on you. You may feel neglected as the staff has to split their energy and attention among many individuals.

If you or a loved one requires more personal care, it will be best to find a well-staffed facility.

3. Roommate(s)

Depending on the assisted living facility you select, you may have a roommate. Having a roommate that you do not know can be challenging if you live alone in your home. 

If you do not get a roommate, it may still be hard to adapt to the concept of communal living in assisted living facilities. If you are not social, it can be challenging to get used to dealing with and seeing the other residents.

4. Lack of Choices

While you may still retain some of your independence when living in an assisted living facility, the freedom is not the same as what you would enjoy in your home. There is a lack of individual choices, including where to eat and your entertainment choices.

Often, you will not have access to your own car and may have to rely on the facility’s transportation to get places. You may also be limited when it comes to what time you can leave the facility. It can cause problems and be frustrating, given that you are used to making all your decisions.

Other personal decisions, like whether or not you can have a pet, are limited in assisted living. Another consideration is that alcohol consumption may be limited or even banned altogether.

Assisted Living Alternatives: What Are Your Options?

If you feel you don’t meet the necessary requirements for assisted living, there are multiple alternatives to assisted living, including:

Respite Care

If you are the primary caregiver of your loved one, respite care offers you a temporary break from caring for your loved one. Respite care can last for a couple of hours or even weeks and reduces any mistakes you may make due to stress or fatigue.

In-Home Care

This option allows seniors to have someone help them with their everyday activities. In-home care can be applied wherever your loved one chooses to live, but it can be costly. Per the US bureau of labor statistics, the national median rate of in-home care is $25 per hour.

Medical Alert System

This involves using various medical alerts that offer both you and your caregiver peace of mind. While medical alerts cannot prevent one from injuring themselves, these devices can be life-saving if one hurts themselves.

Medical alerts include smart technology you can use to measure your heart rate or your blood pressure.

Adult Daycare

Are you the primary caregiver of a loved one but have a busy schedule? You can enroll them in an adult daycare where they can stay during the day and then return home in the evening.

It is a safe program where your loved one receives proper care and a meal while you are away.

Is Assisted Living A Good Choice?

Consumer Affairs statistics show that in the next 10 to 20 years, the assisted living industry is set to accommodate several individuals. It is expected that the number of individuals aged 65 and above will grow by 42% and those over 85 by 111%.

Based on the discussed pros and cons, assisted living is an excellent choice for seniors but is not the proper choice for everyone. For some seniors, assisted living may not be enough.

Assisted living may be a good choice for you if you have been feeling lonely at home and are experiencing difficulty taking care of things around the house. 

On the other hand, if you or a loved one can still perform tasks around the house and enjoy living in your home, you do not have to move into an assisted living facility.

You can procure multiple other senior services to make your life more comfortable if you still want to live in your home.

RELATED: Assisted Living: Ultimate Guide to the Whole (Scary) Process

Final Thoughts

Are you thinking of getting yourself or a loved one into assisted living? You may have to weigh the pros and cons to determine if it is the appropriate choice.

Overall, assisted living facilities are an excellent choice for seniors. They allow them to receive the care and support they need while offering them freedom, the chance to stay active, and social opportunities.

References:

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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