What is the first image that pops up in your mind when you hear the notion ‘Assisted Living’? For me, it is a group of joyful seniors, sipping tea on a back porch garden overlooking a calm lake. They are smiling, chatting, and enjoying each other’s company. They are just finishing their tea break and heading off to the afternoon round of bingo or to see a short musical performance. Doesn’t it sound heavenly? Fortunately, this is not just my imagination.
An Assisted Living Residence is defined as a housing facility for people who are not able to or choose not to live independently, and require supervision or certain assistance with everyday activities. Currently, there are approximately 700,000 people living in such facilities in the U.S, and although the vast majority of residents are over 84 years old, the facilities are aimed at providing proper care and safe living conditions for anyone who is in need thereof, regardless of age.
What distinguishes assisted living facilities, is that the residents have the opportunity to remain quite independent and preserve their privacy. The facility is obliged to provide each resident with a private or semi-private room consisting of a bedroom, bathroom and sometimes even a small kitchenette. That way, the seniors receive special assistance with performing household chores, such as changing the sheets, doing the laundry, etc., but may also choose to remain independent in other daily activities. This allows the residents to feel that they are still in control and do not need to depend completely on other people. This conviction is crucial for the well-being of seniors who often have difficulty coming to terms with their aging and lack of self-reliance.
All of that sounds great but it is merely a fraction of what the assisted living facilities have to offer. The majority of residents do not require intensive medical care. It is rather a matter of managing the medication, giving insulin injections or simply arranging proper medical services. That being said, the facilities’ main purpose isn’t to provide round-the-clock medical supervision, but rather to entertain. This is why the residents of such facilities are provided with a plethora of different activities and events which cater to their interests. Ranging from book clubs, chess and music lessons to musical performances and magic shows. The seniors have the opportunity to interact with other dwellers who share their interests and create new bonds which may play a significant role in their aging process. The new friendships and newly kindled interests may be what helps them regain happiness and meaning of life.
In addition to medical care and entertainment, all the necessary facilities, such as shops, hair salons, and fitness centers, may be found on the premises of assisted living residences.
Such convenience reduces the unnecessary stress connected with transportation and makes the seniors feel as independent as ever. Moreover, some of the sports facilities located on the premises, organize special training courses adjusted to the capabilities of the participants. This fosters physical activity among the residents, and as we are all well aware, physical activity is the key to health and happiness!
I could go on and on about the benefits of residing in an assisted living facility, but I think it is already quite evident how wonderful it is. Such a place could completely change the seniors’ approach to life, especially those who have been lonely for a while. The company of other residents and various activities that they are presented with on a daily basis can make them regain happiness and ultimately lead to better health and peaceful old age.
Testimony of Russell Stallone, son of Ann Stallone, resident of St. Joseph’s Assisted Living
Our mother became a resident at St. Joseph’s Assisted Living in December 2017 at the age of 99.
The care she has received at St. Joseph’s since that time has contributed to a marked improvement in both her mental and physical health.
She has become much sharper mentally now than she was at the time of admission, primarily due to social contact with the staff and the other residents. Her physical mobility has also improved dramatically since she is no longer confined to the small apartment living-room space she had occupied when at home, and because she is able active by visiting the communal rooms at St. Joseph’s.
Our mother’s medical needs are also being well provided for by the helpful nursing staff and where warranted, by visiting physicians provided by arrangements with St. Joseph’s.
The staff at St. Joseph’s couldn’t be more friendly and helpful both to the residents and visiting family members. They have always displayed a cheerful and welcoming demeanor at all times that we have visited the facility.
I would heartily recommend St. Joseph’s Assisted Living to any family which is need of elder care, to ensure your peace of mind that your loved ones are being well provided for.