If you’re unfamiliar with senior housing and elder care, then you probably think of it as a last resort; as in, where you’ll end up when you absolutely cannot survive on your own anymore.
Truthfully, while this happens frequently, it’s becoming more and more commonplace for seniors to move into an elder care community at a younger age. The main reason for this is because there are more options and each of them answers each senior’s unique circumstance.
Assisted Living and Activities of Daily Living
One of the most heavily sought after forms of senior housing is assisted living. As its name suggests, these residences “assist” with senior living. For the most part, what they assist with is the Activities of Daily Living (known as ADLs).
Activities of daily living are exactly as their name suggests, everyday household activities. Some examples are bathing, shaving, cooking, driving, etc. Essentially, these are mundane tasks that may be physically challenging, but not mentally. This is why Concierge Care Advisors recommend assisted living for those who need minor- to moderate-care. Minor is help with ADLs, but Moderate is more for those seniors who need mental help as well – since some communities offer Dementia care.
The main thing to bear in mind is that the senior living situation is not restrictive. Assisted living offers transportation, be it to religious services, grocery stores, doctor’s appointments or senior centers.
In fact, as we’ve learned from the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), most people sign up for assisted living for help with medication. It’s an interesting finding since these are capable seniors, who may not even need help with ADLs, but rather, they want someone to help them moderate their medication intake since, by the time they reach their late 70’s, seniors may be taking as many as seven different medications.
How Many Seniors Need Help with ADLs?
Contrary to NCAL’s findings in 2011, Medicine Net reported in December 2013 that two-thirds of senior’s need help with the activities of daily living. In fact, the study purports that many seniors need this help because they wait too long before seeking help. Logically, this may be why we’re seeing people transfer to senior housing at younger and younger ages. However, one of the most important points they bring up is how seniors need to adapt to their disability.
Many seniors resort to Durable Medical Equipment (DME) before they necessarily need it and learning to walk or move is pivotal to dealing with a physical disability.
At Concierge Care Advisors, we’re never going to suggest seniors avoid getting DME supplies, especially when Medicare is willing to pay the bill, but it’s important to try and manage without the DME for as long as you can because it will strengthen you in the long run.