Making the decision to move into a senior living community may prove difficult, as it is a major life change. People who choose to do so must give up living a more individual lifestyle, which many are accustomed to at this point in life. However, there are several advantages to choosing this lifestyle that should be weighed carefully by seniors, including financial, health and social benefits.
Even though the expense of a senior home may be off-putting, finances can become much more simplified for those who choose to move into a senior living community. This is because most living expenses -- including rent, utility bills and food -- are typically covered under one total fee that is paid to the community. This means that community members can avoid having to juggle a multitude of bills and their due dates and write just one check for everything.
Moving into a senior home or retirement center also means that home repairs and maintenance are no longer a concern. Both the physical labor of trying to keep up a home and the financial strain that costly repairs put on seniors, especially those on a fixed income, are typical causes for concern as individuals get older. Without needing to perform maintenance, residents can use the extra time relaxing, benefiting from less daily stress.
Transportation, which can prove to be a difficult or stressful task for some seniors, may also become less of a concern in a senior living community. In addition to no longer needing to go shopping for groceries and household supplies, many services are located on-site for easy access and less worry. For example, access to medications, nursing staff, doctors and fitness and entertainment classes means that residents no longer need to worry about getting behind the wheel, and they may even enjoy financial benefits from not requiring daily transportation.
The social benefits of living in a senior home are numerous and should not be overlooked, In a senior home, residents can benefit from the daily enjoyment of such activities as exercise classes, games and field trips, which allow them to live full lives and keep busy while establishing friendships and relationships with fellow residents. Possibly even more beneficial is the manner in which living in a senior home gives residents a chance to connect with those who are dealing with the same emotional changes as they are. For example, groups may gather for those individuals who have lost loved ones and are having a difficult time grieving and would benefit from shared time with those who understand how difficult this time of life can be and how one's life is changed afterward.
One of the most difficult tasks for seniors living at home alone is getting proper nutrition. The physical act of cooking and grocery shopping may become difficult or overwhelming, especially when seniors must cook for one, with nutrition falling by the wayside as a result. Senior homes provide meals to their residents and should strive to provide healthful food. In fact, many senior homes advertise that their food is prepared by successful chefs, meaning that food could not only be nutritious but also taste delicious.
Perhaps most importantly, safety may become questionable as seniors begin to have trouble performing daily tasks, such as showering, using the restroom and going up and down stairs on their own. This is especially worrisome if seniors live alone and there is no one nearby who is available for help should an accident occur. Modifications, such as shower rails, can help make daily life easier but can be costly. Senior homes are designed for the easiest mobility for seniors and also provide the comfort of staff members who are nearby to help should a resident require it, which can provide a great sense of relief and lessen fears and anxieties.