Most people don’t realize this, but over half of all American seniors live with one or more disabilities. Of course, the variety of disabilities that exists means that everyone is challenged in different ways. Some people can live safely alone but have trouble performing the activities of daily living. Others require round-the-clock help.
What all disabled seniors have in common is that they deserve to live out their retirement years with dignity and maintain as much independence as possible. That’s where senior living options like assisted living communities come in.
How Assisted Living Works?
There are a lot of misconceptions about assisted living. Some associate these communities with general 55+ retirement homes. Both of these assumptions are wrong. In reality, assisted living offers disabled seniors the chance to maintain or regain an independent lifestyle while still getting access to the amenities and assistance they need to be safe.
Can Assisted Living Benefit Disabled Seniors?
Moving to an assisted living community is one of the best choices that disabled seniors can make when it comes to improving their lifestyles and taking care of their health. These communities are designed specifically with the needs of disabled people in mind, in every possible way.
Part of the definition of a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is that it substantially limits one or more major activities of living. In other words, it impedes a person’s ability to maintain an independent lifestyle. The apartments found in assisted living communities are designed to maximize independence. They feature wide doorways to easily accommodate wheelchairs and grab bars and other safety devices in bathrooms but also have kitchenettes, private bedrooms, and everything residents need to enjoy an independent lifestyle.
One of the great things about moving to a home for seniors with disabilities is that there are plenty of options. Some residents continue to cook at home in fully accessible kitchenettes. Others like to eat in restaurant-style dining halls. For those who find that their mobility issues or other disabilities make the effort of cooking full meals too costly, restaurant-style dining can make a large difference in terms of both health and happiness.
Opportunities to Socialize
People with disabilities often experience greater levels of social isolation at any age. For seniors, the situation is even worse. Moving to an assisted living or memory care community gives seniors with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities opportunities to socialize that they would otherwise have missed out on. From formal outings and structured activities to outdoor courtyards and indoor community spaces, there are constant opportunities for making new friends and spending time with old ones.
Improved Relationship With Family
Moving to assisted living doesn’t just offer practical benefits. Residents often report feeling closer to their families, as well. As paradoxical as it may sound, moving away from family caregivers can be beneficial to maintaining a connection. By changing the nature of the relationship between disabled seniors and their adult children and other family members, moving to assisted living can restore feelings of closeness and appreciation.
Signs It’s Time to Consider a Move
Many Americans report wanting to age in place. However, that doesn’t mean they’re stuck with the decision if it turns out that living alone doesn’t meet all of their expectations. When disabling conditions develop, the situation can quickly go from bad to worse for seniors who stubbornly refuse to consider safer, more convenient, and more comfortable options. Experts generally recommend considering a move to assisted living if one or more of these circumstances applies:
- Worsening medical conditions
- Increasing falls or overall frailty
- A decline in the ability to perform basic daily tasks
- Difficulty keeping up with home maintenance
- New or worsening depression
- Social isolation
- The death of a partner
Sometimes, seniors struggling with disabilities aren’t aware of the toll it’s taking on their daily lives. Family members may be the first to notice declining physical, mental, or cognitive health. When that’s the case, loved ones should try to start having conversations about available options in the area to make it clear that their intentions are good and that there are better ways to live.
Disabled Seniors Deserve a Better Lifestyle
Disabled seniors interested in assisted living in Kerrville, TX, will find that they can get all the resources they need at River Point of Kerrville. We are fully committed to making sure that every one of our residents receives not just quality, round-the-clock care but also everything required to continue living life to its fullest. Call (830) 258-4150 to schedule a tour today.