Making the decision to explore retirement living options does not have to be stressful. There are different types of retirement homes, and finding the right fit for a family member can begin with an exploratory search online. For the most part, long-term skilled nursing care facilities can be a good fit if a loved one struggles with dementia or other illness that affects their ability to live alone.
One of the most positive aspects of finding reputable retirement communities that provide nursing care is knowing that family members are receiving care at all times of day. Skilled nursing staff keep track of residents who are at risk for falling or wandering, and take the required safety precautions. Typically, long-term skilled nursing care facilities encourage residents to exercise and to take regular walks; weekly exercise and music classes can be a highly enjoyable part of a resident’s schedule in a senior care community.
About three out of every four residents in retirement communities have a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and staff typically take care of administering medication to residents on a daily basis. Most nursing homes also provide transportation to offsite activities such as music concerts, shopping, and physical therapy. Finding a skilled care nursing facility where residents are comfortable and happy can allow family members to feel more comfortable with making the transition to a secured care environment.
Making new friends is encouraged, and long-term skilled nursing facilities offer residents the chance to spend time talking to one another. Watching movies, listening to music, and perusing magazines can all be therapeutic for residents who were previously living alone. Having the companionship of fellow residents and nursing staff can go a long way toward alleviating the depression that can sometimes accompany the process of growing older and having to make major life changes.
Perhaps the most important part of any long-term skilled nursing care program is having friends and family come to visit on a regular basis. Some nursing homes encourage residents to go on social outings and trips away from the facility. As long as the trip does not pose a health or safety risk to the resident, family members can work with staff to prepare for short, offsite trips.
Some seniors without major health care issues find that they want to relocate to a retirement community for safety and companionship. Independent seniors may want to maintain their own apartments and have occasional visits from health care staff to check blood pressure, administer medication, or deliver meals. In general, finding a safe place to live that offers regular opportunities for entertainment, socialization, and reflection can be essential to older adults who in the process of making long-term changes in their living situations.