The demand for age-friendly accommodations and neighborhoods has expanded alongside the senior population. In fact, in recent decades the percentage of people settling in senior living communities has increased across all age groups from 65-90.
Today’s older adults have greater wealth than past generations and can afford the best life has to offer - beautiful settings, tailored social activities, fitness programming, exercise facilities, formal dining, and adventure. These highly resourced and active seniors and their families are forward-thinking and therefore desire communities that also have assisted living as a continuing care option. If you are one such person or looking on someone else’s behalf, this article can help you determine
- The best time to begin the search.
- The right age to consider assisted living.
- Key information to expect in making a choice.
The best or “right” time to begin the search for assisted living (AL) is anytime there is a valid concern about a senior’s ability to live alone. Later in life - maybe because of health problems like a fall or other health event - completing activities of daily living (ADLs) like regular bathing are increasingly difficult. Interestingly in Tennessee alone, almost half of all adults in AL are living with a form of dementia.
Grocery shopping and meal preparation may grow challenging due to transportation issues, fatigue, or low vision. If you are a child or caretaker of an older adult, you may be helping as much as you can and cannot be present around the clock. Perhaps you’ve been asked to aid in finding a new living arrangement because the individual can no longer safely navigate their home.
Other signs that it may be time for assisted living include:
- Trouble managing household tasks like cleaning or garbage removal
- Inability to transfer independently
- Frequent medication errors or omissions
- Weight loss related to poor intake
- Depression due to social isolation, loss, or boredom
- Lack of transportation to medical and other appointments
What Assisted Living Offers
Assisted living provides extra help with the functional and essential tasks listed above. Seniors who are forgetful might need medication reminders and administration. Access to nutritious snacks and appetizing meals prepared by culinary professionals is another significant benefit of living within an AL community. Personal care team members assist seniors with ADLs such as mobility, grooming, dressing, or bathing. Care services are tailored to the resident’s needs and planned according to that individual’s priorities.
Life at Hearthside Senior Living
Life in assisted living at Hearthside means the opportunity to enjoy a safe, comfortable lifestyle with private apartments, ample peer interaction, and individualized attention. Located in charming Lebanon, TN, Hearthside Senior Living provides just this kind of welcome as well as offers the following all-inclusive services:
- Daily social activities
- Fresh towels and linens
- Medication management
- Basic cable television
- Internet (wifi)
- Resident assistance 24/7
A defining characteristic of life at Hearthside is the focus on spiritual community. Hearthside was developed by placing Christian ministry at the center of their operations. The opportunity for Sunday worship in the community is a weekly highlight for many residents.
Age of Assisted Living Residents
The age of older adults moving to AL communities is actually decreasing. For decades the average age of an assisted living resident has been well past age 80. In Tennessee specifically, 54% of AL residents are over age 85. According to the American Senior Housing Association (ASHA), today’s AL residents are predominantly female and around 87 years old. Data also suggests that assisted living residents typically require help with at least two ADLs.
Some seniors choose the traditional retirement age of about 65 to switch to assisted living. This age can be a minimum requirement in some communities. The current trend is for transition between the ages of 75 and 84. It should be noted, however, that the greatest increase is among those 70 to 79 years old, which is indeed a younger cohort!
In truth, there is no prescribed “right age” for assisted living. The choice is a personal one. The decision can be made as soon as individuals no longer wish to live alone or can no longer live independently.
Assisted Living Near You
You may now be wondering, “Where are assisted living places near me or my family member?”
In Middle Tennessee, Hearthside is a nonprofit senior residential community focused on helping older adults make the most out of life. Potential residents and their families will find Hearthside conveniently located less than an hour east of Nashville. Seniors can live independently and securely while remaining fully engaged in life - even if they need extra assistance down the road.
For more information - please contact an assisted living expert at Hearthside today!