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Family Matters: The positive impact of senior living on families

Each year, The National Health Care Association designates one week as National Assisted Living Week. This year, the theme of National Assisted Living Week is Family is Forever. As we gear up for our celebration, we’re reminded of these examples of how senior living helps families:

#1. Quality vs. Quantity

As many caregivers can attest, a large portion of their daily schedule revolves around caregiving, but very little of their daily routine is dedicated to quality time spent together with their aging loved one. Instead, most caregivers’ calendars are packed with rides to doctors’ appointments, trips to the pharmacy, and time spent trying to juggle the responsibilities of work and family while keeping their loved one healthy and safe. As a result, nearly 80% of caregivers report having strained relationships with their loved ones, and many caregivers report high levels of stress, depression and other detriments to their emotional health.

Compare those statistics with those of families who chose senior living. During a recent study, 73% of families agreed that  quality of life had improved, for them and their aging loved one, after making the move to Assisted Living or Memory Care. Likewise, 50%  noticed a positive change in their relationship with their senior loved one. Some factors they took into consideration were less overall stress and more quality time spent together.

#2. The Price is Right

Balancing financial obligations is a major concern for a lot of families with aging loved ones.  Although the cost of Assisted Living can be daunting, caregivers are urged to consider the cost of at-home care, which is also on the rise.  Plus, since Assisted Living and Memory Support care plans are a fixed rate, families can budget wisely and avoid unexpected costs.

#3. Play It Safe

If you visit any senior living community’s website, you’ll probably see at least one or two bulleted lists outlining amenities, or “what’s included,” but don’t let your understanding of Assisted Living’s value stop there.  Arguably, some of the most important benefits of senior living will never make it onto a bulleted list.  Knowing that your mom isn’t eating cereal for dinner every night because it’s too hard to cook for one, or that if your dad falls someone will be there to help him back up, are invaluable. Knowing that the mothers, fathers, grandmas, and grandpas whose roles are so intricately woven into the patchwork of our families, are being cared for is arguably the best reason to celebrate National Assisted Living Week.

For more information on National Assisted Living Week 2017, visit www.nalw.org.