How Do Assisted Living Communities Help Seniors Remain Autonomous?
Discover how today’s assisted living communities are making autonomy and self-determination an integral component of many of the services and amenities they offer.
When it comes to being happy and satisfied, few things in life are as essential as feeling like you are in control of what you do and how you live your life. The technical term for this is autonomy, and while it’s vital for people at every stage of life, this sense of being in control becomes more and more important as people get older and need more help which often involves moving into an assisted living community.
This is why answering the question “How do assisted living communities help seniors remain autonomous” is critical.
The term autonomy comes from a combination of the Latin words for “self” and “law”. It basically means the ability to run or govern your own life. Studies have shown that people who have a strong sense of autonomy experience a higher level of psychological health and social interaction as well as a greater feeling of self-esteem and well-being.
Feeling like you’re in control is good for people in all kinds of ways because it promotes:
- Self Sufficiency – Autonomy lets you feel separate rather than dependent in a relationship, and content and complete when you are alone.
- Independence – It gives you the strength to say “no” to things you don’t want to do in the face of pressure from family, friends, or caregivers.
- Authenticity – Instead of being a people pleaser who does things just to keep the peace or make others happy, a person who has a strong sense of autonomy makes decisions based on their own values, beliefs, and needs.
Having a sense of autonomy has many wonderful life-enhancing benefits. Not having it can cause a wide range of problems, including stress, communication problems, anger, and even guilt.
While the decision to move to an assisted living community is one often made in consultation with loved ones, it should ultimately be your choice. And the very good news is being part of an assisted living community can actually offer you more autonomy and choices than you may have now.
Many communities today understand that giving residents the freedom and ability to decide how they want to live their lives is not only empowering, it's essential to enjoying their lives to the fullest.
That means that rather than setting down a strict set of rules for how, what, and when residents can do things, they offer choices that put them in the driver’s seat when it comes to making decisions about how they want to live.
How do assisted living communities help seniors remain autonomous? Here are just a few of the ways they are making sure residents feel empowered and in control of their lives:
- Personalized Living Space
Instead of being saddled with drab standard-issue furniture and décor, assisted living communities now encourage seniors to bring their own bed, comfy recliner, and artwork as well as treasured photographs and keepsakes. Some even allow their residents to choose new paint colors to brighten the walls of their living spaces.
- Menu Choices
Do you love bacon and eggs for breakfast? Do you prefer yogurt and fruit parfaits alongside a healthy salad? What about lobster ravioli with a glass of wine for dinner? Unless you have certain health or dietary restrictions, chances are the choice will be up to you. The same goes for lunch, dinner, and between-meal snacks. Hearty eaters can have a second helping while those who feel best eating less can choose lighter options and portions that aren’t overwhelming. You can pretty much decide what, when, and even where you want to eat. Even taking something back to eat at your place is an option.
- Easy Access to Friends and Family
Instead of having to wait for special social occasions to get together or worrying about the weather or driving at night to enjoy a visit, you can simply stroll down the hall to spend time with your friends whenever you want. Other friends, children and grandchildren can drop by for a visit. Just let them know when a good time is for you, and they’ll be welcomed to see you.
- Lots of Fun Activities to Choose From
Whether you’re laid back and enjoy a low-key movie night or are a social butterfly who likes art classes, card games, or exercise classes; assisted living communities offer a wide range of activities, and you can go to as many or as few as you like.
The bottom line is that today’s assisted living communities are making self-determination an integral component of many of the services and amenities they offer. And that’s something you can feel good about.
MorningStar Senior Living —Assisted Living Community
If your loved one lives far from family and friends, it could be time to move into an assisted living community near their adult children where they’ll have the companionship of fellow seniors and a compassionate service team. At MorningStar Senior Living, a 24/7 team is dedicated to offer care and hospitality services that meet each resident’s social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.