Assisted Living vs. Other Senior Care Services

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Maryellen,

Why should I choose Assisted Living over other senior living settings? -Jay, East Williston, NY

Dear Jay,

In a word, I would say “engagement.” One of the most important things seniors lose with age is their sense of daily purpose – of usefulness and involvement. Their children are grown and busy. Their friends and family have moved away or passed on. Sadly, they spend a good part of their day contemplating the same.

Unlike nursing home care or in-home supervised care, I prefer Assisted Living because the lifestyle is social – not clinical. The Assisted Living day is focused on activity, on interacting with friends and staff, and on residents being as involved as they want to be. When residents seek privacy, they can retire to their rooms; however, they must come out to share meals, so socialization is built into the lifestyle. With the many programs, events and activities that are available, it’s like living in a hotel – and in the best cases, a fine hotel. There are housekeeping services and laundry services. Meals are served formally by a dining room wait staff. And mind you, this is not hospital food. This is delicious gourmet fare, nutritionally balanced for each resident’s individual dietary needs. Likely, there’s an onsite gym to help keep the body well and moving. There are people around 24/7. Medications are planned and consistently given, and doctors and physical therapists come to visit the community on a routine basis, sparing children from having to miss work to help parents keep their appointments. And there are endless movies, trips, computer classes, workshops and seminars to keep the mind sharp.

In short, it becomes “home” with new freedom, where residents, friends and family come and go as they please. Assisted Living residents don’t feel like they are being “put away.” In fact, it’s just the opposite; they experience a whole new lifestyle – one that ensures safe, secure, fun and active community-based involvement. It’s living, Jay, Assisted Living… life with a little help.

Maryellen McKeon

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