female nurse helping senior female patient
Front view of mixed race female nurse helping senior African American female patient to stand with walker at nursing home

Good elderly care is important. Whether you are an assisted living patient yourself or looking for care services for a loved one, you might have some questions about the world of assisted living. For anyone new to assisted living services, it can be helpful to learn more about how to maximize the experience. 

Keep reading for some great tips on how to make the most of assisted living services.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living can be defined as a lifestyle for elderly people who cannot or choose not to live independently. Assisted living services involve the help of caregivers who support their patients in a variety of ways. This can range from periodic check-ins to around-the-clock care. 

Typical assisted living services can vary depending on the level of care needed. However, there are a number of common activities you can expect from a caregiver, including:

  • Mobility support
  • Doing chores (laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.)
  • Assistance with morning and bedtime routine
  • Help with hygiene and bathing
  • Medication reminders

Most people think of assisted living as occurring in a residential facility. While this is a popular form of care for many seniors, there are multiple approaches to assisted living. This includes assisted living in a residential community and in-home assisted living. 

Make Yourself Comfortable

Assisted living patients can benefit greatly by becoming comfortable with the care they are receiving. Some elderly care patients might have trouble accepting assistance and support at first. It can be scary to accept help from others, especially when it requires putting your trust in new caregivers.

For patients, being comfortable with their living space and their caregivers can help make care more enjoyable. Family members can participate in this process as well. If you have a loved one utilizing assisted living, you can contribute to making them more comfortable with the situation.

Lead by example. Help make their living space comfortable, stay open-minded, ask for help when needed, and get to know your loved one’s caregivers. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

Many elderly care patients struggle to ask for help, even when they need it. This can be difficult for family caregivers as well. For both parties, reaching out for help can go a long way.

Assisted living services are intended to make people’s lives easier. While it may feel difficult at first, elderly patients should be encouraged to voice their needs with their caregivers. 

If you have an elderly parent or loved one in assisted living, you can have an active role in this practice. Reach out to your loved one’s caregivers if you want to advocate for their needs. Sometimes when patients struggle to ask for help, it can be beneficial to have a loved one speak up for them.

Reevaluate Regularly

An elderly patient’s care needs often evolve and progress. Someone who begins assisted living with a low level of care is likely to need increased assistance as they age further. This is why reevaluating a patient’s care needs regularly is important.

Patients can consult with both their doctors and caregivers periodically to make sure they are receiving the proper level of assistance. If you are responsible for an elderly loved one, you can help reevaluate their needs.

Consult with their primary physician, as well as their caregivers and care agency on a regular basis. Be prepared to increase their care if they become less independent for any reason.

Reacting to accidents and illness is also important. When a senior has a hospital visit, major surgery, or develops a new or worsening condition, it is probably a good time to reevaluate their caregiving needs.  

Connect and Communicate With Caregivers

Getting to know caregivers is one of the most important and most helpful ways to maximize the assisted living experience. Connecting and communicating with caregivers can greatly increase the quality of care for care patients. When a caregiver knows their patients well, they can better respond to their needs.

Having a good relationship with caregivers can also make assisted living more enjoyable. Many care patients build close friendships and connections with their caregivers. This is a beautiful occurrence that often brings joy and compassion to people’s elderly years. 

Ideally, assisted living is a positive experience for elderly care patients. With good caregivers and ample support, patients can enjoy their golden years with help along the way.