The transition experience into senior living can vary between individuals. But one important thing to remember is that moving into assisted living doesn’t mean a loss of independence—it’s a time to explore an exciting new way of life. You can maintain independence in assisted living by personalizing your living space, staying active, speaking up, enjoying the amenities, and staying connected to your loved ones.
Maintaining your independence when living in an assisted living community is likely much easier than one might think because of the support systems these communities have. The compassionate team of caregivers in an assisted living community are trained and ready to assist residents in maintaining their independence as safely as possible.
What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a senior housing option that provides older adults with support for activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing, dressing, eating, or using the washroom. These communities typically offer private or shared apartments with access to staff members who can assist as needed.
Seniors who feel isolated living alone but don’t require the high level of medical care provided in a nursing home or the specialized care of memory care could benefit from calling an assisted living community home.
Benefits of Assisted Living
Assistance with their ADLs isn’t the only thing that a senior can typically expect in an assisted living community. Other services, such as nutritious meals, housekeeping services, transportation, or on-site medical care, are often offered as part of the senior living experience.
The available services and benefits may vary between communities, so it’s important to consider this ahead of time to ensure your loved one is getting the care that best matches their needs.
Maintaining Independence in Assisted Living
There isn’t one single strategy to staying independent in assisted living. Caregivers will typically do their best to help seniors hold onto their independence, but it takes a little effort on the senior’s part to communicate their wants and needs.
Personalize Your Living Space
One of the benefits of assisted living is that you don’t have to worry about maintaining your own home. But that doesn’t mean you can’t personalize your living space. Putting up pictures, arranging your furniture in a way that’s comfortable for you, and bringing familiar items from home can make a big difference in how you feel.
Feeling comfortable and at home in your space can help you maintain a sense of independence and control over your life.
Stay Active & Engaged
Assisted living communities often offer a range of ways to keep residents engaged. Participating in activities and joining groups can help you find meaning in your day-to-day life and stay connected with others.
Exercise classes, learning opportunities, and volunteer work are all great ways to stay active and engaged. You can maintain your independence and a sense of purpose in your new home by keeping your mind and body active.
Speak Up & Stay in Control
It’s easy to feel like you’ve lost control of your life in a new environment, but remember that you still have agency over many of your life’s aspects. Don’t be afraid to speak up and advocate for yourself. If something isn’t working, speak to the staff and ask for what you need.
Many senior living communities are very accommodating and will work with you to craft a personalized care plan that meets your needs. You’re more likely to maintain confidence and independence when you feel heard and in control.
Enjoy the Amenities
Assisted living communities often provide a range of amenities and services that can make life easier and more enjoyable. Take advantage of these! If there are on-site meals provided, enjoy them. If transportation is provided, use it to participate in activities and explore your new surroundings.
Getting to know the community and taking advantage of the amenities can help you feel more confident and independent.
Stay Connected to Family & Friends
Don’t forget the importance of your support network. Moving into assisted living doesn’t mean shutting out family and friends. Involve your loved ones in your new life by inviting them to visit and participate in activities with you.
Maintaining connections with family and friends can help you feel supported and loved, even in a new environment. You can also ask your loved ones to write letters or send care packages to help you feel connected to them between visits.
We Are Here to Support You in Your Independence
We all have different personalities. And while one senior may fit right into a new routine without feeling like they’re losing their independence, another may struggle to balance all the changes happening in their life. This is why it’s essential to find a community with a team dedicated to the growth and fulfillment of its residents.
Contact us to book a community tour at the Legacy at Santa Fe. We’re happy to show you the level of care and support your loved one can expect when calling our community home.