Picking an assisted living facility for an aging loved one is hard. We know because we regularly field questions from family members struggling to make the right choices.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 6 million stroke survivors living in the United States—and nearly 800,000 Americans experience a stroke each year. Strokes are among the leading causes of longterm disability in adults, and their effects often lead to persistent difficulties with the most basic daily tasks.
Moving into a new home is usually exciting, but it can sometimes prove emotionally challenging. The process involves abandoning parts of your past—and leaving a place where you made countless memories. Moving to an assisted living facility can be additionally tricky because it means acknowledging that we're getting older and that we might require help with certain activities.
Contemplating a move from your own home to an assisted living community involves significant consideration. The transition often means dealing with emotional issues and facing unknowns. Making an informed decision becomes even more difficult when you have misinformation.
In the early 1990s, Bill and Julie Thomas began developing a new approach to elder care. Their cutting-edge method, now known as The Eden Alternative, gave nursing home residents greater privacy, independence, and control over their lives. With the goal to improve the wellbeing of older adults, The Eden Alternative aims to eliminate what Bill Thomas calls the “three plagues” commonly found in senior living facilities: loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.
Providing care for an aging family member is almost always a difficult task. The challenge is often intensified when you must be a long-distance caregiver.
Are residents of assisted living facilities forced to leave their homes when they run out of money? Are a facility’s policy decisions based on bottom-line financial results or what’s best for the residents? Answers to those questions could depend on whether the assisted living community is a for-profit or nonprofit organization.
Most senior care facilities set and follow strict itineraries, with prescribed regimens for everything from bedtime to mealtimes. But Sunset Communities subscribes to The Eden Alternative, an approach that actually encourages residents to make their own choices about their daily lives.
As many people know, animals are capable of incredible things. Whether they are saving lives as integral members of a police force, guiding the visually impaired through their daily routines, or showering those around them with unconditional affection, animals positively impact their human companions in ways that we often overlook.
So it should come as no surprise that there are many benefits to allowing care community residents to have pets reside with them. Clinical studies have shown that elders living in residential facilities with animals exhibit less stress than those who do not have a companion pet. Overall wellness is heightened for dog and cat owners, and their quality of life improves as a result.
Human contact with animals triggers an increase in serotonin production, causing a "feel-good" effect and making heart rate and stress levels drop. Lower blood pressure, increased physical activity, and reduced cholesterol have also been linked to pet ownership.
This is a magical time at Sunset Communities, as we watch families reunite to celebrate the holidays. Of course, we also see the stress that the season’s hustle and bustle can cause among our residents. So if you’re planning to visit someone living at Sunset this season—or inviting an elderly loved one to your home holiday gathering—here are some suggestions for keeping the holidays merry.