One of the most heavily sought after forms of senior housing is assisted living. As its name suggests, these residences “assist” with senior living rather than provide 24-hour constant care. For the most part they assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
Activities of daily living are everyday household activities like: bathing, shaving, cooking, and driving. Essentially, these are mundane tasks that may be physically challenging, but not mentally difficult. For instance, you wouldn’t want a nurse hanging on your every beck and call if your eyesight was failing, instead you’d just need help driving so you don’t find yourself in a dangerous situation. This is why Concierge Care Advisors recommend assisted living for those who need minor- or moderate-care. Specifically, minor care covers things like ADLs, but moderate care is more for those who may have a chronic condition that worsens over time.
The main thing to bear in mind is that the senior living situation is not restrictive. In fact, as we’ve learned from the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) that most people sign up for assisted living simply for help with their daily medications. It’s an interesting finding since these are capable seniors, who may not even need help with ADLs, but they want someone to help them moderate their medication intake since, by the time they reach their late 70’s, seniors may be taking as many as seven different medications.
How Many Seniors Need Help with ADLs?
Contrary to NCAL’s findings in 2011, Medicine Net reported in December 2013 that two-thirds of senior’s need help with the activities of daily living. In fact, the study purports that many seniors need this help because they wait too long before seeking help. Logically, this may be why we’re seeing people transfer to senior housing at younger and younger ages. However, one of the most important points they bring up is how seniors need to adapt to their disability.
Many seniors resort to Durable Medical Equipment (DME) before they necessarily need it and learning to walk or move is pivotal to dealing with a physical disability.
At Concierge Care Advisors, we’re never going to suggest seniors avoid getting DME supplies, especially when Medicare is willing to pay the bill, but it’s important to try and manage without the DME for as long as you can because it will strengthen you in the long run.
It’s a slow process, but hopefully people will start to see the benefit of senior living communities before resorting to DME supplies. One of the main perks about assisted living is you have access to care and can have a routine that benefits your health whereas living independently with DME can make you enfeebled and in worse shape over time. So if you want to add years to your health span, consider elder care early. There’ll also be far more options available to you since many have wait-lists.