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Assisted living

Posted August 14, 2013 in Altoona, Advice Column, Ankeny, Pleasant Hill

We talked last month about the first step in the continuum of care, which is independent living.  This “worry-free” lifestyle gives seniors the opportunity to live doing the things they enjoy, instead of spending their time keeping up with home maintenance.

As the years go by, there may be a need to consider assisted living.  People who are appropriate for assisted living are ready to receive some help with personal cares, grooming, meals and housekeeping. They also may want some help managing their medications and appreciate the security of knowing there are people available to attend to their needs. Assisted living is unique in the fact that seniors can have their own apartment and independence, while at the same time have peace of mind knowing that help is available when needed.

I think another important benefit of assisted living is the fact that there are usually a variety of activities that are planned to fill the hours. I have seen how the social aspect of this lifestyle can positively affect the overall well being of an elderly person. I don’t think we ever outgrow the need for friendships and for staying challenged and productive.

A term that you may hear when exploring assisted living is ADL. That stands for activities of daily living. Those are activities that most of us take for granted until we can’t do them anymore — walking, showering, dressing, etc. Assisted living personnel can provide assistance with these types of things.

Assisted living is a fairly new concept. There is the misnomer that it is an institutional type of setting. You will be amazed at the beautiful assisted living options that are in the metro Des Moines area. I’m thankful that this option continues to grow, allowing seniors to stay safe and independent as possible for as long as they can.

Next month we will talk about the next step on the journey — skilled nursing care.

Information provided by Shelly Charter, Valley View Village, 2571 Guthrie Ave., Des Moines, 265-2571.

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