None of us like the idea of needing assistance as we get older. However, it is the reality for many today. Many older adults will remain in their family home for as long as possible because they want to “remain independent.” In other words, not be dependent on other people in order to stay active. However, this approach is actually counterintuitive, says Amanda Randolph, Administrator of Maple Ridge Senior Living in Ashland, OR.
“Staying independent by continuing to live at home is a bit of a misnomer,” she says. “We’ve seen firsthand that when older adults move to senior living, they actually have the opportunity to become more independent. Oftentimes, seniors who choose to stay at home end up becoming homebound, socially distant and lonely. By contrast, seniors who move to senior living receive the assistance they need in order to be independent – plus they have a whole community of entertainment, friends and activities every day.”
According to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine, two million adults over the age of 65 who live alone are homebound, while an additional five million people are “semi-homebound.” This means that there are seven million older adults who never leave their house – or if they do, it’s with difficulty or they rely on someone else to help them do so. Is that really living independently? Amanda would say no.
“Assisted living still has a bit of a stigma – many of the older generation think that assisted living is another word for nursing home, which it is not,” she says. “Today’s assisted living is focused on helping our elders stay as independent as possible for as long as possible. In most cases, this lifestyle helps seniors become more active, social and engaged than they were while living at home.”
A Supportive Environment
The reason assisted living is called “assisted” living is because it is just that – a lifestyle where caring assistance is provided around-the-clock if and when it’s needed. This doesn’t mean that seniors aren’t able to do anything by themselves. In fact, seniors are encouraged to create the life they want and do everything they want, only receiving assistance in the tasks and duties that they need a helping hand with. For example, you may be completely active and independent but need assistance with medication management. Or you’re relatively active and independent, but sometimes have mobility issues.
In an assisted living community like Maple Ridge Senior Living, residents receive a personalized care plan that’s tailored to their needs, abilities, desires and dreams. Staff members are always on hand to ensure that those needs are met, whether that’s helping the senior to the dining room or providing transportation to doctor’s appointments and lunch outings. It’s really a community lifestyle designed around your specific needs – how amazing is that?
The supportive environment provides peace of mind to seniors and their family members. As we age, it’s a sad fact that living at home can become more dangerous to our health. Falls are the number one reason seniors are admitted to the emergency room – according to the CDC, a full third of older adults fall annually. The injuries sustained in these falls can create a variety of complications. While it’s possible to outfit a home to avoid trip hazards, an assisted living community has been designed with fall prevention measures to help seniors be more mobile and active. (And, of course, there is always staff available to provide swift and professional assistance.)
Another issue experienced by seniors who live at home is malnutrition. Senior nutrition can be a tricky thing, and many older adults who live at home don’t have access to or simply don’t have the desire to create meals that are nutritionally balanced. Over time, this results in poor health, frailty, health issues like hypertension and diabetes and potentially even cognitive decline. Assisted living communities have been designed with on-site, restaurant-quality dining areas with ever-rotating meals and menus created with senior nutrition in mind. Gone are the days of cafeteria-quality, institutional food. Today’s dining venues boast locally sourced ingredients, made-from-scratch dishes, executive chefs and a full culinary staff as well as a personalized approach to dining. Don’t like what’s on the menu? The chef is always happy to prepare a special meal that’s just to your tastes.
An Independent Lifestyle
Loneliness is a real problem for older adults. Many seniors who live by themselves can go days without interacting with another person. Loneliness doesn’t just make us feel sad; it’s actually detrimental to our health. Loneliness can lead to anxiety, stress, depression and potentially even cognitive decline.
Assisted living communities, by contrast, offer our elders a chance to form new friendships, take part in activities and events and find new hobbies to fill their time. You’re surrounded by a community of your peers from day one, all of whom are interested in meeting new people and enjoying what life has to offer. This is great news, because seniors who stay mentally and socially active age better and are more healthy in their golden years than those who are socially isolated.
“We’ve heard from so many of our assisted living residents that they wish they’d moved here sooner,” says Amanda. “That definitely warms my heart. Our whole purpose at Maple Ridge Senior Living is to provide an environment where older adults can thrive mind, body and soul. We are Guided by Goodness, Loyalty, Faith, and Fun and promote meaning and joy in the lives of everyone who calls us home. This should be the time of your life, and we will do everything in our power to provide you with the assistance and avenues to enjoy everything that’s ahead.”
Guided by Goodness, Loyalty, Faith, and Fun.
Maple Ridge Senior Living is a place of vibrancy and life – promoting meaning and joy in the lives of residents, families and our team members. Elders inspire us, motivate us, guide and direct us. As we work to create an empowering, caring, growing culture for elders, we are also creating our own future. After all, we are all elders-in-waiting!
Offering independent living, assisted living and short-term stays, Maple Ridge Senior Living is nestled at the convergence of the Cascade and the Siskiyou Mountain Ranges in Southern Oregon. Our spacious and bright building boasts beautiful valley views surrounded by nature and wildlife while still conveniently close to the center of town. Walk or take a short ride to Lithia Park, the Shakespeare Festival Theatres or Ashland’s downtown plaza for shopping, art galleries, dining and entertainment.
We invite you to schedule a tour and learn more about the services, amenities, care and lifestyle available at Maple Ridge Senior Living. Please call us at 541-238-2070 to schedule your personal tour today.