Choosing among retirement residences as a living arrangement can be a very difficult decision for a family to make. An elderly individual, or couple, along with their adult children, will have to together arrive at a decision that allows not only their basic day-to-day activities taken care of, but also their emotional and social well-being as well. There are a variety of considerations that uniquely address the mental health predicaments of the elderly that are essential to take into account.
Ensuring that the assisted living centers have not just an opportunity but structured activities that ensure that tenants commune with each other to share ideas, experiences, stories, and memories is an essential consideration, arguably more important than even the physical quality or luxury of the facilities themselves. Structured social events where meeting, outings, dancing, and even dating are of immeasurable value. Openness to continuous new ideas and inputs for group activities is even more important.
A variety of long term care challenges start to fall on the shoulders of the elderly, including distance from loved ones, loss of various physical and mental faculties, and ultimately coming to terms with our mortality. Ensuring not just availability of any counsellor but a counsellor who intimately connects with the tenants state-of-mind is important even if a tenant might appear to be otherwise healthy or in good-spirits. Counselling isn’t just for those who might be experiencing mental health challenges right now but a preventative measure that ensures individuals are able to cope or find support through various life transitions during the duration of his or her time at the residence.
Being of Value
Ensuring that an elderly person not only feels of value, but can be of maximum value, to the people around and even society-at-large is of unspeakable value. This ensures that the long-term care period isn’t felt like a waste but an opportunity to express the unique gifts that a person has to offer the world.
Thus, programs that encourage outreach of the elderly tenant including visiting business start-up facilities, schools, colleges, and even nursing homes can ensure that the process of learning and sharing one’s value never stops in one’s life. The feeling of helplessness and despair that is prevalent among the elderly can not only be kept at bay but flipped on its head by allowing them to offer mentorship, guidance, support, encouragement and insight to others.
The challenges facing an elderly person who enter into retirement homes are fairly universal. They will each have to come to terms with aging, losing their loved ones, distance from their children and family, and their own mortality. Thus, how one navigates the mental-health issues through these later years is critical to the well-being and life satisfaction of the tenant during these years. If you want to learn more, you may find more information at Sienna Living.