Why It’s Best to Transition to an Assisted Living Community for the Holidays
The holiday season can be a wonderful time of year, but it also can be a lonesome time for seniors living alone at home. The demands of the current holidays, the stress and despair from memories of loved ones passed, and the harsh weather of winter can lead seniors down a road of severe unhappiness.
It can be very challenging for seniors during the holiday season, especially if they still live in their own homes. When families do visit, sometimes the depression is easy to spot – but sometimes it isn’t that simple.
It can often be a struggle for adult-age children to decide what’s best for Mom or Dad when the holidays roll around, especially as their parents grow older and develop the need for a little extra help. Older parents who live independently after their spouse has died can often need assistance sooner than if both parents live into their golden years together. As time goes on, it can be hard to decide when it’s time to consider leaving the home for an extended stay at an assisted living community.
For some, it might be easy to say, “This is the last holiday at home” for their parents, thinking that a final holiday season might be the way to go. But the holidays are one of the best times of year to move into an assisted living community. From a full lineup of activities and a festive atmosphere to more logistical reasons like better units and availability, there’s a few reasons why the holidays are the optimal time to transition a loved one to an assisted living community.
Below are just a few of the reasons the holidays are a great time to make the switch from home living to an extended stay at an assisted living community.
1) The Overall Health of Your Loved One
Let’s begin with the obvious: Well-being is number one. The most important factor in determining when it’s time to go to an assisted living community is when quality of life dips below a certain standard. As we get older, our capacity to take care of ourselves diminishes to the point where you need a little assistance from time to time.
Senior living communities have trained staff that can provide direction on a day to day, or hour to hour basis depending on your present condition.
The holidays come during the dead of winter when it’s cold and influenza (“flu”) season. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the flu this time of year, so it’s important to take that into account. At Premier Senior Living, it’s easy to avoid the hazards of winter sickness.
Our facilities provide a cozy, clean environment where seniors are less likely to be cold, or catch a cold. We have experienced health professionals on site 24/7 who constantly monitor their health and the health of the staff and residents at the community. Our trained staff makes sure all residents are up to date on their medications and vaccinations to help curb the spread of the common cold or influenza.
2) Protection from COVID-19 and Its Variants
The onslaught of COVID-19 and its variants over the past two years has created an extra level of concern and questions for at-home caregivers who are considering moving their loved one to an assisted living community. There is a lot of misinformation floating around and, if you read too much of it, it can be quite scary. The truth is that Premier Senior Living communities are safer than you think. While many hospitals experienced overcrowding and a high death rate, Premier Senior Living communities are vastly less affected.
While our communities did experience some loss during the pandemic, the overall figures were drastically lower than everyday hospitals, and better than the national averages. Our team was able to identify the virus early on and implement measures to stop the spread of the virus in our communities. From improved cleaning regiments to regular (sometimes hourly) testing of key personnel and residents, and anyone who came in or out of our facilities. We took COVID-19 seriously from Day One – and we’re glad we did. Moving forward, our communities will continue to improve our protocols and monitor the situation day to day and from community to community.
Safety is a big concern during the winter months, especially in parts of the country that experience a harsher winter, like the mountains, Great Lakes region, upstate New York and New England. A fall on the ice is a common way seniors end up in the hospital, where they can be susceptible to a lengthy recovery or an infection.
When the winter weather is bad, there is more to do around the home, like shoveling snow and keeping pipes from freezing. Getting out and about can be difficult, too. The longer seniors are out in the cold, the more likely they are to get sick.
At Premier Senior Living communities, seniors don’t have to worry about all that. Our properties are well maintained – and beautiful. Each community is well equipped with everything needed to keep seniors safe and happy. There’s no shoveling snow or hard manual labor. Our staff works hard to ensure our residents are always comfortable and have everything they need at their fingertips.
4) The High Cost of Winter
Maintaining a home during the winter is more costly than during the summer. In addition to high heating bills, there can be extra costs to pay for snow removal, or to fix damage caused by snowfall or freezing. Even if you decide to take preventative measures and winterize the home before winter, there is still a cost involved with that. From putting plastic on windows to fixing cracks and leaks in your home, it can be both costly and physically demanding – two things a senior on a budget doesn’t want to deal with!
Premier Senior Living communities alleviate all those concerns with comfy rooms that offer a personal thermostat in each room. No need to worry about bills – we have you covered. Everything is included as part of your stay. Did we mention most stays are covered by Medicare or Medicaid?
5) Tasty, Warm Meals Delivered Routinely
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, a warm meal on a cold day really hits the spot. During the winter, it can be a pain to go to the grocery store regularly, especially for seniors. It can also be quite demanding to stock up on groceries for a longer period, particularly for those on a fixed budget. And the high cost of living and supply chain shortages caused by COVID-19 aren’t helping anything, that’s for sure.
In our communities, there’s no need to worry about the high cost of food, getting it in your hands, or even preparing it. Premier Senior Living communities offer three nutritious meals a day with lots of healthy, tasty snacks in between. We work with dieticians and have a sophisticated meal program that’s second to none. One of the biggest concerns for our incoming residents is the quality and taste of the food, so we take great measures to make sure our meals taste just like mama used to make (but are maybe a little healthier?).
Most of our communities have done away with the traditional dining hall setup in the wake of COVID-19. What we offer now is a much more personalized dining experience with great food, proper assistance, and a safe space to enjoy our wonderful meals. Our residents’ feedback on our enhanced dining program has been spectacular thus far, and we’re constantly striving to improve it any way we can. Our dining director is one of the best in the business!
6) Do Away with Isolation and Boredom
For a caregiver, there’s nothing more deflating than seeing your loved one depressed or sad. This is often caused by a sense of isolation from the rest of the world, or simple boredom. It gets awfully lonely living by yourself, especially if there aren’t daily visitors or regular interaction. It’s a sad fact, but there are a lot of seniors who live at home alone and don’t talk or interact with anyone on a regular basis. Sometimes, their grown children live far away and don’t visit or call regularly, and some never had children in the first place.
Families coming home and finding loved ones declined is often how a conversation about assisted living begins. Moving into an assisted living community can help seniors stay active, even when the weather isn’t that great.
Premier Senior Living communities have all types of activities to keep seniors active and moving. Most activities are just steps from their accommodations, so it’s easy to get to and readily available. There’s not even a need to go outside in many instances!
Being active and creating a sense of friendship and camaraderie with other residents is a perfect way to alleviate the winter blues. During the holidays, Premier Senior Living communities offer a bustling schedule of themed parties, programming and events.
It’s hard to be bored or lonely when there’s so much to do — and so many new people to meet!
Getting Moved In Before the Holidays
Premier Senior Living communities are ready to accommodate you!
We have communities in Michigan, Ohio, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania that have open space for extended stays during the holiday season.
Life at Premier Senior Living enhances the lives of our seniors by providing a cozy, home-like atmosphere with the advantages of living in an active community. From concerts, holiday celebrations and parties to trips to local restaurants and Wii-bowling tournaments – the residents of our senior communities are regularly stimulated with activities of their choosing. We encourage participation in as many activities as possible, in a relaxed environment.