Rediscovering Independence in Retirement With Residential Senior Living

Throughout our lifetimes, we become accustomed to living independently, running on our schedule, and making our own choices. Retaining this level of independence is a common goal for seniors in retirement, but aging can present many obstacles that make it difficult to achieve. Residential assisted living can offer a solution, providing personalized support while allowing seniors to retain the valued independence they desire.

Why is Independence a Priority for Seniors?

Maintaining a safe level of independence can be physically and mentally beneficial during retirement. From a physical standpoint, completing tasks independently can help seniors maintain strength and balance to reduce their risk of experiencing a fall or accident. Running errands and pursuing hobbies independently promote feelings of accomplishment, purpose, and life satisfaction. 

What is Residential Assisted Living?

In a community like Silverleaf Eldercare, seniors reside in a fully accessible yet beautiful home-like environment, typically alongside a small number of other residents. Key benefits of residential senior living include freshly prepared nutritious meals, access to a strong social circle, 24/7 caregiver support, and a range of physical, social, and recreational activities. With these benefits considered, moving to residential assisted living can truly support a senior’s desire to live with the freedom, independence, and dignity they deserve.

Key Independence Barriers (and How Residential Assisted Living Can Help)

Inaccessibly Designed Homes

Aging adults have often lived in the same home for many years. If they moved in long before considering their needs as a senior, their home may begin to present a range of barriers preventing independent living. For example, uneven stairs, low bathtubs, high cupboards, and poorly lit rooms and corridors can become burdensome. If a senior starts to require extensive physical support from family caregivers, they may feel less independent in their own home.

How Residential Assisted Living Can Help:

Senior living communities are mindfully built to promote independence and safety down to the finest detail. For example, bathrooms are adapted to help residents bathe and use the toilet as independently as possible, and ground-floor or elevator-accessed bedrooms are typically available. Other features like zero-transition flooring, lowered windowsills, and sturdy grab bars also support residents with poor mobility.

Physical and Social Isolation

Seniors may face various challenges that lead to them becoming physically or socially isolated. For example, they may lose a spouse, close relative, or friend with a health condition preventing them from getting out into the community or driving. Risks associated with isolation include loneliness, heightened stress levels, and depression. Social isolation may even impact a senior’s physical health, potentially contributing to reduced cardiovascular function and impaired immunity. Naturally, being isolated may also negatively impact a senior’s independence. 

How Residential Assisted Living Can Help:

In a senior living community, residents are constantly surrounded by a wide social circle they can turn to for support and companionship. This circle includes other residents, family caregivers, medical professionals, and highly trained caregivers committed to promoting choice and independence. Many senior living communities also offer transportation to local towns and may even plan organized outings for residents to enjoy as and when they please.

Financial Difficulties

The costs of hiring caregiving services and making practical home adaptations that allow a person to remain independent can add up. For example, a senior may require a fully adapted bathroom and installation of a stair lift or grab bars to conduct activities of daily living (ADLs) independently. If they (or their family caregivers) cannot afford these provisions on top of general home maintenance, their independence could suffer.

How Residential Assisted Living Can Help:

Residential assisted living provides seniors with all they need to stay independent, often covered by a straightforward fee. This includes everything from specially adapted facilities and access to professional caregivers to recreational activities and nutritious meals. While it’s commonly assumed that residential assisted living is costly, paying separately for each service needed to promote optimum independence is often much more expensive. 

Health Conditions

One of the most significant barriers to independence seniors face is developing or worsening health conditions. Illnesses like arthritis can make moving around the home or traveling independently much more complex, and conditions like diabetes, macular degeneration or heart disease may become harder to manage without significant support. 

How Residential Assisted Living Can Help:

In residential assisted living, resident well-being is always the top priority. Holistic, 24/7 care allows seniors to receive the proper physical support, nutrition that meets their dietary requirements, and constant opportunities to socialize and engage in meaningful pursuits. With improved mental and physical well-being, seniors feel empowered to stay independent and enjoy a rich lifestyle that meets their every need.

At Silverleaf Eldercare, we see the benefits of independence in our residents daily. Here are just a few of the essential ways we promote independence in our community:

    • An excellent 1:6 staff-to-resident ratio gives our caregivers the time to offer each resident tailored support. With this, seniors can complete ADLs as independently as possible, benefiting from the proper assistance.
    • Our home incorporates innovative, accessible design throughout to facilitate greater independence. For example, each bathroom features a high toilet with armrests and a zero-entry shower with a comfortable seat.
    • iN2L allows residents to access social, educational, physical, and spiritual content that aligns with their interests.
    • CarePredict helps prevent falls and improve staff response rates, reducing the risk of injuries that may hinder a senior’s independence.
    • Chef-prepared meals can be tailored to suit residents’ individual preferences and dietary needs. 
    • A calendar of activities allows residents to pursue hobbies, interests, and social connections that suit their schedules and interests.
  • We seamlessly coordinate with other medical professionals, including physical therapists, physicians, and specialists, helping residents effectively manage health conditions that could otherwise reduce their independence.

Give us a call today to discover more about Silverleaf Eldercare’s commitment to senior independence. We welcome seniors and family caregivers to take a guided tour of the nurturing community we’re proud to have built.