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Specializing in Senior Housing and Long-Term Care Development, Marketing, & Management
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04 Mar 13 Senior Living Development Makes Me Happy Because…

After 16 years of working in senior living, I am still refreshed to see the positive impact long-term care has on the lives of so many people. From staffs who genuinely enjoy the people they serve to exhausted families that can now focus on quality time with mom, senior living is a benefit to many.

Assisted living is a long-term care option preferred by individuals and their families because of its emphasis on resident choice, dignity, and privacy. There are 35 licensed assisted living communities in Oklahoma County. They provide apartment style housing with services, including assistance with bathing, dressing, and medication administration. Some provide specialized care for people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

I long ago lost count of assisted living residents I saw blossom with renewed vigor after moving to their new home. The four things I feel most improve seniors’ wellbeing are nutritious meals, socialization, medication administration, and exercise.

The majority of assisted living residents are women age 80 or better. Before moving, they tended to eat easy-to-prepare meals such as frozen dinners or cheese and crackers. Sometimes medications were skipped, dropped, accidently doubled, or taken inappropriately. The loss of a beloved spouse had them reeling with insecurity and grief. Social circles and close friendships were fading away. Family struggled to make time to visit, go on outings, or help with chores.
Muscle tone and balance had deteriorated.

It is amazing to see how a person’s outlook and health improves after a few months of eating balanced meals, accurately taking medications, and participating in stretching and toning exercises. But the biggest reward of all is seeing the smile of someone who is surrounded with peers and new friends as they share a joke or life experience. Widows serve as natural support groups for each other. Church services and hymn singing is available for those who want to participate. Meals and snacks are prepared for a variety of diets. Most assisted living communities offer fun and educational things to do such as shopping excursions, entertainers, speakers, crafts, games, and parties.

Each month I will discuss assisted living or other senior care topics in this column. Topics will range from local costs and new laws to fall prevention and caregiving tips. Email me at achievis@cox.net if there is a particular subject you would like covered.

Joyce Clark is the CEO of Achievis Senior Living Associates. Achievis is a development and consultant company to a variety of long-term care providers. www.achievisseniorliving.com Email: achievis@cox.net