The Right Social Fit = Happiness!
Meeting the social needs of a loved one in assisted living is critical to a good quality of life. Everyone deserves happiness, and I can’t think of anything that contributes more to that than the social appropriateness of a community. Matching people with the right social setting for them, whether quiet and peaceful or active and bustling, leads to long-term success.
Larger assisted living communities are great for cognitively high-functioning individuals that want social opportunities throughout the day, know when they are scheduled, and how to access them. Larger options are also great for more social individuals for the obvious reason that there are simply people around, thereby increasing the likelihood of finding common interests with which to build relationships. They can also provide those that are higher functioning cognitively, yet reserved socially-speaking, with their own peaceful and private living space.
Memory care is wonderful for individuals with more advanced dementia because they strongly encourage participation in engaging group activities. This interaction and stimulation can help to slow the progression of dementia. Memory units do their best to prevent residents from self-isolating which can be detrimental on many levels for those with advanced dementia.
Residential assisted living homes are another option that we are lucky to have in abundance here in Albuquerque. Most residential homes provide some limited programming, often just one activity a day. Therefore, it’s a wonderful option for individuals that do not want or need much in the way of engagement or stimulation, while still providing some activity to enhance their quality of life. The intimate nature of residential homes (i.e. fewer residents and greater staff continuity) can also be great for people who are easily overwhelmed by many new faces and large spaces.
When it comes to social appropriateness of assisted living, there isn’t any one option that’s a perfect fit for everyone. It depends on the individual and their own social needs. Finding the right social option for your loved one will significantly enhance their quality of life and I can’t think of anything more important!