Creating home

Creating “Home” with Eden Alternative

Jill Vitale Aussem, president of Eden Alternative, joined us for a webinar. During this Q and A style webinar, Jill and Molly addressed the issues of senior loneliness, helplessness and boredom, as well as, what it means to create a “home” environment for your RAL homes.

Home is where we create a life away from the hussle and stress of the rest of the world – it’s far more than a house or accommodations. It is a place where people develop routines, cultivate security, purpose and meaning. A home is a personal cocoon, where life is hashed out privately and safely. What happens when you can no longer safely abide in your personal cocoon? Seniors throughout the United States face this heart wrenching decision every day. The variety of assisted living options can be overwhelming. Seniors seldomly volunteer to vacate their homes. Typically, they are thrust into assisted living by way of necessity. To shed some light on this predicament, Jill Vitale Aussem, President of Eden Alternative joined our May 18th webinar. 

Click here to watch the webinar!

During this “Q & A”, Jill and Molly discussed the predicament facing seniors by figuratively referring to it as The Three Plagues:

  1. Loneliness, 
  2. Helplessness
  3. Boredom

Jill shared how the staff at Eden Alternative works to eliminate these plagues from their care homes. She brings decades of experience in senior living through her career in assisted living facilities, even surviving a hurricane in Mexico. To understand the connection more, watch her inspirational story. 

Learn the true meaning of creating the traditional elements of “home” out of your residential assisted living home.

Simply register at www.RALNA.com and the recording will be sent to you.

What Seniors Really Face?

Most seniors are repulsed by the idea of vacating their homes – moving comes with a host of challenges. For seniors, the physical and emotional stress are preeminent. Seniors fear leaving the familiarity of their neighborhoods and the memories that have filled their homes for decades.  Add to the aforementioned, the fear of the unknown, which includes where, with whom, when and for how long will the senior occupy a residential assisted living home. The idea alone becomes overwhelming. The harsh truth is many seniors can no longer safely abide in their homes, and moving is the safest option.

The 5 Reasons Seniors Want To Stay At Home

A recent AARP survey disclosed that approximately 90 percent of seniors intend to stay in their current homes. Most of them believe they could do minimal modifications to stay in their homes. While many plan to remain fixed in their homes, they have also acknowledged that residing at home has become increasingly difficult. In full acknowledgement of these challenges, seniors still desire to reside in their homes.  Why?

1.     The Physical Stress Of Moving

For most seniors, moving out of their home involves the excavation of decades of memories, keepsakes, possessions and a plethora of family artifacts. While moving services are helpful, the laborious work of sorting must still be done personally. Furthermore, if a One Stop Self Storage unit must be secured, the contents and the number of those contents must be known in order to lease the right space. 

2.     The Fear Of Losing Independence

This is a fear laden misconception.  Historically, nursing homes were the only option, and independence is lost to a certain degree in those facilities. It no longer has to be that way. Residential assisted living homes are different, because a significant portion of a senior’s independence is preserved.

3.     Anxiety Over Leaving A Community

For seniors who have resided in a home for 20, 30 and sometimes 50 years, the neighborhood means as much as the home itself. Neighbors, the mail carrier, the delivery man, the little boy across the street, the girls who sell lemonade at the corner and the neighborhood barking dogs all mean just as much as the home itself.  

4.     Emotional Ties To The Family Home

A house is a rigid structure, but a home is where the heart is warmed. Vacating the place where children have been reared, grandchildren come and play, and holiday memories are born is difficult. 

5.     The Fear Of The Unknown

The adage, “knowledge is power,” is not evident to a senior facing a forced relocation.  They do not know what they will face, and the lack of knowledge drives fear.  

In some instances, this fear causes anger, resentment, combativeness or disengagement.  

  • What will happen to me?  
  • How will I sustain?  
  • Will I be okay?  

These fearful questions plague seniors facing this predicament.

Six Ways Senior Living Can Improve Quality Of Life

A good dose of truth is required at this point.  Seniors are valid in these concerns – it is their life that is literally being uprooted. However, the truth extends beyond the heart-wrenching mandate to relocate. It includes the reality that senior living can be a very positive experience and can improve quality of life. In residential assisted living, no one walks alone. An improved quality of life can be a reality that accompanies relocating to senior living. The following 6 steps can improve the quality of life for seniors in residential assisted living.  

1.     Stop Worrying About Home Maintenance Or Yard Work

Residential assisted living enables the elderly to avoid maintenance or repairs.  Moving into senior living means moving to carefree living.   Regular and emergency maintenance is just a phone call away in today’s senior living communities.  In addition, residential assisted living homes feature stunning gardens and landscaping – without the resident’s having to lift a finger. They can also search for Lawn Care near Me and find numerous experts that can assist them. The sheer beauty and joy of nature can be enjoyed with the painstaking and sometimes risky work of a resident.  Simply peruse and enjoy.

2.     One Monthly Bill For Most Expenses

Senior living is largely all-inclusive. So, residents and their families do not have to worry about keeping up with monthly bills. Family members have reported prior to relocating their senior loved one, bills would be found in the home in multiple piles, many of which had gone unattended. In senior living, one bill often covers it all.

3.     Nutritional Food Served On Demand

Maintaining proper nutrition is crucial to aging well. Seniors who live alone may find they prioritize convenience over nutrition, become under or malnourished. Senior living communities often have chefs who are trained in senior nutrition and offer a wide range of meal choices, which meet the nutritional needs of all residents. 

4.     Develop Meaningful Relationships With Similar Interests

Senior living can be a second collegiate experience for some.  People with common interests, hobbies, views and experiences are plentiful.  One easily finds friends whom they may feel they’ve known all their lives.  These connections only strengthen by living near each other and friendships in senior living are often very strong and meaningful.

5.      Reduced Tension In Family Relationships

Moving to senior living changes the dynamic of family relationships. Adult children have increased peace of mind knowing their loved one is being cared for and looked after by a trained staff. They are able to resume their role as the child, instead of worrying about an aging parent who does not want to be parented by the very one(s) they have already parented.

6.     Increased Feelings Of Safety

Residential assisted living homes have emergency response systems, and some even offer residents the option to wear alarm pendants. This can help alleviate fears from falling and becoming left for hours or days – a real concern for seniors and their families. 

Ral National Association Impacting Senior Living 

The Residential Assisted Living National Association is here to provide information, resources and support for RAL owners and staff. We provide the kind of support that empowers owners and operators to administer quality senior care.

Visit: www.RALNA.org to learn more. 

RALNA advocates for residential assisted living business owners and operators supporting them with guidance to legal expertise, continued education, national marketing, group purchasing power and a continual positive voice for the industry.

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