Assisted living communities are very different from nursing homes. Assisted living communities may offer nursing assistance and medical care, in addition to personal care assistance, but the environment is wholly different. Nursing homes operate in clinical settings while assisted living communities operate in homelike settings and work to create a sense of community among the residents who call them home.
What Does Community Means for People of Certain Ages?
Humans are social creatures. Communities are defined as groups of people who live in the same place or who share certain characteristics in common. People often self-identify as being part of a community based on characteristics such as:
- Age (Boomers, Millennials, etc.)
An assisted living community is a community that groups people together geographically, by having them all living in near one another and by age. This often means they'll share certain common interests such as music, movies, and even cultural norms.
Assisted living communities begin with shared interests, and that gives residents common ground upon which to build communities, friendships, and new social networks among themselves.
What to Look for When Choosing an Assisted Living Community
Because community is so important for social creatures like humans, it is important to look for an assisted living community that places a fair emphasis on building that sense of community. You'll find this in facilities that offer homelike settings along with a robust calendar of activities. These include things like:
- Educational series and lectures
- Arts and crafts
- Planned field trips and outings
- Monday night football (or other sports-centered events)
- Game nights
- Movie nights
- Ice cream socials
- Music events (concerts, performances, dances, etc.)
- Music and art classes or lessons
- Pizza parties
Obviously, these events need to be age-appropriate events, but they also need to be community building events as well.
The real different between assisted living and nursing homes, though, is that the focus in assisted living communities is on living and activities that help the members of these communities enjoy greater quality of life while getting the assistance they need for things like personal care, housekeeping, etc., so they can focus their energy on things that interest them more.
When you find an assisted living community that offers a homelike environment for residents, assistance for daily living activities (as needed), and a strong focus on community-building activities, adventures, and opportunities; you have found a community that is well-suited for your loved one. Contact an assisted living facility in your area to learn more.