When many people hear the term “assisted living,” they think of something very different than the home-like communities that have emerged over the past decade.
“There’s a big misperception many people have about assisted living. When they think about assisted living, they think of nursing homes, and they’re two very different things. In nursing homes, you’re bed-bound, surrounded by people who are sick and unable to do anything for yourself,” said Renee Wilson, administrator at Windsor House Greenville.
Filling the gap between nursing homes and in-home care, these facilities play a vital role in enhancing an aging parent’s lifestyle and offering a new opportunities to socialize that may not have existed for them before.
“Our assisted-living community is very home-like. We have people who move in and still drive their cars,” she said.
With responsibilities like jobs, kids, and grandkids, assisted-living communities are increasingly finding a meaningful place as our in-laws and parents age. According to the Census, there is a growing percentage of elderly, accounting for 1 in 8 Americans. In South Carolina alone, adults over the age of 65 represent nearly 15 percent of the population.
“Oftentimes, they are alone at home with no one to interact with. When they move into our assisted-living community, they eat home-cooked meals with other residents and enjoy different activities. To be honest, it reminds me of being in a college dorm. Everybody gets together and socializes with their neighbors down the hall,” Wilson explained.
Many facilities like Windsor House even encourage family members to come and dine with their loved ones and host parties in the dining room or library for special occasions. They recognize the importance of continuing to make our own choices as we age and boast calendars full of activities and outings designed to enhance an aging parent’s lifestyle.
One of the goals of modern assisted-living facilities is to keep families connected and engaged with each other, giving them access to personal care in a home atmosphere.
“We’re a small, family-owned organization. Everyone knows each other,” said owner Clay Fowler.
The focus is on helping residents live independently in a community setting while also offering individualized personal care. Daily assistance may include helping with bathing, dressing, going to the toilet, diapering, medication, helping with daily living decisions and moving from one place to another.
Modern assisted-living communities have truly come a long way in the past few years, giving families more freedom of choice and a vibrant atmosphere to enjoy in one’s later years.
There are numerous local and national resources available to help families make informed decisions with the simple click of a mouse. Perhaps the most important things someone can do when choosing an assisted-living facility are taking an active role in getting to know who will be caring for your loved one and making sure the staff-to-resident ratio is suitable.
“Our motto is, ‘Let our family take care of your family,'” Fowler concluded.
For more information on Windsor House, visit www.windsorhousegreenville.com or call 864-288-9450.
By James Crawford