When a senior or their loved ones believes that the senior cannot live independently on their own, the first thought that comes to mind is likely an assisted living placement. Some loved ones do not realize that seniors usually have a desire to remain in their own home where they feel safe and comfortable. Seniors that live alone and fear falling or just fear living alone possibly think that there are few, if any, assisted living alternatives.
There are a few assisted living alternatives that help seniors stay in their own home, and remain independent for as long as possible. Loved ones potentially feel a sense of relief when they learn that there are alternatives to placing their senior family member in a facility. One alternative likely stands out above the rest for both seniors and family members of seniors looking for an alternative to assisted living.
1. Medical Alert Systems
Medical alert systems come in a variety of sizes, styles and models with a variety of features, functions, and optional add-on products or upgrades to the medical alert system.
The popularity of medical alert systems grew exponentially over the past several years, with the demand for medical alert systems expected to grow stronger. Market Watch published a 2018 press release showing that the market for medical alert systems is expected to grow by almost another eight percent every year through 2023, as they become more affordable and more accessible for seniors.
The technology of medical alert systems has come a long way since the manufacture of the first products. Recent technological advances to medical alert systems provide seniors with freedom both inside and outside the home.
AARP explains that seniors and their loved ones need to consider several factors before choosing a medical alert system, which is potentially an outstanding alternative to assisted living. Original medical alert systems worked only inside your home. There are still models available for use strictly in the home for seniors that do not venture too far outside when alone.
Mobile alert systems allow the more active senior to use a call button when away from home, and they need help. Fall detection, 24-hour monitored systems and mobile GPS tracking are examples of features that allows for more freedom and independence when seniors choose to live at home over an assisted living facility placement.
Seniors have many options when choosing medical alert systems, based on the needs and preferences of the senior using the system. Companies making and selling the variety of popular medical alert systems available today keep the needs and preferable options of seniors in mind when considering the type of system, features and affordability of their medical alert products and services.
2. Senior Foster Care
Senior foster care is a smaller facility, similar to a group home, where a few seniors reside together in a small residential setting, compared to the larger size of an assisted living facility.
While senior foster care workers provide assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), similar to that of assisted living facilities, they do not provide medical care.
3. Senior Day Care
Senior day care allows seniors to go to a facility such as a community center or agency during the day and return home at night.
This provides seniors with the opportunity to engage with other seniors, along with providing the opportunity for family members to go to work, run errands, or simply have a few hours of respite from the senior loved one.
4. Home Care
Home care provides a means of receiving help from family members, friends, volunteers or others in the community.
Home care workers provide assistance with laundry, meals, shopping and cleaning.
5. Living with Family Members
Some seniors and family members agree that the best option is for the senior to reside with the family.
Family members that have to go to work, take children to school and to activities, run errands, and take care of other responsibilities likely feel safer and more at ease if the family member purchased a medical alert system for when family members are not available to provide immediate help to the senior.
What is the Current Trend for Assisted Living?
The market growth rate for medical alert systems demonstrates their popularity, as seniors want to feel the sense of security provided by their medical alert devices, and family members feel relief because they know help is there when the senior possibly needs it.
The fact that seniors live longer, are more active longer than past generations, and take their independence seriously are likely contributing factors to the slowed growth and popularity of assisted living facilities. Seniors Housing Business published an article by Jeff Shaw, who revealed that for the second quarter of 2018, the combined occupancy rate for assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, and memory care facilities were at an ‘all time low.'
Medical alert system manufacturers and retailers likely understand the importance of providing high quality medical alert systems, with a variety of options available for seniors residing at home for longer periods. Seniors and their family members likely realize that because assisted living facility workers assist residents with activities of daily living but do not provide skilled nursing care, that the senior possibly feels more comfortable residing at home with a medical alert system in the home.
Today’s more-active seniors potentially balks at the idea of moving into an assisted living facility. Although there are options such as senior day care, senior home care, and a few other options, those options are often for a short period.
Medical alert systems often provide 24-hour monitoring services, base units and wearable devices that make seniors feel more secure and safe at home, along with providing peace of mind for concerned family members. Medical alert systems provide a safer, possibly more active lifestyle for seniors that choose to live at home.