Assisted Living and Mental Health
During the 1960s, Dr. Sidney Katz developed a transformational tool that would help caregivers and family members determine whether or not their older loved ones might need assistance as well as what level of care they might need.
The Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living is a checklist of sorts that helps people gauge the needs of their aging loved ones. By measuring their abilities to do things like dressing, bathing, or household chores, caregivers are able to get a better idea of their loved ones’ needs.
But assisted living is not just about having help with the laundry or bathroom. Just because we age and may be in need of assistance with these things, our mental and emotional health needs, too, need to be nurtured.
The CDC reports that experiencing sensory impairments such as vision and hearing can lead to isolation and depression. The National Library of Medicine reports that cognitive functions decline much more for older individuals who struggle with loneliness and isolation and the World Health Organization reports the mental health of older individuals can be improved with “active and healthy ageing [sic].” Specifically, they report that living conditions and environments that support wellbeing and allow people to lead a healthy life are vital to the mental well-being of the elderly. They suggest:
- providing security and freedom;
- adequate housing through supportive housing policy;
- social support for older people and their caregivers;
- health and social programmes targeted at vulnerable groups such as those who live alone and rural populations or who suffer from a chronic or relapsing mental or physical illness;
- programs to prevent and deal with elder abuse; and
- community development programs.
Balfour’s assisted living program is designed to meet the needs of each individual resident ,because everyone’s needs are different and those needs often change. It can be startling to shift from complete independence to needing a little assistance here and there – especially for active adults – so understanding the different levels of care available from Balfour’s skilled staff can help you and your loved one make the shift without sacrificing dignity or independence.
Promoting Mental Health
The Journal of Nursing Scholarship reports that older individuals have both positive and negative perceptions about traditional nursing homes. While they reported feelings of confinement and limited autonomy being a negative aspect, they generally agree that “enhanced comfort and maintaining physical and cognitive functions” are among the positives.
Balfour is far different from traditional nursing homes, because we believe the mental health of our residents is paramount. Since science tells us that things like homelike environments that are active and foster social lives and quality healthcare are what make our elders’ lives more fulfilled, Balfour is proud to offer a slew of progressive activities that keep our residents satisfied and thriving.
Practicing yoga has proven health benefits that include relaxation which helps to alleviate anxiety and depression. Balfour encourages its residents to participate in activities like yoga, because it not only helps their minds and bodies but, with various levels of engagement, our residents can benefit from light to moderate yoga, depending on their needs and abilities.
Appropriate exercise is a proven way to stay healthy, socialize, and be active. Balfour promotes healthy living and interaction by not only encouraging physical exercise but outings to places like libraries, operas, or theaters. We also offer indoor, heated pools for our residents to enjoy swimming which is one of the best forms of exercise for older adults.
Independence with Dignity
Dignity and autonomy are important aspects of having a fulfilling life but research indicates these things are not often undermined in the healthcare setting. Balfour honors the independence of its residents with a balance of support and encouragement, so they continue to have the independence they need and the respect they deserve.
Our changing needs as we age are a natural part of life, and we believe a new generation of assisted living is long overdue. That’s why Balfour provides exquisite, top-notch care that promotes healthy, active lifestyles for our residents. No matter where you are on your journey, you are sure to be home with Balfour.
Contact us today to learn more about our state-of-the-art facilities and our exceptional care.