A Day in the Life at Assisted Living
Mary and Paul realized that the home they were living in was just too big and had many stairs. It was causing a lot of angst to not be able to physically maintain their home. Paul, because of some chronic conditions, suffered from bouts of dizziness because of the medications he was taking. Paul was also weak on his left side because of a knee surgery he had about 8 months ago. Caring for the house and lawn was no longer an option.
Mary, who was in good health, focused on helping Paul and often it made her more tired than usual. She didn’t feel like cooking and bringing the laundry down to the basement and then up to the second-floor bedroom was hard. The home was large, and it took a lot of work to keep it clean.
Another concern of Mary’s was that she was petite and often worried about what she would do if Paul lost his balance. How could she help him and was concerned about hurting herself in the process? Paul was 10” taller than she was and weighed about 80 pounds more.
They didn’t go out much anymore. Paul couldn’t drive, and Mary was not comfortable driving at night. Their families lived a few hours away, so they did not see them but once every few months. They kept in touch regularly over the phone and FaceTime. After experiencing many of the signs that it may be time for assisted living,Mary and Paul sold their home and moved into an assisted living community.
A Typical Day in Assisted Living
A typical day now starts with Paul and Mary waking up around 7:30. Mary makes some coffee for both of them and they enjoy it on their balcony overlooking the pond. They look at the calendar to see what is going on in the community and decide what they want to do that day. About 8:00, there is a knock on the door and it is Sarah, a caregiver who will help Paul get ready for the day. Mary goes and gets herself ready. Sarah helps Paul with his personal care needs, showering, grooming, and dressing, to make sure he is ready for the day. Sarah is also there to remind both Paul and Mary to take their medications.
Paul and Mary head to the dining room for breakfast at about 8:45. The dining room is bright and cheery, just like their apartment. After saying good morning to their friends, Paul and Mary sit down to have a leisurely breakfast of their choosing. The menu has many healthy and nutritious options to pick from.
After breakfast, Mary wants to join her friends in the walking club for a morning walk on the beautiful wooded walking paths surrounding the community. Paul has an appointment with therapy at 10:00 am. Upon coming into the community, Paul and Mary met with the Director of nursing. She advised Paul to begin a therapy schedule to help strengthen his knee and work on better balance. He is feeling stronger.
After Mary’s walk, she heads over to the community room for a lively discussion about current events. Paul is meeting his veteran friends for coffee at the community Bistro. About 1:00, Mary meets up with Paul to have lunch and some friends join them for a beautifully prepared meal and enjoy the great company.
Lunch is over and Paul excuses himself to go rest in their apartment home and Mary hops on the community bus for a trip to Walmart to do some shopping. When she returns at 3:30, Mary brings her goods to their apartment and takes about a 30- minute rest. The apartment looks beautiful because housekeeping was there earlier to tidy up, vacuum, and clean the bathrooms and kitchen. Mary doesn’t have to but still does their laundry because she enjoys doing it. It is much easier to do in the community because the washer and dryer are located on the same level.
After resting up, Mary and Paul are looking forward to the Happy Hour in the community lounge before dinner. There will be live entertainment and they both love music. The cocktails are delightful, the snacks are tasty and the room is filled with music and laughter. About 6:00, Mary and Paul are ready for dinner. They chose lighter fare in the Bistro since they had a big lunch and appetizers at Happy Hour.
With dinner wrapping up around 7:00 pm, Mary and Paul can choose to attend a movie night in the community theater or go home and spend some quiet time in their lovely right-sized home. They opt to spend the evening at home as they need to call their children back because they have been too busy to connect with them the past few times the kids have called. Later in the evening, a caregiver knocks at the door, ready to help Paul get ready to retire. It’s been a full day and they can’t wait for tomorrow!