For most of human history, the elderly relied on younger family members to care for them in the twilight of life. But in the last century or so, longer lifespans and advancements in geriatric medicine have meant more seniors are living in retirement communities rather than with loved ones.
Unfortunately, retirement living throughout the 20th century was oftentimes unsatisfactory. The cultural perception evolved to equate retirement homes with prison. And to be painfully honest, that comparison was not entirely unjust.
Here’s the good news: senior living has come a long way in the last 20 years. Modern retirement communities are a far cry from those our grandparents lived in back when we were children. Instead of incarceration, modern retirement is like a nonstop vacation.
The following highlights several ways in which modern senior living is not your grandparents’ retirement:
Technology has come a long way in the last few decades. Senior living providers have utilized these advancements to streamline their operations, putting less pressure on staff to physically monitor residents. From the point-of-view of mom and dad, this amounts to greater freedom. For instance, emergency call systems enable residents to walk around the facility without worrying about getting lost or missing their medicine. The alternative is scheduled check-ups and appointments throughout the day, and who wants that?
With greater freedom comes more privacy. Rather than be accountable to staff regarding whereabouts and activities, residents can live like grown-ups. It’s another way in which today’s senior living communities are like cruise ships. All the while, family members retain peace of mind thanks to the aforementioned tech used to remotely monitor their loved ones.
From room accommodations to commons areas, many of today’s retirement homes provide a wide variety of amenities and entertainment. A widescreen high definition television comes standard in every room, meaning every resident can enjoy all their favorite shows and movies from the comfort of the couch. Bowling alleys, movie theaters, game rooms, crafting stations, and dance halls are also common.
Bland vegetables and overcooked meat used to be the standard food for retirement home residents. Those days are long done. Professionally trained chefs and experienced cooks go out of their way to prepare flavorful foods for every meal. Whether it’s a bagel for breakfast or roast beef for dinner, today’s retirees get to look forward to delicious meals every day.
Retirement homes used to be havens for abusive and negligent “caretakers.” After years of investigative journalism, government crackdowns, and the risk of major fines and penalties, senior living providers decided to completely overhaul their approach to hiring staff. Nowadays, workers go through extensive background checks and training to ensure employees are taking good care of residents.
The concept of retirement homes is relatively new. Because of that, the early days of senior living left much to be desired. In the decades to follow, tremendous improvements have been made to make retirement living a pleasure rather than a burden. Families can rest easy knowing their older loved ones are taken care of and enjoying themselves.