Why a senior care community is the healthier choice for you and your loved ones

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What does it mean to make healthy choices? It could involve making changes to your diet, working to stay active, or limiting screen time around bedtime. But what about the choices that impact your wellbeing or your mental state? The things in our life that affect our wellbeing can be harder to identify than the things that affect our cholesterol or blood pressure, but they're arguably just as important to our overall health.

Stress can be as damaging to the body as any physical malady, and, for a lot of adults, a significant source of stress and anxiety can be rooted in worrying about the safety of an older parent or loved one. When we agonize over the health and wellbeing of our loved ones, we may end up doing harm to our own. Think of senior care communities not only as support for your loved one, but for yourself: they provide the kind of care that allows you a full night's sleep.

The peace of mind afforded by a senior care community is not limited to the person directly receiving care. For many adult children who come to us, the knowledge that their loved one is receiving constant support plays a significant role in reducing worry and daily stress. Frequently, these people are working full-time and raising children of their own; caring for an aging parent on top of that is more than any one person can reasonably be asked to do. In a living situation that fulfills their needs and an engaging curriculum of activities and events, the team at a senior care community accomplishes what no person could alone.

This is especially true as we approach the holiday season. Many adult children who have taken on a caregiver role might think that moving their loved one to a senior living community at this time can be daunting or even depressing, when really, it's a great way for loved ones to avoid isolation. Our senior living communities put on many fun and exciting events throughout Thanksgiving and Christmas that bring our residents together during the holidays.

While it might seem intuitive that keeping a loved one home would be the healthier choice, the reality is that being a caretaker is a full-time job in itself, and not only is it better suited for professionals but trying to take it upon yourself can cause negative emotions towards the person you're caring for. Caring for an older adult is a situation for which very few people have a plan, let alone the resources. It can be overwhelming, scary, and downright unpleasant if you aren't prepared for the scope of the task at hand. While it may feel like you're doing the right thing for your loved one, you must be able to rationally assess the benefits and harm if you are going to make a careful decision that's in their best interest.

And if you're afraid all of this seems a little self-oriented, consider that your loved one might not feel great about being the cause of all this stress, either. Moving to a senior care community allays the feeling in your loved one that they are a burden on the family, freeing them to enjoy their time with the help they need never far from hand. This move can mark the starting point of a healing process. Without the undue pressure to be your loved one's caretaker, as well as their son, daughter, etc., you'll find a once-strained relationship has begun to heal and flourish. Seeking professional care liberates you and your loved one from a situation that can be harmful for all involved: once you are no longer charged with being your loved one's caretaker, you can go back to being their family.

The healthy choice isn't always the obvious one. Caring for a loved one can be fraught with emotions: feelings of duty, guilt, filial piety, and the like. But your relationship with a loved one who requires assistance with the tasks of daily life does not have to be this way. It is possible to be warm, open, and loving with an elder relative, especially when they receive the dedicated care that can be found in a senior care community. Choosing a senior care community lifestyle for your loved one is the healthy choice: by lifting the weight of caretaking off your shoulders, it frees you and your loved one to embrace the lifestyles you've been wanting for each other all along.

At Carmelite System communities, all residents have the assurance of being honored, respected, and cared for. With our history in senior care, you can count on us to provide personalized services and care customized to your or your loved one's individual needs. Likewise, with our foundation in the Church, we celebrate faith-based senior care and welcome residents of all religious backgrounds.

The Carmelite System is a family of over a dozen communities nationwide, four of which are in the greater Boston area:

St. Patrick's Manor in Framingham, MA, offering Memory/Dementia Care, Post-Acute Care, Long-Term Care, Rehabilitation, and Respite Care.

Carmel Terrace in Framingham, MA, offering Assisted Living, Independent Living, and Respite Care.

D'Youville Life and Wellness Community in Lowell, MA, offering Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory/Dementia Care, Post-Acute Care, Long-Term Care, Rehabilitation, and Hospice.

Marian Manor in South Boston, MA, offering Post-Acute Care, Long-Term Care, Rehabilitation, and Respite Care.

Visit www.carmelitesystem.org/faith-based-senior-living-communities to learn more about our faith-based communities and locations!