helping families cope with assisted living transitions

2 Assisted Living Amenities That Can Help Your Elderly Loved One's Mental And Physical Health

Moving your elderly loved one to an assisted living situation can be a difficult transition for them. Most assisted living communities offer many types of personalized service to make your elderly loved one's time there as comfortable as possible. When you are looking at senior living facilities for your loved one, there are several amenities you should look for to help your elderly loved one stay as healthy as possible. Here are two assisted living amenities that can promote your loved one's physical and mental health.

Transportation to Dental Appointments

Continuing to see a dentist for routine check-ups is important as many types of dental problems get worse as your elderly loved one ages. Your loved one's having the ability to get to the dentist from their assisted living community is a great benefit, especially if they are not able to drive. Make sure to look for a community that offers this type of transportation service.

Dental care is important in the elderly because a common side effect of many medications is dry mouth, which can cause more cavities to form. Your loved one's dentist can recommend ways to treat their dry mouth and prevent further tooth decay. 

Periodontal disease can become a problem in the elderly, so it is important your loved one can get to regular dental check-ups to check for this. Periodontal disease can progress without your loved one even being aware of it until their gums have deteriorated around their teeth. When periodontal disease occurs, their gums pull away from their teeth, then food and bacteria can collect deep inside these pockets that have formed under the gums. This bacteria in their mouth can then become inhaled into the lungs and cause pneumonia.

Having a Small Pet in Their Apartment

When your loved one is allowed to have their own pet in their new residence, they can adjust better and feel more at home. Their pet can also bring them comfort and help them relieve stress. Research has shown petting an animal can lower stress levels. When your elderly loved one plays with or pets their animal, the levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin increase and the production of the stress hormone cortisol decreases. 

Studies have shown having a pet can improve your mood and help alleviate depression. The unconditional love your elderly loved one's pet offers them can help increase their mood. And, the responsibility of taking care of an animal gives your loved one a positive focus in their life. A pet can also offer your loved one physical activity, a daily routine, and companionship to help improve their mental health.

Look for these two specific amenities at your loved one's assisted living community to help keep them physically and mentally healthy.