It’s never easy to reach the conclusion that it’s time to place your dad, the “man of the house,” in a senior living community. When that time comes, it can be daunting to choose a facility where your dad, grandpa, or great-grandpa will be happy, active, and well cared for. Fortunately, there are several excellent, technologically advanced assisted living and memory care communities throughout the U.S., including several created by PinPoint Senior Living, designed to alleviate the financial and time demands on you and your family.
Here are some tips for how you should begin your search, and what to look for when choosing a community specifically for an elderly man.
What Senior Men Need
When searching for a community suited for a man, consider the following questions:
Are there enough male residents for your father to befriend and socialize with?
According to a survey by the National Center for Assisted Living, seventy-four percent of residents in assisted living communities are female. The Assisted Living Federation of America places the ratio closer to 7:1. Since women, on average, outlive men, women make up the majority of residents in assisted living and memory care facilities.
However, while female life expectancy is still greater than that of men, the average male life expectancy is increasing, and when it comes to annual gains in longevity, men are actually outpacing women. As America’s senior population increases, so will the number of male residents in senior living communities.
It may be your dad will feel more comfortable in his new home if he is able to enjoy the companionship of other men and engage in the activities that he has enjoyed for years. When visiting a community, talk to the male residents and, if possible, their family members. Are the men sociable or do they feel isolated? Do they share similar interests with your dad? Paying a second visit to a community with your dad and having him meet some of the male residents will give you a good idea of how he will adapt to the new environment.
Does the community include programming suitable for men as well as men and women?
Because of the gender disparity in senior living communities, it may seem that the majority of recreational activities are catered to women. Talk to the activities director of the community you visit and ask if there are recurring activities that cater to men, such as a poker night, chess games, or Monday Night Football viewing parties. Some work-related activities that may appeal to your dad include building birdhouses or model airplanes. Men also enjoy mentoring, and welcome opportunities to pass along their knowledge to visiting young persons or other groups.
Men also enjoy and benefit from physical exercise. A community’s programming should also include regular exercise, with equipment specially designed for senior men and women.
Is the care tailored to meet the health and personal needs of senior men?
As the life expectancy of men increases, so does their healthcare needs for a variety acute or chronic health conditions. Regardless of the gender of the care providers, it is critical that the staff caring for your aging father know what signs to look for that could indicate a prostate problem, urinary tract infection, or other health concerns that frequently afflict senior men.
When touring prospective senior communities, inquire about the availability of male caregivers. It’s important to understand that senior men may prefer to have male caregivers to assist with the more intimate aspects of their care, including dressing, bathing, eating, changing dressings, managing medications and using the toilet. Men may find it embarrassing or inappropriate to ask for help with these very personal tasks from an unfamiliar woman.
PinPoint Commercial and PinPoint Senior Living
As part of PinPoint Commercial, PinPoint Senior Living creates senior living and memory care communities across Texas, including four in progress in Lubbock, El Paso, Santa Fe and Amarillo, as well as Georgia, Florida, and New Mexico. PinPoint Senior Living communities utilize innovative building design and innovative technology to help residents lead connected, active and purposeful lives. To see the PinPoint difference in person, contact us today for a tour of one of our communities.