Six Ways Assisted Living Helps Older Adults With Disabilities

According to the World Health Organization, more than 15% of the world’s population is aged 60 years or older, and this number is expected to double by 2050! While some of these folks may never develop a health issue in their lives, statistical data has shown at least one in four of them will develop a disability.

Today, more than 30% of adults over the age of 65 are living with a disability. Not surprisingly, the most common disabilities that seniors develop are related to mobility, such as challenges with walking and balance, followed by hearing and vision impairments. Cognitive disabilities such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are also common in older adults.

Nevertheless, aging shouldn’t discourage anyone from enjoying a full life. With the right senior care and support, older adults can continue to live independently, regardless of disabilities.

Assisted Living Care For Disabled Adults

Did you know assisted living facilities are specially designed to help seniors with disabilities? In this post, we’ll explore six important ways assisted living makes life easier for older adults with disabilities and examine how assisted living care improves quality of life.

1. Accessible Living Spaces: Disabled adults often require living spaces that are designed with accessibility in mind. This may include ADA-compliant features such as wide hallways, grab bars in bathrooms, and wheelchair-accessible showers.

Assisted living communities such as Sonata Senior Living offer wheelchair-accessible apartments with wide doorways, low countertops, and roll-in showers. These ADA-compliant accommodations make it easier for disabled seniors to navigate their living spaces and maintain their independence.

2. Personal Care Assistance: Many disabled adults require assistance with daily living activities and some level of personal care assistance. This generally includes help with bathing, grooming, dressing, mobility, eating and meal preparation.

For example, adults with Alzheimer’s disease often require assistance with eating or modified diets to prevent weight loss commonly associated with dementia. Memory care assisted living communities provide a special form of support to ensure that older adults with memory impairment are receiving proper nutrition.

Unlike skilled nursing facilities which require care delivered by a nurse, older adults who need assistance with activities of daily living are often able to maintain independence across many facets of life, which makes the care of an assisted living community a better fit.

3. Adequate Staff: Disabled adults may require more support than other residents in assisted living, depending on their level of care needs. It’s important to ensure the senior care community you choose has properly trained professionals to provide the proper level of care you and your loved one need. Find out what type of assisted living license the community maintains to ensure they are licensed to provide the care level you or your loved one needs.

Caregivers in assisted living communities like Sonata Senior Living are specially trained to work with disabled adults and offer support in a respectful and dignified manner. For those that require more support, many Sonata Senior Living communities offer visiting physicians and other services on site. If and when health care needs change, our residents have access to a menu of services that remove the need to coordinate doctor’s visits and other appointments. Visiting physicians, specialists, on-site therapy and even mobile X-ray and lab services are just a few of the ways Sonata offers comprehensive support to disabled adults.

Keep in mind, certain eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for assisted living care in Florida. A completed Form 1823 is used to establish how much assistance an individual will need with activities of daily living and determine if one qualifies for assisted living.

4. Specialized Programming: Due to mobility issues and other conditions that restrict travel, disabled adults have a higher risk of social isolation, which may lead to health decline. An abundance of social opportunities available in assisted living communities can help older adults with disabilities connect with others and avoid loneliness altogether.

Many assisted living communities also provide specialized fitness programming that is designed to meet the unique needs of residents with disabilities. This may include adaptive exercise programs, gentle exercise for adults with limited mobility, occupational and physical therapy, and seated heart-healthy activities that help older adults maintain their physical and cognitive abilities.

5. Amenities. Assisted living apartments offer a safe, supportive lifestyle for disabled seniors to live comfortably and maintain their independence. Some senior care facilities also feature amenities that are specially designed for disabled adults.

Community amenities at a Sonata Senior Living assisted living communities typically feature a fitness center, library, theater, game room, swimming pool, and outdoor courtyards with gardens to help older adults with disabilities remain social and active. We hear from residents that our outdoor courtyards are the perfect place to socialize, BBQ or simply enjoy the beautiful Florida sunshine!

At Sonata Senior Living, our lounges, theaters and dining venues create comfortable spaces to enjoy the company of new friends. After all, relationships are at the heart of what it means to live a full senior life, today.

6. Transportation Services: Disabled adults have a variety of needs and preferences when it comes to choosing a retirement community, but transportation services are among the most important since many disabled seniors cannot drive.

Accessible transportation is essential for disabled adults to participate in community events and outings, and access medical care and other appointments. Assisted living communities often provide transportation services that accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility aids.

Assisted living is the perfect solution for those looking for personal care and support in a safe and nurturing environment that fosters independence and socialization—all while providing access to services that help disabled adults maintain physical, emotional, and cognitive wellness.

Questions to Ask About Disabled Accommodations When Touring an Assisted Living Community

When visiting assisted living communities in Florida, it is important to ask the right questions to help you make a good choice for you or your loved one’s future care. Here are some suggested questions to ask during a tour:

  • Are there wheelchair ramps, handrails, and other mobility devices throughout the community?
  • What level of support is provided to residents with mobility challenges to assist with moving around the community?
  • What specialized services are offered to individuals who use hearing aids or have vision impairments?
  • Are there emergency call systems throughout the community and within apartments?
  • What type of support and assistance is provided within the monthly rental fee, i.e., assistance with bathing, grooming, and dressing?
  • What specialized healthcare services are offered, such as physical therapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy?
  • What kind of specialized training do staff members receive at the community?
  • What is the ratio of caregivers to residents?
  • Are there support groups and resources available for families at the community?
  • Are transportation services provided to assist with mobility?

The ideal assisted living community will provide disabled adults a fulfilling and engaging lifestyle designed for healthy aging.

Most importantly, make sure the community you choose prioritizes accessibility and provides disabled adults with a fulfilling, active, and engaging lifestyle.

Sonata Senior Living communities offer a daily menu of life enrichment programming, activities, fitness classes and nutritional dining options to support healthy aging. Schedule a tour at a Sonata Senior Living community near you.


Visit Serenades and find out how a person-centered approach to care has allowed us to continually raise the standard in memory care assisted living.