National Assisted Living Week (10-16 September 2023)
Join us in celebrating National Assisted Living Week (NALW) “Season of Reflection” with Maple from 10th to 16th September 2023!
Getting older is a privilege not afforded to many but as we age, we face many challenges. Thankfully, wisdom imparted to us throughout our time on this earth—and all the challenges we have overcome to get us here—teaches us invaluable lessons. However, learning how to grow old is a new challenge. Some activities we used to take for granted become harder to do. Our bodies don’t respond as well as they used to, and we feel them more than we wish to. It is a time to slow down and accept compassion, from ourselves and those around us.
During the week of 10th to 16th September we celebrate National Assisted Living Week. Assisted living is a form of residential care afforded to those who benefit from daily assistance and personalised care. Assisted living enables seniors and people living with disabilities to live their life as independently and safely as possible.
Maintaining independence is incredibly important to the overwhelming majority of us. Losing independence is one of the biggest fears among seniors and people living with disabilities. As you can imagine, most people want to stay in the comfort of their own home. However, the concept of assisted living has come a long way in recent years, affording residents with the autonomy and independence they deserve, while receiving the help they need to live a better quality of life.
What is National Assisted Living Week?
Established by the National Centre for Assisted Living in the United States in 1995, the annual observance of National Assisted Living Week recognises the importance of assisted living communities in supporting the well-being and independence of seniors and people living with disabilities.
It provides an opportunity for residents, carers, volunteers, other staff members and the surrounding communities to take part in events and activities to celebrate the role of long-term care and support for our loved ones.
National Assisted Living Week is not limited to Americans alone; it is an occasion that transcends borders and invites us all to recognise its significance. It is an opportunity to come together and honour the principles and values it represents, regardless of nationality.
Why is National Assisted Living Week celebrated?
The purpose of National Assisted Living Week is to celebrate your loved ones and those that care for them. We can do this through:
NALW is an opportunity to show appreciation for the role of assisted living communities in providing high-quality care, fostering a vibrant social environment, and promoting the overall wellness of residents.
Understanding and awareness
NALW encourages understanding of the role of assisted living in the continuum of care and dispel misconceptions about long-term care options. We can raise awareness about the benefits of assisted living and the services that facilities can offer to individuals in need of support.
NALW is an important time to raise community spirit and celebrate the lives and achievements of the staff and residents. We can acknowledge their accomplishments, individual stories and contribution to our communities.
NALW encourages advocacy for senior and disability rights. It emphasises the importance of inclusivity, celebrates diversity and promotes the importance of quality care for vulnerable populations.
Why is assisted living important?
Even if you or your loved ones haven’t personally had experience with assisted living, there’s a high chance that you will at some point in your lifetime. If we learn to celebrate and advocate for continued and better support in this area, we can ensure life enrichment for our ageing communities going forward.
Life enrichment for those in assisted living communities isn’t just about helping with daily activities. It also encompasses many health benefits for its residents. Assisted living communities help to:
- Build confidence and autonomy in individuals
- Create friendships and communities
- Minimise age related diseases and help to manage existing ones
- Increase life expectancy through minimising risks
- Increase wellness through various activities and monitoring of fitness levels
- Maintain healthy and safe living spaces
- Monitor and provide a healthy diet for residents
- Provide support and security 24/7
How can I participate in National Assisted Living Week?
There are various events, activities, and educational programs organised during National Assisted Living Week. These initiatives aim to engage residents, families, staff, and the broader community in celebrating and acknowledging the positive impact of assisted living communities.
There are many meaningful ways we, as Australians, can participate in National Assisted Living Week:
We can use social media platforms, educational campaigns, local events and community gatherings as a means to raise awareness about the significance of National Assisted Living Week. We can share stories and information about Assisted Living and what Australia has achieved throughout our own history.
As this year’s theme is a “Season of Reflection” we can plan or participate in events, local, online or internationally that promote independence through assisted living and offer a time to pause and reflect on the important things in life. We can use it as an opportunity to get loved ones together and focus on the special relationships and bonds created within assisted living communities.
Support Assisted Living Organisations
You can arrange to volunteer with or donate to assisted living organisations and charities that work towards promoting autonomy and independence for people who require assistance. We could also use this as an opportunity to organise fund-raising initiatives to support the work they do.
Grandparents Day falls on the first day of Assisted Living Week 2023 and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate with the whole family. Encourage the assisted living community to get together for a celebration or treat your loved one to a day out and about.
If you can’t find any events locally, you might consider organising one yourself. Gatherings such as a picnic, barbeque, talent show, arts and crafts fair, concert or games night is a great way to bring residents, staff, and the whole family together for a joyous celebration.
To find out more about what you can do to celebrate National Assisted Living Week, check out the NCAL Planning Guide or reach out to us at Maple Community Services.