SENIOR living is a phrase that's now more important than ever given Malaysia's inevitable shift to an ageing nation.
When we think of elderly care, the first and common image that comes to mind is a nursing home, with old people in wheelchairs or bed-bound.
While such homes are necessary for those who require full-time care given debilitating conditions like Parkinson's, dementia or Alzheimer's, not every elderly person is an invalid.
Not every senior citizen sees ageing as a reason to slow down or retire from active community life either.
For many, staying active is a priority and experts have constantly stressed that healthy ageing is tied to both an active mind and body.
Senior living actually encompasses two other crucial pillars of life after retirement - independent living and assisted living.
"We have many senior citizens who are still active and healthy, either working or running their own business, and this group also needs to be considered when we talk about senior living," says Sunway Healthcare president Datuk Lau Beng Long.
Similarly, there are those who have some medical conditions due to age, and may require some form of assistance, but are not fully dependent on others for care. They too need post-retirement living facilities which cater to their needs.
To fill this gap in the local elderly care landscape, Sunway Healthcare Group has launched Sunway Sanctuary, its flagship senior living residence in Malaysia.
The fully serviced residence, with 235 studio units and one and two bedroom serviced suites, is aimed at promoting healthy and active living in the golden years with an emphasis on good nutrition and physical and social activity to keep one mentally alert and physically healthy post retirement.
The facility, which targets retirees and semi-retirees has multiple options for fitness, wellness, and leisure. Daily meals, housekeeping and laundry services are provided while trained professionals are available to provide fitness workout sessions and assistance with daily needs and errands.
The goal is to ensure that residents can maintain their independence and enjoy a normal routine as much as possible. A library, movie theatre, co-working space and games rooms are all contained within the facility.
Each resident will also have access to a personal wellness coordinator and Sunway Sanctuary also houses a wellness centre to provide standard health checks, blood tests, vitals monitoring, and nutrition and dietary advice.
KEEPING SENIORS SAFE
One of the crucial aspects addressed in the facility is the risk of falls.
"The elderly are very vulnerable to falls and one in three who have a fall will face mortality within one year of that fall," says Sunway Sanctuary health and wellness advisor Dr Ericson Chia.
Fall prevention is therefore crucial and living and leisure spaces within the facility have been designed to be fall-proof, he explains.
Rooms and serviced suites have a fall detection system in place which can detect if a person has fallen or rolled down. Multiple call bells are also placed in strategic places so seniors can reach out for assistance in the event of an emergency.
Dr Chia says the goal is to ensure that seniors and their family members have peace of mind, something that may not be achievable if the elderly are living on their own, away from family members.
The fear of something happening and no one being around to assist them, especially in the event of a fall or medical emergency, will always be there.
Dr Chia says while it's good for the elderly to maintain their independence as much as possible, a monitored environment ensures that they can do so without putting their health, wellness and mobility at risk.
For more information, go to sunwaysanctuary.com.my
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