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The plus side of assisted living for seniors

May 11, 2003

Re "Assisted Living? No Thanks" by Lew Sichelman (April 27): Our experience has shown that many residents, while initially reluctant to leave their homes, thrive in an assisted-living environment. In addition to receiving the assistance they need, residents enjoy and benefit from the social aspect of this environment.

Assisted living has always been a need-based housing option. However, to prevent accidents and be prepared for future frailty, seniors and their families should consider assisted living earlier rather than later.

If a senior were able-bodied and cognitively aware, I would not expect them to desire the assisted-living housing model or the services and benefits it provides. But those families and seniors with the needs that assisted living can accommodate certainly appreciate the peace of mind assisted living provides.

Assisted living has successfully provided for the needs of the frail elderly population by offering a lower-cost, social-model alternative to long-term care.

Scott L. Eckstein

Santa Monica

Eckstein is executive director of Sunrise of Santa Monica. Sunrise Senior Living operates 340 senior living communities in the United States, Britain and Canada.

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