Knowing When Assisted Living Is the Right Option
There’s no date on the calendar indicating it’s time to transition to assisted living, but you might wish for one. For many families, this shift comes with uncertainty, because they’re concerned about either waiting too long for their loved one to join an assisted living community, or it’s the opposite — they wonder if independent living is the better choice.
While every situation is unique, there are some indications that assisted living might be a good fit for you and your loved one. Consider these three major questions when thinking about your assisted living checklist:
Concern #1: Are Everyday Tasks Getting More Difficult to Complete?
Maybe it’s getting in and out of the shower, making meals, buttoning a sweater, or even brushing your hair — tasks that you or your loved one used to be able to do without even thinking about it now require much more time and effort. In some cases, when this begins to happen, older adults might skip tasks because they seem overwhelming. That can lead to poor outcomes, like not keeping up on hygiene or eating less than they should. This is what is included in assisted living. We can help with everyday tasks so they’re easy again.
Concern #2: Is Staying Healthy and Managing Conditions a Growing Concern?
Many older adults have medication needs, often with several types of medication to address different issues. Medication adherence is crucial for making sure health conditions are being handled consistently and appropriately. If you or a loved one struggles to maintain a medication schedule, assisted living can be a good choice because medication reminders are an essential part of these services.
Concern #3: Has Safety Become an Issue?
We don’t just want to feel safe and secure in our homes; we want to actually be safe and secure. Older adults often face risks when they live on their own and need assisted living care. That can include falls that come from age-related changes in vision and hearing, potential burns from water that’s too hot — older adults tend to have a less acute sense of touch and can lose the ability to detect heat — or food poisoning, since taste and smell can diminish with age as well. Assisted living can address these kinds of issues so you or your loved one feel safe again, in a home where there’s support and assistance.
Once you’ve decided that it is time to move your loved one into assisted living, you will need to determine what your core priorities are for deciding which community to move into. What are your must-haves for your Mom or Dad? Is it safety? Staff ratios? Is the location to your home or work for ease of visiting? Also, consider what is the most important items for your loved one. What is on their assisted living checklist? Let’s face it. The #1 concern is always the food. We offer senior living tours with the option to try our dining while you are here. Other concerns for future residents may include activities in the community and nearby as well as outdoor options to hike or a communal garden to visit. What about a golf course nearby? Religious services? Happy hours? What about a giant TV area to watch a game with others? Everyone will have their own checklist of must-haves. Consider what is most important to your loved one so they are happy during this transition while also ensuring their safety and medical needs.
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