Many seniors in the United States live in some form of an assisted living community, but it’s normal to feel apprehensive when it’s time for your loved ones to start considering making the move. How do you know when it’s actually time to move out of the house and into a safe and supportive assisted living facility?
There’s no one way to know for sure, and it’s not a decision you should make without serious thought. We’re here to offer some help. Read on to learn all about when you and your senior loved one should consider assisted living.
Who Can Benefit From Assisted Living?
Not all seniors need to be in assisted living. Some may be perfectly happy aging in place at home while others want to stay with their families. Assisted living, however, is a good option for a large percentage of seniors.
Not all assisted living communities are the same. Understanding assisted living care levels can help you and your loved one determine if it’s right for them. Lower levels of care are incredibly independent while higher levels of care provide more support.
Technically, any senior can benefit from assisted living. Often, the seniors who do best in assisted living are the ones who can’t or don’t want to live with family members. Active seniors who are independent can benefit from lower levels of care while seniors with health needs benefit from higher levels of care.
But how do you know when it’s time?
Your Loved One Is Isolated
Unfortunately, many seniors experience serious isolation. Believe it or not, loneliness and social isolation can be incredibly dangerous for seniors according to the CDC. Even seniors who enjoy their independence and alone time need to have some form of social interaction in order to sty physically and mentally healthy.
As seniors age, their friends and loved ones may move or pass away. As a result, their social circles get smaller. They may no longer be able to drive or otherwise easily commute which further isolates them from others.
When your loved one moves into an assisted living facility, they’ll never be isolated unless they want to be. They’ll be in a community of other seniors and friendly caregivers who will always be around to talk, play games, and otherwise socialize.
This is especially important if your loved one doesn’t live near family members. Even if they live with their partner, it’s better to have more people around if possible. Everyone can benefit from having a healthy social life.
Your Loved One Needs Frequent Medical Assistance
Not all levels of assisted living are for people who need frequent medical care. Many seniors who are fit and healthy still enjoy living in assisted living communities just for the purposes of ease and socialization opportunities.
That said, if the special senior in your life does need medical assistance, assisted living is a good option. Even if they only need to take several daily medications.
Caregivers in assisted living communities can make sure seniors are in good health. The assisted living community may even have on-site nurses and other medical staff or they’ll work with local medical centers.
This will keep your loved one safe and healthy despite their medical challenges.
Your Loved One Needs Help With Daily Tasks
Is your loved one able to take care of themself?
Some tasks may be difficult for the senior in your life. They may struggle to brush their hair, bathe, or even use the restroom sometimes. This would make it incredibly difficult for them to live alone or even with a family member who may not have the time or energy to provide hands-on care whenever they need it.
Caregivers at assisted living centers can help. They’ll make sure your loved one is always well taken care of, even if they can’t take care of themself.
Your Loved One Wants to Relax
How does your loved one feel about maintaining a home? If they live in a large house or apartment, they may no longer feel like doing all of their own cooking and cleaning. If they have a yard, it may seem like too much work.
An assisted living community is a great option for them.
In assisted living communities, residents get to live like hotel guests (within reason). While they should keep their spaces tidy, there are cleaners, caregivers, and gardeners who will take care of a lot of the more monotonous tasks involved with keeping a home.
Your loved one can sit back and relax, engage in hobbies, and otherwise enjoy themself.
Your Loved One Can No Longer Drive
If you live in an area with reliable public transportation, this may not be an issue. If not, it’s something you should keep in mind. If your loved one can no longer drive, you may want to start considering assisted living.
Driving is essential for so many things if you don’t live in a major city. Seniors need to drive to get groceries, go to doctor’s appointments, see loved ones, and more. But driving isn’t safe for many seniors.
At an assisted living facility, there will be transportation available and most amenities are available on-site.
Your Loved One Got Injured at Home
Senior injuries are unfortunately common. Many seniors who have lived in the same homes for years haven’t ever modified them to make them safer. This results in serious slips and falls.
After one bad fall, it may be time to consider assisted living. Assisted living communities are created with safety in mind. If your loved one does slip and fall, there will always be someone nearby to make sure they get the care they need.
Is Assisted Living Right for Your Loved One?
Making the decision to move your loved one into an assisted living community is challenging. It’s a decision that’s ultimately theirs to make, but it never hurts to provide input. After all, you care about them!
When you’re making this tough choice, keep these factors in mind.
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