How To Know When It’s Time for Assisted Living
Is it normal aging, or is Mom losing too much weight?
Dad is spending so much time alone … is this OK?
Are my parents safe at home maintaining the house and climbing the stairs?
These are just some of the questions worried adult children ask themselves about their aging loved one. While making the decision to move your parent(s) into a senior living community may be one of the toughest decisions a family member can make, the good news is that most seniors find their quality of life greatly improves upon moving into an assisted living community. In fact, many say they wished they’d considered moving sooner.
There is no right age to move or best age for assisted living (the average age of an assisted living resident, however, is 87). It’s different for everyone. Sometimes, the signs are clear. A recent fall. A chronic condition or health problem that is becoming harder to manage at home. A physician recommendation. Other times, it’s not as obvious.
There are subtle signs that indicate your loved one could benefit from the lifestyle assisted living offers. Have you noticed any of the following changes?
Is Assisted Living the Right Choice?
Assisted living offers access to 24-hour care for seniors who would benefit from some daily assistance but don’t require skilled nursing or specialized memory care. When is assisted living not appropriate? When your loved one has complex or advanced medical needs, is experiencing worsening cognitive decline, or needs continuous supervision. Residents in most assisted living facilities can receive a high level of care – they just can’t require around-the-clock care and monitoring.
Explore our other blogs on the differences between assisted living facilities and memory care communities, and the differences between an assisted living community and a nursing home.
How To Have the Conversation
There is no easy way to have this conversation with your parents or loved one. But avoiding it may lead to more problems – especially if safety or memory loss is a growing concern. By talking now, you’ll ensure your loved one is actively involved in the process with time to weigh all factors.
- Do your research – Gather information on the types of communities and services in your area. Ask about the available levels of care, the staffing and qualifications, as well as the cost and payment options.
- Don’t wait until there’s an emergency – Making important decisions during times of crisis is difficult and may lead to choosing a community that doesn’t fit well.
- Include family members – Don’t go it alone. Include siblings and families in the decision-making process and the transition from home to senior living community.
- Educate – Explain how senior living has changed over the years. It’s not just about support and healthcare; it’s about lifestyle, life enrichment and personal fulfillment.
- Share and listen –Share concerns about safety and well-being. But make sure you also listen to them about their concerns regarding this change in their life.
- Plan –Consider location, community type, levels of care available, amenities, services, and finances. Go on tours – an on-site visit will provide the “feeling” of the community that you all need to make the best choice.
Helping loved ones make the decision to move to an assisted living community benefits them in so many ways. The decision to move can be difficult. But once the move is made, your loved one will soon experience an enriching, engaging and fun lifestyle that will make them wish they had moved sooner. And you can begin to enjoy the peace of mind (and sleep) that comes with knowing your loved one is healthy, happy, and receiving the best care possible.
Cascade Living Group is proud to manage high-quality assisted living communities across the West Coast. Contact us to learn more about how you can help provide your loved one with a life-enriching lifestyle in their senior years.