Every person ages at different paces and as the years pass, health challenges become more of an issue. Health care decisions later on in life are not always easy tasks to complete. One of these decisions involves trying to figure out when the best time is to make the transition from an independent living facility to an assisted living community or a senior care facility.
Assisted Living Defined
Assisted living facilities may vary by type and provide many services with the purpose to support older individuals who can no longer take care of themselves on their own. They may require simple help while others may require more involved help. Assisted living facilities are created for older individuals who, even though maybe dealing with some type of chronic medical condition, may not yet be ready to transfer into an actual nursing home. They may need help with dressing, housekeeping, toileting, bathing, and other daily tasks. Meals are normally cooked for residents and served in a dining room where all individuals can interact with one another. Individuals in assisted living communities may also have a shared room or private apartment. Depending on the location and type of facility, the amenities and services available will vary. To find an assisted living facility, you can always search for assistance living near me.
When to Make the Transition
Once you have searched for assisted living facilities near me, you may be ready to make that move. Many people try to resist having to move into an assisted living facility even though this may very well be the best option for them as well as the family. It is a difficult transition that most people will need time to adapt to.
When it is time to make that transition from an independent living facility to an assisted living facility, there are clean signs that may indicate it is time including:
- No longer being able to clean the house or care for oneself– With aging, comes the decline of physical strength. This makes it challenging to do yard maintenance and housework. It can be unsafe to do tasks that were previously never challenging.
- Poor Nutrition– Grocery shopping, meal preparation, and menu planning can become more challenging as well as adults age. This can cause a senior to skip meals and rely on foods that are unhealthy and convenient.
- Medical conditions begin to worsen or increase in the number of falls- The leading cause of injury amongst older seniors is falls caused by a home that is not designed with senior safety in mind.
- Social isolation or depression– Socialization is important for aging adults. Older adults find that their social circles shorten as they get older. Moving into an assisted living facility can improve the quality of life for an adult senior.
A classic example is a senior that just lost his or her spouse who was responsible for taking care of the housework, etc. is now left struggling to clean and cook on their own. Another classic example is a senior that develops many medical issues. Even if they may already have one, such as Parkinson’s disease, this type of condition will progress and worsen over time. The individual will eventually need more help.
There are also individuals who may be suffering from dementia but only has mild memory loss in the beginning stages. It may be helpful to transition the senior into an assisted living facility now instead of waiting to prevent possible injuries.
Making the Move
It is completely normal for a senior to feel overwhelmed when making such a transition, especially for adults who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other chronic diseases. The change in routine alone can cause unwanted stress. It is helpful for some of these negative feelings to be avoided by initiating a conversation about them early on with the loved one. While this may be a difficult conversation to spark, it is beneficial to approach it piece by piece over a span of weeks or even months.
It may even be helpful to speak with a financial advisor, attorney, doctor, or even a counselor to determine the most appropriate time to make the move and how the move should be executed. These are professionals that can provide tips and recommendations for where to begin and much more helpful information.
After an initial period of adjustment, many adult seniors come to find that they actually appreciate the level of support as well as the new activities, dining, and socialization that comes along with the transition. It also takes the pressure off the family members to know that their loved one has regular hands-on care. Know when it is time to make the move and do your loved one a favor and help him, or her make the transition as easy as possible. Find out where some of the best facilities are by searching for senior living communities near me.