The decision to move yourself or a loved one into an assisted living residence could be emotionally exhausting. But this is an ultimate truth that has to be tackled very delicately. The initiative should be taken to minimize emotional damage, guilt, anger, and fear of losing independence.
The biggest challenge people face is deciding the right time to move into assisted living. There is no fixed age to move into assisted living. Therefore, assessing potential signs, counselling, and talking to loved ones can help decide the right time.
Signs may differ from person to person. But in a broader picture, if you think that you or a loved one is not able to live a safe life alone, then it is the right time to talk. If you are looking for beautiful retirement communities for your loved ones, click here.
What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living residences are designated places for older adults or people with disabilities who need assistance in their daily tasks. The residences also feature medical care with on-demand availability of trained nurses.
Nursing homes or hospitals are suitable for older persons with severe medical conditions, whereas assisted living communities offer assistance in daily activities like toileting, housekeeping, dining, and dressing. You can check out for more information.
Depending on the services rendered, the cost of assisted living communities may vary. In Canada, the term assisted living may differ from one province to the next. For instance, “supportive living” is the term used to refer to services associated with the care of older adults in Alberta.
Benefits Of Assisted Living
- Safe living
- 24/7 emergency medical care
- Prevent social isolation
- Enhanced living standards and quality of life
- Allows for leisure time and the establishment of a routine
- Access to well-balanced meals and safe transportation
Potential Signs It Might Be Time To Move Into Assisted Living
Here are some potential signs that point to a requirement for assisted living:
1. Recent Falls
Frequent falls are a matter of concern. Especially when there is no one to attend or the help comes late. Within no time, a fall can turn into a medical emergency. This individual requires continuous monitoring.
2. Chronic Health Issues
If an older adult is suffering from a health problem for a long period and the condition is getting worse rather than improving, it might be the time to move. Similarly, persons with low immune systems who take longer to recover from disease require consistent monitoring. A doctor, after assessing the condition, may recommend a nursing home or assisted living community in these cases.
3. Difficulty With Activities Of Daily Living (ADLs)
Managing activities of daily living (ADLs), including bathing, cooking, and housekeeping, could become problematic as a person gets older. If a person loses partial or complete ability to perform daily chores, consider getting help.
4. Forgetting Medication
Keeping up with medication is vital for many older adults. In this scenario, assisted living can help. In the absence of monitoring, no medication or wrong medication could lead to more severe health issues.
5. Poor Eating Habits
Well-balanced meals are as important as medication. Any change in eating pattern, loss of weight, or rapid weight gain could be a sign of poor eating habits. Retirement communities can provide delicious and nutritious meals, catered to each resident’s preference and dietary restrictions.
6. Personal And Surrounding Hygiene Problems
Failure to maintain personal and surrounding hygiene are potential signs that a person may be in need of assistance.
7. Mobility Issues
Failure to climb stairs, trouble walking, or struggling to carry groceries from the store are matters of concern. Simple assistance can help with this.
8. Memory Loss
If an ageing loved one gets lost or wanders outside without purpose, it is a sign of dementia. In this case, a person often finds it difficult to communicate, handle challenging tasks, and looks disoriented. This person can benefit from a home that offers memory care.
9. Emotional Well-being
Any of the below-mentioned signs may suggest a lack of emotional well-being.
- Anxiety attacks and signs of depression.
- Social withdrawal.
- Change in sleeping pattern.
- Failure to enjoy those hobbies and activities that once they enjoyed doing.
- Lack of attention, loneliness.
Behavioural changes are easily detected by friends, neighbours, and family members. Do not ignore these potential signs. Instead, it is important to ask for professional help in assessing the situation.
Break The Ice: Initiate The Conversation
After assessing the situation and consulting professionals, it is time to make the decision. Initially, some loved ones may not be as receptive to the idea of moving to an assisted living community. Because of this, it is essential to avoid making them feel pressured or forced to move.
Similarly, while making the decision, involve them in counselling and conversation. In this way, you could avoid disrespecting their feelings. It is very common to encounter anger, disbelief, and resistance during this process. Remain calm throughout the process and discuss the benefits of assisted living with them.
Proceed with the choice for an assisted living community after conducting a thorough analysis, consulting with a doctor, and potentially consulting with a financial advisor. Give some time to your loved one to understand and digest the situation. Similarly, in the case of individual decisions, acknowledging when you need assisted care is the key.