Trying to decide whether assisted living is right for you?
You might ask yourself the following questions:
- Need more help than family and friends are able to provide? Daily living becoming stressful or overwhelming? If family or in-home care is not able to help, assisted living is an option.
- Do you feel lonely or isolated at home? Being active and social is vital to your health and happiness. An assisted living community gives you the opportunity to make new friends and allows you to participate in a range of social and recreational activities.
- Are you concerned for your safety? Perhaps your mobility is limited and you have difficulty getting around, have taken a fall or have difficulty getting yourself out of bed?
- Is home maintenance becoming burdensome? An assisted living community can provide a home-like atmosphere without the need or work of cooking, cleaning, laundry or grocery shopping.
- Having trouble driving or can no longer drive? If public transportation or another alternative isn’t convenient and easy, you may become housebound. An assisted living facility offers transportation so you can get where you need to go, easy and conveniently without having to rely on friends and relatives
Signs a parent or loved one might need assisted living
It’s not easy to tell when your parent, family member or loved one needs more help. The following signs indicate that it may be time for a talk about assisted living.
- The refrigerator is empty, filled with spoiled food or, your parent/loved one is losing weight. These are some signs that he/she isn’t eating right because shopping/cooking has become difficult.
- You notice frequent bruises, even though your parents or loved ones may try to disguise this, and can be a sign that doing laundry and bathing is becoming a challenge.
- The house and yard are not tidy and clean as it always was.
- Your parents/loved one forgets things like doctor’s appointments and when to take medication. This could be due to memory loss.
- Your parent seems depressed which is common with seniors who are isolated and alone at home.
- You notice strange or inappropriate behavior – maybe your parent or loved one may dress inappropriately for the weather – this could be a sign of confusion.
Making the decision to leave home: The emotions of deciding to leave
No matter what your current situation, moving is always stressful. The loss of your home, neighborhood and community is a big deal and, your independence is a big part of your identity. Take time to get use to the change.
Easing into your move to an assisted living community
Life in an assisted living community is an adjustment and you will be meeting new residents and friends and getting use to staff. It may seem stressful in the beginning but, there are things you can do to make the transition much easier.
- Pack well in advance of your move and decide what you will take and what you will discard.
- Know what to expect. Look into your assisted living options and get all your questions answered ahead of time.
- Stay busy – you might want to remain in your apartment or living space, but, you will feel comfortable much quicker if you get out and meet the other residents and participate in activities.
- Go easy on yourself – give yourself time to get adjusted – everyone reacts to change differently. It may help to talk to family, a trusted friend or the community staff.
Choose the right assisted living community for you
There is a difference among assisted living communities and you have a choice depending on what best suits your needs. As you start your search, try not to get too overwhelmed with the different options. Amenities matter much less than the staff and care that you will receive. You can certainly tell a lot about a community by the people who live and work there. You will want a community with an active atmosphere and where the residents are friendly and caring.