Friday, December 10, 2021

When Assisted Living for the Elderly Might Be the Best Choice


 Many adults with aging parents worry about when they might need to help their loved ones move to an Assisted Living community. It can be a difficult decision.  Assisted Living is not the same as a skilled nursing facility.  The person moving to Assisted Living probably does not need a nurse checking on them every few minutes, but they would still benefit from a little help in order to have the best quality of life in their later years. How can you know when your elderly relatives are ready to move to Assisted Living?

This week's guest post is from Jim McKinley who has addressed this topic in a thoughtful way.  Readers may find it very helpful in determining when it is time for them to take their family member to visit various Assisted Living communities and choose the one which will work best for them.  Jim McKinley's guest post is below:

Signs It May Be Time for Your Elderly Loved One to Consider Assisted Living

If you have an elderly parent or grandparent living on their own, they may benefit from moving to an assisted living community. This will alleviate the burden of daily tasks like housekeeping, cooking, and yard work. It can also provide a valuable social network. As The Elder Care Alliance explains, socialization can help reduce stress and ward off depression and anxiety in older individuals. 

Discover the signs your loved one is ready to transition to a community in this article presented by Baby Boomer Retirement. This guide also provides guidance on how to bring up the topic with your loved one and explains how to choose a fitting facility — and pay for it. 

Signs it is time for an elderly parent or grandparent to transition to senior living 

A lack of home maintenance is one sign it's time for an older person to consider moving to an assisted living facility. Age-related decline in physical ability makes home and yard maintenance tough. This can be seen in piles of laundry, undone dishes, and general messiness. 

Some seniors may also start to lose weight because they are unable to do the shopping and cooking required for healthy eating. If your loved one needs more frequent medical care, they can also benefit from a skilled nursing facility, where they have constant support from staff. 

More frequent accidents are another indicator that it's time to make a change. The University of Rochester reveals that a lack of flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination can increase the risk of falls in elderly individuals. Unfortunately, even a short fall can pose a possibly serious health threat. 

How to discuss the option of assisted living with your elderly loved one 

If you believe that your loved one is ready for assisted living, broaching the topic can be difficult. Experts recommend recruiting siblings to help and emphasizing the positive points of the transition. For example, your parents or grandparents will have to do less housework and have more time for socializing. 

Further, come prepared with information when you open the discussion. Have some pamphlets or information from local facilities that might interest them. You can also schedule tours together to visit institutions in person. The point is to give your loved one as much personal agency over the process as possible. 

How to find the right community for your loved one 

As you check out assisted living options with your loved one, consider their needs. For example, do they require active nursing care? Location is also a consideration. Some seniors prefer to move closer to family, for example. This offers various benefits, such as being able to participate actively in grandchildren's lives. Websites like SeniorCare can help you and your loved one select a well-reviewed facility in the Dallas area that’s close to your family. 

Also, check out each facility's meal options, social agenda, and physical activity program. For instance, many facilities offer group exercise courses covering everything from Tai Chi to water aerobics. Regular exercise helps seniors remain independent. 

Finally, consider the cost. According to SeniorLiving.org, the average cost of assisted living is $4,000 monthly. Your loved one can sell their home to help cover expenses. While in-person viewings can be tricky during COVID-19, you can go ahead with virtual viewings. Redfin details options like 3D walkthroughs, virtual open houses, and video chat tours. 

Making the move to assisted living can be daunting at first. However, your loved one will benefit from this transition. The above tips can help you guide them through the process.

Once your loved one moves to assisted living, you may be interested in ordering them gifts (Ad) to help with the transition. You can find anything from large print crossword puzzle books, to special adaptive silverware, and many other types of gifts to make their life easier.  

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