With 60 said to be the new 40, seniors seem healthier and more youthful than those of the same age a generation ago. An overwhelming 90% of Americans over 50 prefer to age in their own home–-but is this always feasible?
The moment the family realizes that senior loved ones can no longer care for themselves safely at home is painful. Picking a living arrangement suitable to their lifestyle, interests, and level of independence is a long-drawn process involving many discussions, especially in the face of reluctance and emotional attachment to the ‘good old days.’
Is Your Loved One Ready Tfro Move?
Choosing whether to stay home among familiar faces, places, and activities or move to a new environment that promises safety and support is one decision faced by those who belong to the Silent, Baby Boomer, and GenX generations sooner than later. They value their privacy, take pride in their ability to care for themselves, and are more comfortable holding on than letting go.
There’s also a tendency to prefer to be alone, as an effect of realizing that bodily weakness is setting in. However, the lack of socialization over time can lead to loneliness, anxiety, and depression, affecting overall health and well-being. In some cases, it could even lead to or worsen dementia.
Moving to an assisted living facility is favored next to living at home-–even ranking higher than living with family. Is adjusting to new environs when you’re set in your ways that hard? When you read this, you’ll find that assisted living residents say that living in a community that focuses on wellness and dynamic activities is a welcome surprise. Knowing that aging kin are treated like their own and pampered like a guest in a scenic setting near health services is reassuring for the family.
Making The Right Move
As everyone is different, there’s no single ‘right time’ to transition to a senior community. Some opt to do this earlier, literally upon retirement. Others choose to do so in their 70s and 80s when they suffer from chronic diseases and mobility problems. Telltale signs that signal they’re no longer able to take care of themselves comfortably are that they:
- Require assistance for chores like shopping, going to the bank, cooking, eating, bathing,doing the laundry, and preparing medication
- Have multiple chronic conditions requiring care
- Experience boredom and isolation
- Exhibit poor grooming or hygiene
- Have untidy or dirty home and premises
- Are poorly nourished
- Are overwhelmed with maintaining a household
- Show aggression toward you or others
- Suffer from financial difficulties
- Were given a doctor’s recommendation to opt for assisted living
Providing long-term care and the stress of worrying about seniors living on their own can affect the family’s mental health and should be factored in. The right price point, transportation facilities, access to medical facilities, and proximity to family are other aspects to consider.
The Benefits of Assisted Living
Hands down, the biggest advantage of assisted living for senior is a significant improvement in the quality of life. Adults who have lived in their homes with only occasional visits from family and neighbors soon find out that boredom belongs in the past as various activities encourage social interaction and forging new friendships. Dancing, yoga, singing, playing games with peers, and having a massage are just some recreational activities that are big favorites.
Because of your senior loved one’s age, healthcare services are a considerable concern. This is why assisted living services for senior cover the following:
- Over 80% of assisted living communities have pharmacies and dietary facilities.
- Over 70% have medical facilities and therapies in place.
- Over 66% provide skilled nursing and hospice services
- Over 50% have mental health counseling and social work services.
Residential-like facilities on a smaller scale allow the residents to enjoy the pleasures and independence of home in a safe, downsized manner. Comfort and privacy aren’t sacrificed. Residents are unburdened of daily tasks and have more freedom to do what they enjoy most in a secure environment.
Just as children have their milestones, adults also have major life events met with anxiety, anticipation, and hesitation, even if the change is for the best.
Making that mutual decision with or for a parent may be stressful. It’s important, therefore, to consider every aspect. In the end, the advantages of readily available healthcare, good cuisine, and social activities could make it an enlightened and caring choice for your senior loved ones.