The first assisted living facility opened in Oregon in 1981. Since then, thousands of assisted living facilities have opened their doors to welcome seniors across the United States. Assisted living provides personalized care in a community setting for seniors who need some help to maintain their independence. It’s the bridge between living independently and needing skilled nursing care. While each facility varies in how they operate and their services, they typically offer 24-hour supervision and assistance.
Knowing the appropriate time to transition to an assisted living facility can be challenging. Some older adults may recognize their need for more assistance but are hesitant to move to a new environment in their later years. Adult children may feel the tension between doing what’s best for their aging parents and avoiding the topic altogether. Whether you’re a senior who’s considering making a move to assisted living or a family member concerned about your aging loved one’s ability to stay safe at home, here are four signs that indicate it’s time for assisted living.
Need Assistance Managing Personal Care
Many seniors make a move to assisted living when they can no longer manage their personal care. Assisted living can help seniors participate in activities of daily living (ADLs) or the basic self-care tasks initially learned in childhood. If you struggle to walk, dress, bathe or use the toilet, or transfer (like from a bed to a chair), it might be time for assisted living. Assisted living also helps seniors with medication management. If you forget to take your prescription medications on time or often mix them up, this too is a sign that you might need more professional help.
Home Maintenance is Overwhelming
Caring for a home can cause some seniors significant stress. Daily chores and overall home upkeep can quickly become overwhelming for seniors with chronic health conditions. If caring for your home — cleaning, repairing, mowing, and other general home maintenance tasks — is an endeavor, you may want to consider moving to assisted living. Assisted living facilities take care of the housekeeping, grounds, and ongoing maintenance so that you can sit back and relax. Some allow residents to do their own laundry if you prefer, or they can assist with that as well.
Meal Planning and Preparation is a Burden
Meal planning and preparation, including grocery shopping, can become a burden for seniors in older age. A lack of appetite or motivation to prepare a nutritious meal can become a hindrance in the kitchen. If your diet lacks healthy nutrients, you don’t have the energy to grocery shop or prepare a healthy meal, or you’ve experienced unexpected weight loss or gain, it might be time to move to assisted living. Assisted living facilities provide nutritious meals and snacks, as well as a community dining room where you can share a meal with a neighbor. In addition to having chef-prepared meals, most assisted living facilities offer specialized menus that cater to seniors with common chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.
Inadequate Support Network
As seniors continue to age, they must have a strong and present support network. Some older adults can manage pseudo-independence with the support of a family member who visits once or twice a week. Yet, as their care needs evolve, they’ll need more help than their family can provide. If your support network has been lacking, or you’re relying more heavily upon a family member to manage everyday life, it might be time to move to assisted living. Not only will you move into a strong support network of professionals, but you’ll also grow your social network. Assisted living facilities provide seniors with a plethora of opportunities to socialize and participate in favorite hobbies. If you’re tired of sitting around alone at home, consider a move to assisted living where you can get involved as much as you prefer.
If you’re ready to make a move to assisted living, let Senior Living Solutions guide you through the process. Our mission is to relieve the stress and ease the burden of finding the best senior living options for our clients. We are a free consulting agency based in Arkansas that operates locally. We offer unbiased guidance and resources to older adults and their families who are exploring their senior living options. We’ve personally toured and vetted all assisted living facilities in the area and can help save you time by giving you valuable information at no cost to you. To learn more about us or schedule an appointment, please get in touch with us today by calling 501-650-3013.