As we get older, one of the hardest things to do can be determining when our parents need more help. Our parents have been taking care of themselves and others for so long that it is unlikely they will even think to ask us for help, let alone want our help. However, making a move into a senior’s community, or senior assisted living facility may be a perfect choice for aging parents.
Things to Consider in a Senior Assisted Living Facility
In the past, the only option for a senior who was no longer able to cope on their own was to either move in with their children, or move into a nursing home. Thankfully, there are many more options for seniors who may need or want to make the change from independent living to a senior assisted living facility. Here are some factors to consider.
When you live in a house, there is a lot of extra work that goes along with that. While your parents may still be healthy and active, they may not want to spend all of the time that maintaining a home requires, and letting the maintenance go de-values the house, and can make it an unsafe place to live. When you live in a seniors’ residence or assisted living facility, all of those tasks are taken care of for you.
This leaves your loved one with the free time to pursue other interests, take vacations, and relax. This can also save them money as many required home improvements can get very expensive.
Social Activities at a Senior Assisted Living Facility
Living in a seniors’ community or assisted living facility often comes with a whole new social community as well. Many have planned social activities or gatherings to help keep the community connected, and as the majority of the people living in them are in a similar life stage, it can be easy for them to find others to connect with.
An essential aspect of gaining and maintaining your health is physical activity. Many senior assisted living facilities have programs and activities designed to help their residents get and stay active. From simple movement programs to sporting activity outings to walking groups, you can likely find an option that works.
Family Space at a Senior Assisted Living Facility
One thing that seniors often mention as a reason they want to stay in their home is that it is a place where the family gathers together at special times, and they want to keep that. Thankfully, many assisted living facilities and assisted living apartments offer spaces that families can use to gather in together. They can make special meals, and some even offer special guest suites where families that are visiting can stay.
Another worry that may be factoring into your decision on whether to make a move from independent living to assisted is your loved ones ability to take care of themselves. If you’ve noticed that they don’t seem to be eating all their meals, or if you are worried that their clothes aren’t being washed, or maybe they may not be taking all of their medications.
If your parents are otherwise healthy but perhaps just not living their best life, most assisted living facilities to have varying levels of help and assistance available depending on what the specific needs of a resident are. Something as simple as not having to do laundry, or not making dinner every night, or just not having to vacuum, to more complex needs like ensuring medications are taken on time or helping with hygiene.
Another factor to consider when thinking about moving a parent into a senior community or assisted living community is the amount of time you are willing and able to spend with your parent. In a senior living community, your parent will have access to a social network, supervision, help, and all of their home maintenance needs are taken care of. If they are living at home, then you will likely be responsible for ensuring that all of these needs are met. While it may not seem daunting at first, the longer it goes on, the more responsibilities will end up on your plate, and at some point, you may find yourself resenting the responsibilities or simply being unable to continue meeting that need.
These are just a few of the things to consider when trying to make the decision. Remember, moving your parent into an assisted living community does not mean that their life is ending. Many seniors find that they are happier and healthier in these communities as their responsibilities lesson. Many families also find that they are closer and happier because the burdens and stresses of those responsibilities are gone. You must choose what is right for you and your parent, but don’t hesitate to seek out these communities, visit them, talk to the people and staff in them so that you can make the best choice for your family.