As our loved ones age, the question of their living arrangements becomes increasingly significant. Making the decision to transition a loved one from an independent living community into an assisted living community often comes with mixed emotions and a range of considerations. Although the process can be emotionally challenging, ultimately, it's about ensuring the highest quality of life and care for your cherished senior.
We understand that the decision is deeply personal and can evoke feelings of guilt, concern, and even uncertainty. Therefore, our intent is to equip you with information and insights that will help you navigate this process with empathy and clarity.
The Differences Between Independent and Assisted Living
Independent living communities for seniors provide access to various services that allow older adults to enjoy their retirement years without having to worry about taking care of the yard, cleaning, cooking, and other things they aren't able or do not want to do anymore. For example, some independent living facilities may offer transportation services so seniors can travel between their homes and the grocery store or doctor's office.
They can enjoy the perks of having a housekeeper who comes in once a week to do laundry and or clean the home. Social events are another common service offered by these communities as it gives your elder loved one the chance to interact with other people their age who have similar interests or hobbies.
Since independent living residents are able to take care of themselves and manage their own finances, they're not required to participate in meal programs or other services but can do so if they choose.
An assisted living community is for seniors who need some help with their day-to-day activities but still want to be able to live in an independent setting. This type of senior living community provides many of the same services as independent living facilities, along with additional 24-hour assistance from licensed nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and social workers. Caregivers at assisted living facilities help residents with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating, and medication management.
Signs It May Be Time to Consider Assisted Living
- Your loved one is struggling with daily tasks. Things they use to do on their own have become more difficult for them. For instance, they need help getting dressed, taking a bath or shower, using the bathroom, and shaving.
- You're noticing changes in the elder's cognitive function. Maybe they're forgetting to take their medication, getting confused, having difficulty concentrating, and/or getting lost in places that they're very familiar with.
- Your elderly family member is falling more than before. If falling is becoming more frequent, their health could be declining, and too many falls can lead to serious injuries.
Convincing a Loved One It's Time to Make the Move
Unfortunately, your elderly family member can no longer live in the independent living community due to physical and/or mental challenges. While talking to your loved one about moving into an assisted living community may seem like a difficult conversation, it doesn't have to be.
Talk Openly About the Benefits
Many seniors are reluctant to move because they're fearful of completely losing their independence. You can reassure them that they will still be able to do the things they enjoy, such as going shopping or traveling on vacation.
Express Your Concerns
Make sure your senior family member understands why you want them to move. They need to know that you're concerned about their safety and well-being. Gently explain that an assisted living community has trained staff on duty 24 hours to assist them with tasks that could lead to falling, such as getting in and out of the tub or shower.
Listen Carefully as They Voice Their Concerns
Maybe they're worried about finding new housing. Many senior living communities offer both independent and assisted living services in one location, which means residents can remain in the home they're already accustomed to. Danbury is one of these.
Transitioning From Independent Living to Assisted Living
Moving from independent living to assisted living can be a daunting process, especially for seniors who are use to their own routines and surroundings. However, with these tips, you can help make the transition smoother for your beloved senior family member.
Be Patient and Understanding
Remember that this is a big change for them and it may take some time to adjust.
Involve Them in the Decision-Making Process
Letting them have a say in choosing their new living arrangements will help them feel more in control.
Help Them Make Their New Space Feel More Like Home
If the transition will require them to move to a new location or into a new apartment, help your loved one pack their belongings and set up their new home.
It Takes a Village
Remember, this journey is not one that you need to navigate alone. Seeking advice from healthcare professionals, engaging in open conversations with your loved one, and including family members to help with the decision can provide invaluable support and guidance.