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Home Care

How to Recognize If Your Senior Loved One Is Ready for Assisted Living and Help Them Make the Decision

As your senior loved one gets older, you might find yourself increasingly concerned about their welfare. This is perfectly natural, since you can’t realistically provide care and attention around the clock—especially if you have your own family to care for, as well as work and/or studies to attend to. There are some very viable living options, though assisted living is the most compelling of all.

What is Assisted Living?

In a nutshell, assisted living offers seniors a more carefree way of life in that they are able to receive assistance in daily living tasks such as bathing and eating. This help can come in the form of a long-term care facility, or through home care services like Revolutionary. Either option ensures that your senior loved ones are cared for and enjoying themselves in the process.

But despite the benefits of assisted living, older adults can be quite hesitant to embrace such a change. For this reason, it’s wise not to take the transition lightly; rather, respect their needs and make them a part of the decision-making process.

Recognize the Signs

There’s no doubt that embracing assisted living can be hard on older adults, which is why it’s only prudent — not to mention, kinder — to consider the transition only when needed. With that in mind, learn the signs that indicate it’s time.

At the most fundamental level, Consumer Affairs notes these signs can actually be narrowed down to 20 questions, first taking into account physical health. Perhaps an existing medical problem is becoming progressively worse, or assistance is necessary when taking prescribed medications. Equally important is whether your senior fell recently, or if there’s an increased risk of this happening.

There are, of course, more signs that you should be on the lookout for, such as whether they’ve been able to keep up home maintenance and chores, as well as maintain good hygiene and care for their pets. The bottom line is that any sign of neglect or hardship can be an indication that it’s time to transition to assisted living.

Have the Conversation

While you might be convinced that your senior loved one needs assisted living, AgingCare explains it’s another to convince them. The fact is this is a sensitive issue affecting the rest of your senior’s life, and must be handled gradually and delicately; after all, you don’t want it to seem like you’re making the decision for them. Rather, let it be known that it’s an option, and highlight the virtues of assisted living and why it will be good for them.

If you’re considering a residential facility, it’s also a good idea to take them to visit several in your area. This way they can see the amenities firsthand, as well as get a feel for the community.

Before making a change, it’s important to review your loved one’s finances to get a feel for what’s affordable. Depending on how much they have saved, you may need to find ways to pay for assisted living, such as selling their home or selling a life insurance policy.

Sometimes just finding pertinent paperwork is a challenge, so keep that in mind. For instance, if you or your senior aren’t sure whether they have life insurance, you may have to do some sleuthing to locate their policy. Start by searching through old bills, mail, and bank statements, and if that fails, search online and contact old employers.

It goes without saying that unless there’s an urgent need to move your senior loved one to assisted living, there’s really no need to push the issue. Instead, present it as an option that will make their lives much better and more comfortable in the long run. It’s also important to discuss the many different avenues you can explore with regard to assisted living, from senior housing programs to senior centers.

Here are a few more useful resources to help your senior loved ones maintain quality of life:

Checklist for Moving a Senior Loved One to Assisted Living
Unexpected Benefits of Downsizing in Retirement
Beyond Bingo: 14 Activities for Elderly People That Aren't Boring

Ultimately, your senior loved ones’ overall welfare should be your main priority. By treating them with respect, they will also understand that assisted living is, indeed, their best bet.

Photo via Pexels.com

Written By: Lydia Chan