When is it the Right Time to Consider a Senior Assisted Living Facility?
You have an elderly loved one who is having a difficult time. You might be worried about their well-being. There comes a time in life when you may have to make the difficult decision to place a loved one in a senior assisted living facility.
Here at Integrity Senior Placement, we are filled with compassion and empathy at this phase of life. We understand that this move is difficult for all parties involved. It is emotional, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be stressful.
If you were on the fence about considering a senior assisted living facility for your loved one, this guide can help you make the decision.
What is an Assisted Living Facility?
First, let’s talk about what an assisted living facility is and what it can do for your loved one.
An assisted living facility helps the elderly with many different aspects in life. It takes the pressure off of the family when they are worried about the health, care, and safety of their loved ones.
When it comes to the services provided by an assisted living facility, this is what you can come to expect:
- Daily living and activity assistance: This is often the first step when families realize their loved one needs assistance. Daily living activities include but are not limited to seating, assisting with bathing, dressing, and even social activities.
- Convenient on-site healthcare as well as transport to hospitals: Both physical and mental illnesses can cause great concern for families. With an assisted living facility, you can expect around-the-clock health care for the elderly.
- Private or semi-private rooms or apartments: Your loved one has a variety of options when it comes to living arrangements, ranging from semi private rooms to their own apartment.
- Wellness and exercise programs: Physical activity is a very important element for a senior’s healthy lifestyle. An assisted living facility can help provide exercise and wellness if they need.
- Community involvement and social activities: Boredom and isolation can be incredibly crippling to the mental health of seniors. The assisted living facility is a place where they can get social interaction that they need.
- Medication management (or assistance with self-medication): Missing doses of medication is a big concern with seizures. The staff at the facility ensures that every senior gets his or her medication every day like clockwork.
- Custom support levels that caters to the needs of each senior: Not every senior is exactly alike. When your loved one goes to an assisted living facility, they should be assessed for their specific needs during their time spent there.
- Dining, laundry, housekeeping, linen, and other services: Keeping up with chores can be a physical and mental burden for seniors. Your loved one will receive this type of care on a regular basis to alleviate stress.
Common Signs that it’s Time to Consider an Assisted Living Facility
You may be arriving at a decision that a senior assisted living facility is right for you and your loved one. However, there are common signs to consider when this is the right move to make.
Below, these are some of the common reasons why families seek out an assisted care facility:
Ongoing Health Problems
These health problems can range from physical to mental. Health conditions such as dementia or loss of mobility require round-the-clock care that family caregivers at home cannot provide.
If a loved one is suffering from chronic illnesses, pain, or diseases, this is a prime time to get them the help they need every hour of the day.
Some seniors will display signs of aggression. This can be because they are realizing that their independence is slowly slipping away. They may also be going through a bout of depression, along with a number of other psychological or health issues. Stress and frustration can also lead to lashing out.
When a senior is displaying this type of behavior, the staff at a senior assisted living facility knows how to handle this behavior professionally and appropriately.
History of Falling
Does your loved one have a history of falling? This is a serious worry for loved ones, as falls can result in major injuries including breaking of bones. Even shortfalls can be deadly.
To ensure that the senior is in a safe environment at all times, an assisted living facility can help.
Frequently Forgets About Medication
Some seniors require medication to keep them healthy and active. Whether it’s blood thinners or medication needed for dementia, it is vital that these medications are taken as prescribed.
When doses are missed, there can be serious health consequences.
The faculty at the living facility will provide your loved ones with the proper dosage of each medication and on time.
Difficulty with Day-to-Day Activities
From laundry to bathing and cleaning, everyday activities and chores can take a toll on the elderly. They may not be physically fit enough to complete these activities, or they may be forgetful about doing them at all.
Isolation and Depression
If your loved one is withdrawing from those that they love, this is a sign of isolation and depression. It is vital for mental health for seniors to be around others, participating in games or just everyday conversation.
Poor Eating Habits
As we age, our dietary requirements can change. It is important that seniors receive proper nutrition, including enough fiber and protein. At an assisted senior living facility, every meal is prepared with the seniors’ health in mind along with nutritional requirements.
Poor Hygiene Habits
Seniors may intentionally or unintentionally skip out on hygiene. This may be an issue of getting in and out of the bathtub safely. In other situations, the senior may forget to bathe at all.
At an assisted living facility, the staff keeps tabs on hygiene, ensuring that regular washing is handled.
Stress of the Caregiver
Family and related caregivers can undergo considerable stress when it comes to caring for a senior. In some situations, it required 24-hour care. Many families are unable to accommodate, as they have other responsibilities such as work and kids of their own.
Lastly, wandering away is an incredible safety risk. This can be the result of dementia and other mental health conditions for diseases.
If your loved one has a history of wandering away, or even worse, becoming lost, an assisted living facility for seniors is likely a very safe and empathetic decision.
How to Have the Tough Conversation About Assisted Living
You and your family have decided that it is the right move for your loved one to live at an assisted living facility. But how do you have this emotional and sometimes difficult conversation?
We have some tips to help ease the process.
Take a Gentle Approach
This is not a time to point out flaws or make your loved one feel as if they are being punished. A very gentle approach is always wise while leading up to the conversation with a discussion of their current living arrangements and how they are getting along in life as of now.
Do Research About Finances
Some seniors are concerned about the pricing of a senior assisted living facility. This living arrangement and lifestyle can be incredibly expensive, especially when insurance won’t cover it.
Do your research ahead of time about pricing. You can even look into price negotiations for assisted living. That way, you can address the topic right away when your loved one brings up this topic.
Provide Options for Placement
Another way to prepare for this conversation is to look into assisted living facilities ahead of time. You can be prepared to share your left one variety of options that are local and feel safe to them.
Explain the Benefits
Lastly, help your loved one understand the benefits of this move. Not only is it a good decision for their health and safety, but it is also a sound decision for their well-being and they can even make new friends.
Taking an Assisted Facility Tour
One of the last steps is taking an assisted facility tour. It’s wise for your loved ones to come along if they are physically able to. This gives both the family and the senior a glimpse of what life will be like at the facility.
You can expect some of the following activities during your tour:
- Meet staff and caregivers throughout the facility. You will likely meet people who run the front office, nurses, and even doctors who work at the facility.
- Take a tour of the facility’s public and private spaces. You will see many areas of the facility that your loved one will have access to, along with private areas.
- Learn about the facility’s care offerings, social/exercise activities, and outings. This is where you learn the specifics on what the facility will do in terms of games, hobbies, and other social activities.
- Sample the facility’s dining options. Your family and loved ones will have the opportunity to try the food and make sure that it is aligned with your senior loved one’s needs and taste.
During the tour, take the opportunity to ask any questions or address concerns that you may have.
Placing a loved one in a senior assisted living facility can feel like a roller coaster of emotions. At integrity senior placement, we are here to make the process as smooth and comfortable as possible for everybody involved. To ask us questions or to schedule a facility tour, please contact us today.