We have to accept the fact that aging is inevitable. Changes during these times may vary from one person to another, and it is not just the health issues that we need to consider. Circumstances may dictate the need to transition from independent living to assisted living to some extent. Before going into these situations, we need to differentiate one from the other first.
Independent vs. Assisted Living Communities
Independent living is a setup recommended for older adults who can still take care of themselves, needing no assistance at all most of the time. Communities like these have exercise activities, planned social events, and even group travel options for residents.
Assisted living communities, on the other hand, offer amenities where residents are not burdened with daily tasks. Housekeeping and maintenance are done by team members instead of the residents themselves. They are designed for individuals who may need monitoring for some chronic medical conditions that are not necessarily requiring hospital or nursing home care. There are also physical activities and events in store for residents.
Signs it is Time to Move to Assisted Living from Independent Living
This is actually a personal choice for most people. Sometimes, family members feel guilty that they can no longer assist their loved ones with their needs and transitioning to assisted living becomes one of the options in mind. Some may no longer be able to fulfill their daily needs on their own, like for instance doing some grocery shopping, and the simple checking of whether their food is still good to eat or not.
These warning signs are commonly spotted by friends, family members, and caregivers. Here is a list of situations that signal a move to assisted living:
- Worsening of existing medical conditions
- Increased frailty
- Increased number of falls in loved ones
- Depression and at the worse, social isolation
- Difficulty in performing house cleaning tasks
- Problems monitoring personal hygiene
- Difficulty when it comes to managing finances
Knowing When It is Appropriate to Move
It is often hard to convince a loved one to move into an assisted living community, but there are situations that would really call for one. The most basic and most common example is when one loses a spouse who was once in charge of preparing meals, doing grocery shopping, and taking care of all housework. The struggle is real for the surviving spouse in this case because they feel lonely after the loss of their partner.
When a loved one shows signs of memory loss, then it is safer to make a move to an assisted living community too. The same goes if one medical problem progresses further.
Convincing a Loved One
It is difficult at first, but as long as you get them involved with your choice of a community, then you can definitely see more positive feedback from them. Make sure too that you will be there for them even when they transition to a new home, away from yours. Always focus on what they want, and explain to them why the move is necessary. Do things slowly but surely.