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Colonial Assisted Living Blog

When to Move to Assisted Living: What Aspects to Consider

Making life-changing decisions has never been easy, but from time to time, we have to make them for the sake of our well-being and the well-being of our loved ones. The decision to move to assisted living is one such situation. 

So, how do you find out that it’s time to consider this step? How do you help a relative or a loved one to make a decision about living in an assisted community? Below are the main aspects you have to consider to make the best decision for yourself or the one you love. 

How to Know When to Move to Assisted Living

How old do you have to be for assisted living? Age isn’t the only factor that you need to take into account. While some people may need help at 50, others may cope on their own whilst being much older. Age really is just a number, so the question of when to move to an assisted facility should probably come down to a number of other factors.

Particularly, they include:

Medical Conditions

Unfortunately, the natural strength of our health isn’t unlimited. What’s more, there is a risk of a lot of age-related conditions, and these can be dangerous particularly for the patient if they have no support and company. 

Seniors with dementia can easily get lost in their neighborhoods, while those with joint problems are at risk of occasional falling – these and many other concerns put the mental and physical health of the patient at risk. Therefore, it is better to protect your loved ones in advance and offer them a safer environment. 

Financial Issues

Elderly people living on their own often face difficulties when it comes to managing their finances. Taking care of bills, paying taxes, making the right purchase decisions become more and more difficult for them because of forgetfulness, loss of concentration, and even age-related diseases. What’s more, they are attractive victims for scammers of all kinds. 

So, if you feel like you are having trouble with managing your finances, it can be a sign to consider living in an assisted facility. Such an option is also more affordable than living on your own, especially if there is a large home to take care of.  

Feeling Isolated 

More than 40% of older people feel isolated and lonely. This problem becomes especially relevant during the pandemic, and the travel restrictions caused by it. This brings about more health risks for the elderly. 

Assisted living communities, in contrast, encourage their seniors to socialize, take part in different activities and lead an active, safe lifestyle. 

moving to assisted living

Difficulties in Running the House

With age, joints tend to wear out, causing pain and problems in mobility. So, if you feel household chores take too much time and effort, it can be a sign a time has come when assisted living is needed. It is also a way to protect yourself from household traumas and injuries. 

Difficulties in Taking Care of Yourself

Everyday tasks like cooking, bathing, and dressing aren’t always easy for the elderly. When they find it difficult to take care of themselves on their own, that is when it is time to move your parents to an assisted facility, giving them an opportunity to live in a caring, health-friendly, and trouble-free environment. 

Benefits of Moving to Assisted Living Community Early

Moving yourself or some of your loved ones to assisted living is a big decision – it is always better to think about this opportunity in advance. Firstly, you will have to make time to discuss the transition and prepare for it, so you both know what to expect. Secondly, there are other practical benefits to it.

Preventing depression and other mental disorders

Long-time loneliness is the top reason for depression among seniors. Be it due to retirement, limited social connections, or brain aging, seniors become more sensitive and more prone to mental health disorders, which are usually challenging to diagnose and treat. 

So, moving to assisted living is a way to prevent numerous isolation-caused mental disorders, such as depression.

Preventing occasional self-harm

One of the possible reasons to go for living facilities is when you notice that your loved one may occasionally harm themselves, slicing bread with trembling hands, going up the stairs or slipping in the bathroom. These are also the early signs of Parkinson’s disease which is an extremely dangerous condition for seniors.

Making a fully-informed choice

One more benefit of considering an assisted living option in advance is that you can make a better-informed choice. When it is time to move to assisted living, you also have to compare the options and choose the best opportunity for yourself or your elderly parent. 

Below are the elderly care models to choose from:

  • Home care. This opportunity means hiring a caregiver to support an elderly person with their everyday tasks and helping with their basic necessities. The benefit of this idea is the opportunity for a senior to stay at home and have no stress connected with the change of the environment. This is an option for people frequently visited by friends and family, plus they have a budget to pay for caregiving services. 
  • Assisted living community. There, seniors get assistance with the daily tasks, such as bathing, grooming. The elderly can also rely on the help of the staff to manage their medication and be reminded of what pill to take and when. Besides, modern communities offer their residents a variety of activities, like book clubs, fitness, board games, short trips and outings and more, all of which help seniors feel part of the peer community and socialize. 
  • Nursing home. This is an option suitable for those seniors who need professional medical care and treatment that can’t be provided by anyone other than specially trained medical staff. 

when to move to assisted living community

How to Choose the Most Suitable Assisted Living Community

So, here is how to choose the right assisted living community for yourself or your elder relative.

  • Define the priority. What’s the most important thing you expect from a community? It can be physical proximity so that relatives can visit you frequently, a high level of medical care, pricing, range of activities offered, an opportunity to bring along a pet, and many others. 
  • Compare the options in your location. To do it, schedule a tour in multiple communities and see what establishment you will intuitively feel more comfortable at. Ask if virtual tours are available. 
  • Ask for recommendations. To make sure assisted living will be as comfortable as you expect, search for recommendations from acquaintances. Social proof is very important in this case, so the more reviews you will gather firsthand, the better choice you will be able to make. 
  • Read online reviews. As the last step, read and compare online reviews on third-party platforms and social media, in addition to the ones on the official website of an assisted living community. 

Conclusion

Moving to assisted living is an important decision that you might need to make at some point in your life. Think about this opportunity in advance since it is a good place to take better care of your health, make new friends, avoid some age-related troubles, and keep living a bright, stress-free life.