Deciding whether it’s time to move to senior living is never easy. For seniors, it can be scary to upend their life and move to a new, unfamiliar place. They also may find the idea of someone coming into their home as a caregiver an intrusive option.
Your loved one may not be ready to admit they cannot be on their own without help. It isn’t easy to sit down with mom or dad and convince them it’s time to decide between at-home assistance or to move into a facility.
How do you know when it’s time to have this discussion? You may be thinking it’s too early to be considering senior living options. When it comes to helping a loved one make a move to an assisted living community, it’s not uncommon to put this off “until it’s necessary.”
However, many residents at assisted living communities and their families realize, in retrospect, that they wish they had made a move sooner.
In this article, we’ll share five common reasons it may be time to consider senior living, as well as the five benefits of moving into a senior living community.
We aim to provide you with the information you and your loved ones need to make an informed decision and help ease any concerns you and your family may have.
5 Reasons You May Be Ready for Senior Living
The general belief is this: if you are healthy, active, and live near family members, the decision is easy. It would be best if you stayed put. However, everyone is unique and will have their own specific needs and reasons for the assistance they require and how much of the help they will need to determine the best course of action.
In the list below, you’ll find an overview of five common reasons seniors may be ready to discuss senior living options:
● Physical health changes/fall risk – According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “every second of every day, an older adult (age 65+) suffers a fall in the U.S.—making falls the leading cause of injury and injury death in this age group.” (1) Other health changes and chronic disease management may also be hindering the ability to stay in one’s own home.
● Mental health changes – Misplacing your keys or your glasses, on occasion, is just a normal part of aging. However, if your loved one has more advanced memory or cognitive difficulties, it could be dementia, which may require specialized assistance.
“In the United States, 6.2 million people aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia. People with dementia have symptoms of cognitive decline that interfere with daily life—including disruptions in language, memory, attention, recognition, problem-solving, and decision-making.” (2)
● Increased difficulty for family members to provide at-home care – Family members who attempt to provide at-home care may find this considerably hard. In many cases, families will either hire in-home care, which can be expensive if your loved one requires round-the-clock care, or attempt to provide the needed care themselves.
● Need help with everyday tasks – Your parents or loved ones most likely prided themselves on their ability to complete routine tasks. These tasks could include home and lawn maintenance to preparing meals, or even driving themselves.
However, now they may be having difficulty performing these tasks, or their home requires modifications for them to ambulate, move freely, and prevent falls. Some seniors may get help from family or friends close by but are dependent on someone else’s schedule.
They may also not feel comfortable having a loved one helping them with personal care if they cannot bathe themselves.
● Social Life and Companionship – Isolation is another risk factor for severe disease in older adults. If a senior has given up driving or has mobility challenges that make it tough for them to get out and about in their neighborhood, it may lead them to spend too much time alone. Seniors who are isolated could experience higher rates of diabetes, obesity, depression, and other serious medical conditions.
We understand that choosing the right retirement community can feel overwhelming, which is why we’ve put together this Level of Care Tool to help you understand your options.
Top 5 Ways Assisted Living Improves a Senior’s Health
Assisted living communities tend to take a holistic view of resident health and happiness. Days are structured to enrich residents’ lives using a body, mind, and spirit approach. The result is often an improvement in several core areas of wellness. Some of the benefits include:
1. Promotes better nutrition.
2. Encourages physical activity.
3. Prevents loneliness and isolation.
4. Protects muscle and bone strength.
5. Engages the mind and spirit.
We hope you’ve found this guide helpful. Although it can initially be challenging to talk to your parents about making a move, once settled at an assisted living community, you will likely find that it was the best decision your family could have made.
The Wesley Community has provided services and programs with a commitment to compassion, caring, and excellence for nearly 50 years. We began as an innovative combination of independent housing for older adults and skilled nursing care on a single site and have grown to today’s multiplex of services that enhance hundreds of lives daily.
Feel free to contact us to learn more about our senior living community in Saratoga Springs.
Call (518) 587-3600 for information about our home care, skilled nursing & memory care, assisted living, independent living, or anything else you may need assistance with. We look forward to helping you!
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Keep on Your Feet – Preventing Older Adult Falls;. CDC:
Injury Prevention Control. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/older-adult-falls/index.html. 2020 Dec.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Truth About Aging and Dementia. CDC: Alzheimer's
Disease and Healthy Aging.