One of the more difficult decisions that seniors and their family members face is the whether to transition to an assisted living environment. It is a difficult question to answer, because the answer depends on multiple factors: the physical health of the senior, the mental condition of the senior, and the availability of family and community resources in the senior’s home environment. Not all seniors require assisted living accommodations, but can stay in their homes for their entire lives. In contrast, some seniors with physical or mental health challenges may require an assisted living environment at an age that is far younger than they or their families ever anticipated.
Seniors might choose to move into an assisted living facility before it is a necessity in order to give themselves time to adjust to the environment.
The optimum scenario for a transition to assisted living is when the transition is initiated by the senior family member and he or she has the ability to choose the preferred assisted living environment. Many elderly people choose assisted living when they want help and find a daily care routine leaves them without sufficient recreational time, rather than waiting until they need help with that daily routine.
For these people, a transition to assisted living results in an increase in personal freedom, because the time formerly spent on meeting basic needs can be spent on recreational activities. In this way, assisted living facilities are a valuable way for seniors to get the most out of their golden years.
Sometimes families must make the decision to move a family member to assisted living.
While some seniors embrace a transition to assisted living, others put off the decision, which can force families to make uncomfortable decisions about them. This can be especially difficult if the senior has previously expressed anxiety, anger, or even refusal to move to an assisted living scenario.
However, ignoring the signs that a person needs more care than they are receiving at home can have negative consequences, not only for the senior but also for family members and caregivers. These signs include signs of declining cognitive function like wandering and sundowning, physical needs that the caregiver can no longer meet, or physical challenges that make the person’s home hazardous for their continued health and welfare.
At Chelsea Senior Living, we understand that the decision to transition to assisted living is frequently a difficult one, which challenges families. We can help you assess whether a family member is able to continue living independently, and, if not, the level of care that person requires.