“Assisted living” — two words that bring fear to much of our elderly population. To them it conjures memories of the nursing home Grandma lived in where the senior was left alone all day with no social interaction and minimal care. Today seniors are also fearful of moving from a home they have lived in for many years, and feel safer in an environment they are comfortable in. And for those seniors who experienced the Great Depression, fear that they cannot afford an assisted living community and will become destitute.
The assisted living communities of today are designed for social activity, personal care, heath management, nutrition and safety — the major goal to allow a senior to maintain their independence. One of the ways to reduce fear of assisted living is for a senior to visit an assisted living community. By visually seeing the socialization and independence of its residents they can overcome the fear of the nursing home connotation and be more open to communication about assisted living. As a Senior Living Advisor, one of my goals is to make the idea of moving to an assisted living community more appealing and allow the senior to be part of the decision. Having a senior and family being proactive, they can determine the community that would be the best fit based on their preferences of care, social interaction, cost and location rather than reactive due to an emergency.
Though we would all love to “age in place” many of the homes are not conducive to easy mobility. Many homes have steep stairs, unsafe bathrooms and are not designed for walkers and wheelchairs. Though our elderly population is healthier in that their life expectancy is increasing, there are more chronic conditions that require more medical monitoring. Though a senior may feel safer in their own home, there is increased chance of falls, which can lead to further medical complications. Assisted living communities can provide a safe haven for the senior and reduce stress among the family knowing their loved one is safe.
Finally, the fear of the cost of assisted living can be reduced by understanding everything that is included in the price of assisted living. The cost will include all of your meals, your utilities, your garbage service and lots of other services. In addition, many of the costs you have now will no longer be necessary, such as home insurance and mortgage payments. So especially if you are selling your home, these costs are much more doable than many think. One of my roles as a Senior Living Advisor is to refer seniors and families to resources that can help alleviate the cost of assisted living.
Assisted living no longer needs to be a fearful concept, but one that can help a senior maintain independence due to the avenues of care, safety and socialization. Today can be the beginning of a new adventure.
Life transitions are difficult at any age, but the transition to assisted living can be made easier for yourself and your loved one by contacting a local Senior Living Advisor today.