Assisted Senior Living

5 Things to Discuss with a Loved One Entering Assisted Living

One of the major shocks in life is when you realize that parents or other loved ones have reached the age when they need help. If an individual still enjoys at least some activity and self-reliance, but has health problems that make living alone difficult or unsafe, an assisted living facility might be the ideal solution. An assisted living senior care facility allows residents who do not require a full care nursing home to live relatively normal lives. However, there are things you should discuss before the move.

  1. Reasons for the move: Make sure your loved one understands the reasons why it is best to enter an assisted living facility. Many seniors may feel, even if they do not say so, that this move signifies they have become useless and are being tossed aside. One approach is to point out that the assistance residents receive with assisted living allows them to live fuller lives. Many of the daily chores like cooking and cleaning can be replaced with enjoyable activities and interaction with others.
  2. Facility quality: Once the decision is made that an assisted living situation is best, the next task is to select the right one. It is essential that the senior has input in this choice to avoid any later dissatisfaction. Consider the services each facility offers and determine which would be most beneficial. Select a facility that has at least some around the clock staff in case of an emergency. Look at the menus they offer and the quality of the food preparation. Is the food served from a common menu, or is it made based on each client’s preferences or medical needs? Ask to tour each facility. Take photos of the living quarters that you can show to your loved one.
  3. Location: Another consideration is location. If the facility is too far for friends and relatives to visit regularly, this will increase any feelings of isolation. When looking at location, determine the distances to quality medical facilities. You should also learn where the nearest shopping centers are and whether or not the facilities you are looking at have regular shuttles to these stores. If your senior still enjoys shopping and other similar activities, a shuttle bus will be a major plus.
  4. Personal property: A significant concern for many seniors entering an assisted living facility is that they will have to give up many furnishings and other personal items. You can help make this process easier by finding a facility that allows residents to bring at least some of their own furnishings, pictures, and other personal items. For the rest, your loved can create a list of the things that cannot be taken and decide what should be done with them. These items could be sold at a yard sale, distributed to friends and family or given away to favorite charities.
  5. Maintaining contact: One of the greatest fears seniors have when going into any senior care facility is that they will be isolated and abandoned. You should have a frank discussion about this and how this situation will be avoided. Set up schedules for regular visits. This will make it easier for the senior to prepare for your visits and will provide reassurance you are coming. Finally, make a full list of all the phone numbers and email addresses of friends and family to make maintaining contact easier.