Assisted Living: Who Decides When It’s Time To Go?
Many people in the Baby Boomer generation are beginning to find they are dealing with the issues of aging parents that can no longer live on their own. Finding the right living arrangement and services for these elders requires research and understanding of the individual needs of the elder. Assisted living facilities can offer a number of advantages for these seniors, but the decision to make changes regarding living arrangements is still in their hands.
What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a system of residential care that has been designed to allow seniors the maximum of personal freedom in their own separate living space while at the same time relieving them of some of the daily chores. These facilities generally provide three meals, laundry services, housekeeping and 24/7 supervision.
The facility may also offer exercise classes, speakers, field trips to cultural events and other enrichments that help to keep life interesting for seniors who live there. Though less expensive than nursing homes, assisted living facilities still have a considerable cost. Some facilities accept social security or Medicaid for the monthly payments.
A Sandy Springs, Georgia favorite among the Seniors, Dogwood Forest, provides a living environment that promotes health in a community setting with many amenities that allow Seniors to continue to live independent lives with the security of knowing help is present if and when they need it.
Signs Your Aging Parent May Need Help
As time goes on, you may find that your aging parent is having difficulty managing everyday tasks:
· Physical limitations like having trouble getting up or walking around easily.
· Forgetfulness or increasing mental confusion
· Problems managing housework
· Neglecting to eat regular meals
· Problems with late payment of bills, losing checkbooks or other financial issues
· Unopened mail
· Neglect of proper grooming, bathing and personal care
· Irregular taking of medications or forgetfulness about taking medications
· Weight loss
· Unexplained dents or scratches on the car
· Mood changes
· Lack of interest in hobbies or social activities.
These signs can mean that your aging parent is struggling to manage everyday tasks, and a full review of health and mental condition is necessary to determine if changing to a senior care facility is necessary.
Having “The Talk”
Aging parents often deny that they are having difficulty managing their daily lives. They may even become belligerent when you suggest considering a move to a senior care facility like assisted living. However, honesty is the best policy in these cases. The grown children should be open about their worries about the parents’ safety and care. As long as the parent has the mental capacity to make their own decisions, the decision to enter assisted living is his or hers to make. Generally, the acceptance of one’s diminished abilities is a gradual realization.
It may take some time before the parent is willing to admit he needs help. Involve the parent in research of facilities and reassure him that you will be in constant contact with him after the move. Emphasize the benefits of being in assisted living and how he will have more time for the hobbies he enjoys. Once the parent agrees to take the step into a new phase of life, you can be there to support their decision to make the transition easier.
Valerie Stout Cyrus is a freelance writer who frequently researches issues that affect the elderly. She found that Dogwood Forest provides one of the best Senior Living facilities in the Atlanta, Georgia area.