What do you get when you combine wellness services, luxury amenities, a maintenance-free lifestyle, and round-the-clock caregiver support? Assisted living, an exceptional senior living solution that has changed to meet the needs of aging adults over the past few decades. The right assisted living community can provide peace of mind for older adults and their loved ones, as well as personalized assistance, healthy socialization, and so much more.
However, when is it time for assisted living? Though it is never too late to begin looking at senior living solutions, moving into assisted living long before any medical crisis occurs means that you or your loved one will have the chance to thrive in these vibrant and active communities.
Signs It Might Be Time for Assisted Living
With nearly 1 million licensed assisted living beds currently spread across approximately 28,900 communities in the United States, it is no wonder why assisted living is such a popular senior living choice. These communities provide an “in-between” for seniors who need a little more support than independent living offers but do not require specialized care for cognitive decline or chronic medical conditions.
Every adult is unique, certainly, but there are some signs it might be time for assisted living. These potential red flags can indicate that you or your loved one might benefit from the amenities, services, and support that the right assisted living community can offer:
- A fall in the past 6-12 months
- Recent weight loss or weight gain
- A medical condition that causes chronic pain
- Mobility challenges, or the recent addition of a mobility aid
- Feeling confused or overwhelmed by prescription medications
- Statements of feeling lonely, isolated, or sad
- The lack of a strong network of daily social support or connections
- Diagnosis of a medical condition that will get worse over time
- A lack of attention to personal hygiene
- Falling behind in housework or other chores
- A lack of reliable transportation
- Struggling to keep up with paying monthly bills in a timely manner
How Assisted Living Can Help
Though family members might only look at assisted living after a health scare, such as a fall at home, assisted living is designed to help prevent those emergencies and help residents live safely and comfortably. When is it time to move to assisted living, then? The sooner the better. In fact, the earlier the move to assisted living, the more quickly the senior can enjoy the benefits that come with the assisted living lifestyle!
Each assisted living community offers its own amenities and services, but here are common ones that can benefit you or your loved one’s overall health and wellness.
- Regular housekeeping visits, as well as laundry services
- Chef-prepared meals served in a social dining room setting three times per day
- Nurse oversight of personalized care
- Trained and friendly caregivers available for support and assistance round the clock
- Scheduled transportation around town to planned excursions
- A vibrant life enrichment program that includes a monthly calendar full of interesting programs, events, and trips
- Cozy shared community spaces that encourage conversation and connections between neighbors
- Wellness visits from local practitioners
- Group exercise programs and access to an on-site fitness center
- An on-site physical and occupational outpatient therapy clinic
- Predictable and simplified billing
When Is Assisted Living Not Appropriate?
Assisted living is not the only senior living solution available for older adults. There are other choices: independent living, memory care, and skilled nursing. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, and each is designed to support residents with specific abilities or challenges.
Assisted living communities can serve a large population of seniors who could use an extra pair of hands or verbal cueing with personal care tasks and are looking to feel confident that someone is there to help them with any medical emergencies or with managing medications.
When is it time for independent living?
Independent living residents can still enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle with plenty of socialization and opportunities to get involved with community life. However, they do not receive caregiver support, so they need to be able to independently perform activities of daily living. You or your loved one might benefit from independent living if extra socialization is a top priority or if a maintenance-free lifestyle is appealing.
When is it time for memory care?
Assisted living is not always appropriate for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. Though some assisted living communities offer specialized programs for those living through the early stages of the disease, memory care communities are better suited to keeping residents safe, engaged, and comfortable as they transition to the middle stages of cognitive decline.
Assisted Living Questions to Ask
If you are curious about whether assisted living might be your best next move, consider asking yourself these questions:
- Do I feel lonely most days?
- Do I feel nervous at night time or during personal care tasks? Am I worried that I might fall?
- Does my anxiety over falling or having a medical emergency keep me from performing daily tasks around the house?
- Is preparing healthy meals three times per day too much for me right now?
- Could I benefit from living in a community setting with welcoming neighbors and caring staff members?
Next Steps: Learning More About Assisted Living
Assisted living offers exceptional personalized support in a luxury maintenance-free setting designed to make life that much better. Learn more about assisted living, including costs, amenities to look for, and more by browsing our resource, “The Complete Guide to Assisted Living.”