Talking about the future with your aging parents can be a delicate discussion. Independence is a primary goal for most older adults, so the idea of moving to an assisted living community may be met with a fair bit of resistance. Figuring out how to approach the conversation gracefully is all part of navigating how to care for aging parents.
The reality is, that getting a little extra support sooner than later can actually help preserve your aging parents’ independence longer. Waiting until there’s an emergent need can create added stress and headaches, so exploring the potential benefits of assisted living sooner than later can be a smart move for everyone’s sake.
Does My Parent Need Assisted Living?
Before you can make a well-informed decision, it’s important for you and your parent to have a clear understanding of what assisted living is. After all, the senior living world involves a lot of unfamiliar terms, and they’re not always used correctly.
To put it in simple terms, assisted living provides support for someone who needs a little extra help, often with activities of daily living, like personal care, grooming, bathing and dressing. Assisted living residents aren’t usually quite as autonomous as independent living residents, but they don’t need the continual skilled care offered in skilled nursing.
If you’re still not sure, here are some early signs your aging parents might benefit from a move to assisted living:
- Progression of medical conditions
- Indications that safety could be an issue, such as falls or other accidents
- Unexplained bruises or injuries, which might indicate safety issues your parent is trying to conceal
- Trouble keeping up with housework
- Struggles with daily tasks like dressing and bathing
- Financial problems, like missed bills or delinquent charges
- Changes in mood or mental health, such as depression or loneliness
How Does Moving to Assisted Living Sooner Rather Than Later Help?
You may ask yourself again and again, “Is it time?” Unfortunately, a definitive answer may elude you until you know without a doubt it’s time — and by then, you’re up against a clock to make choices quickly.
Choosing assisted living before it’s an absolute necessity gives your aging parents the opportunity to enjoy the community more fully and benefit from helping hands that can address small problems before they become big ones, preserving independence longer.
Another advantage of moving before it’s a must is the extra time it gives you and your parents to research your options and choose the best fit. You have the chance to set your own pace, without rushing to organize a move, sell the house, sort belongings and so forth.
It’s also worth noting that, depending on where you live, you may find your preferred community has a waiting list. According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one-third of U.S. senior housing communities have a wait, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Assisted Living?
Beyond the additional support that can significantly improve your aging parents’ quality of life, they are sure to find many more reasons to appreciate living in an assisted living community. They’ll discover opportunities to socialize with peers in the same stage of life, tasty meals they don’t have to prepare themselves, and a wide range of resort-style amenities and programs that allow them to explore hobbies and personal interests.
Find Assisted Living in Somerset County
Fellowship Village is a Life Plan Community where your aging parents can receive compassionate, person-centered care while settling into a comfortable retirement lifestyle. An expanded array of healthcare and therapeutic services (including massage and recreation) are just some of the amenities and services our assisted living residents enjoy. The community also offers five-star dining, a cultural arts center, and a brand-new state-of-the-art fitness center is coming soon.
Our caring team members are available to answer your questions and discuss how we can best support you in caring for your aging parents. We can also offer you advice on how to talk to your parents about assisted living, what assisted living at Fellowship Village is like and the differences between assisted living and a nursing home. Contact us to learn more about life at Fellowship Village.