Assisted Living – tips for making the right decision

Are you or a loved one having more and more difficulty with everyday activities such as showering, dressing, getting around the house, or running errands? An assisted living facility may be right for you. You can get the daily support you need, while remaining as independent as possible.

Making the decision to leave your home for an assisted living facility can be difficult—even if you’re looking forward to the extra help, security, and social perks that it brings. It can also be difficult for your family. You can make the transition easier by taking the time to find the right fit and being honest with your family and with prospective facilities about your needs and concerns.

What is assisted living?

Assisted living is a residential option for seniors who want or need help with some of the activities of daily living—things like cooking meals, getting to the bathroom in the middle of the night, keeping house, and traveling to appointments.

An assisted living facility may be a good choice if you need more personal care services than you can get at home or an independent living retirement community, but you don’t need the round-the-clock medical care and supervision of a residential home.

Assisted living facilities offer the safety and security of 24-hour support and access to care. Day or night, help is only a phone call away. However, privacy and independence are encouraged. A good facility will develop a personalised plan that meets your needs and accommodates your disabilities, while giving you the freedom to do what you can for yourself. In general, assisted living is in a residential type facility, ranging from converted homes or apartment complexes to renovated schools. Some provide apartment-style living with scaled down kitchens, while others provide rooms. In some, you may need to share a room unless willing to pay higher cost. Most facilities have a group dining area and common areas for social and recreational activities.

Is an assisted living facility right for you?

If you’re trying to decide whether assisted living is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need more help than family and friends are able to provide? Are the activities of daily living becoming stressful or overwhelming? If family or in-home help is not able to bridge the gap, assisted living is an option.
  • Do you feel lonely or isolated at home? Having an active social life is vital to your health and happiness. Being alone much of the time is a recipe for depression. The social aspect of assisted living is a huge benefit. Good facilities offer a range of social and recreational activities. And the community environment also gives the opportunity to make new friends.
  • Do you worry for your safety? Perhaps your mobility is limited, making it difficult to get out of bed by yourself, for example. Maybe you’re afraid of what might happen if you fell and couldn’t get up, or experience another problem and couldn’t get help.
  • Are you tired of maintaining a home? There are a lot of responsibilities that come with living in your own home. Assisted living facilities can provide a home-like atmosphere, without the work of cooking, cleaning, shopping for groceries, and doing laundry.
  • Is transportation an issue? Perhaps you’re having trouble driving or can no longer drive. If public transportation or another alternative isn’t easy and convenient, you may be increasingly housebound. Assisted living facilities offer transportation, so you can get where you need to go without having to rely on friends and family.

 

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