According to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), more than 735,000 people call an assisted living community home. At some point, either these residents or their loved ones were confronted with the difficult decision to transition from independent living to assisted living, memory care or another community that provides assistance with activities of daily living.
Moving a loved one into an assisted living community is a choice that many families grapple with making. In addition to uprooting an elderly loved one from his or her own home, there is a sense of finality with the conversion, as well as the realization that the family member no longer has the ability to care for himself or herself. This is often a difficult pill for families to swallow. Thankfully, there are communities such as Premier Senior Living, LLC.’s Summit at New Port Richey and Summit at Venice in Florida that provide residents with all of the comforts of home while keeping them safe and secure.
Statistics from NCAL reveal that 70 percent of people in assisted living communities come from private homes or apartments. It goes without saying that the move into assisted living is truly life changing for everyone involved.
So how do you determine when the time is right? The deciding factors are different for everyone, but among some of the most common are:
- The inability to care for oneself
- Concerns that they may not be taking their medication as prescribed
- Concerns about isolation due to a lack of ability to drive
- Concerns about nutrition
- A decline in health
- A physician’s recommendation
- The death of a spouse or partner
Dawn Bare is Director of Sales and Marketing at Premier Senior Living, LLC., a provider of assisted living and memory care services in New York, Ohio and Florida. Bare explains that watching the decline of a loved one is often an impetus to start looking at assisted living or memory care communities like Premier Senior Living, LLC., which has residences throughout the U.S.
“Family gatherings and holidays trigger awareness because loved ones spend more time with family members and are likely to identify changes,” says Bare, who has worked in assisted living for 17 years. “Dramatic changes can include weight loss, memory loss, lack of interest, lack of personal hygiene, wandering, and a person’s inability to manage his or her medications.”
“These are the red flags that often force family members into action.”
Bare adds that the majority of admissions into an assisted living community like Premier Senior Living, LLC. are need-driven. According to NCAL, 87 percent of residents in assisted living need help with meal preparation, and 81 percent require assistance with managing medications. By the time families begin exploring their options, the need for care is immediate.
Bare says, “Families aren’t usually proactive in searching for an assisted living facility. Most families only inquire once their loved one falls, or a doctor states they can’t live alone.”
Even though assisted living is often the only option, family members still face a range of emotions: guilt over failing loved ones, concern over the financial demands, worry over the transition and much more. In some cases, there is also resistance from the loved one being moved into an assisted living or memory care community. Bare points out it is important to recognize that just because the family member isn’t prepared to move doesn’t mean it is the wrong thing to do.
“The decision to move a relative into an assisted living or memory care community comes from a place of love,” Bare explains. “We want the best for our family members, and in many cases, that is putting them in a loving environment where they can be given the time, attention and care they need.”
Ask yourself the following questions. Does your elderly relative need help bathing? Dressing? Using the restroom? Moving around? Eating? Is anybody in your family prepared to give this person the round-the-clock care he or she needs? Does this person’s behavior or actions put him or her in harm’s way? These are some of the factors that must be considered when contemplating a move into assisted living.
Once the decision has been made, it is important that people thoroughly research the assisted living communities they are considering. They should look at the quality of care, variety of foods, tenure of staff and more. Also consider whether the current residents appear to be clean and happy and if the assisted living community can meet a loved one’s medical needs as they age. Finding the right memory care or assisted living community will make the transition more seamless.
If you want to learn more about memory care and assisted living communities in New York, Florida and Ohio, please contact us at 1-800-380-8908 for more information or to schedule a tour.