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Honest Insights for Seniors and Caregivers As seniors navigate the nuances of older adulthood, there may come a time when certain challenges of physical, mental and emotional health become increasingly difficult to manage. And while the prospect of making the transition to an assisted living community can feel scary or overwhelming—for both seniors and their caregivers—the truth is that this option may actually support a greater quality of life for you or your aging loved one.
It might be nearing the “right” time to move a parent into an assisted living community when health and safety needs are putting your loved one at risk in their home. If this is your concern then it’s time to have a talk with your loved one. Often there are telltale signs of something “not right” in the home that you can address quickly before things spiral out of control.
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United Methodist Homes (UMH) is a local, faith-based not-for-profit organization offering assisted and independent housing and healthcare options for seniors with a mission-based, relationship-centered approach to caring.
As you begin the search for an assisted living community for your aging loved one, you will find that these communities come in all shapes and sizes, which may or may not suit you and your loved one’s goals. Therefore, the first thing you need to consider is the needs of your loved one and how they might change in a month, three months or even a year from now. Ask each provider how he or she might accommodate these changing needs as time rolls on.
Change is challenging for everyone, but it can be especially difficult for your aging loved one. The thought of making a move to an assisted living community can leave your mom or dad feeling vulnerable, like they are leaving their home and all that is familiar behind. These are all normal emotions which can be addressed with proper preparation. Taking the time to thoughtfully prepare for the transition can help your loved one adjust more easily.
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There are many valid reasons to consider assisted living, with each holding a different value depending on your personal journey. Assisted living communities provide a broad range of services and your decision to consider making a move will depend on both your present and future needs and the timeline in which those needs must be met.
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And The Mountains Echoed is a fascinating and disturbing novel by Khalem Hosseni, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. In heart wrenching detail, he tells the story of a family from Afghanistan over a sixty-year period, each one of who continue to be affected by decisions made in earlier generations. It is a sometimes-grim reminder that, while we are free to alter our responses to the events of our lives, thus changing ourselves in some real way, we are always to some extent the product of our past.
According to a recent poll, the number of adult children providing personal or financial assistance to their parents has tripled in the last 15 years. Becoming a caregiver is a role few people plan for. Most people are thrust into the caregiver role unexpectedly, often when a parent suddenly suffers a stroke or a chronic condition worsens. This often inevitably leads to caregiver burnout and less effective management of a senior parent’s health needs.
If you and your aging loved one are beginning to think about making a move to a senior living community, you have probably thought about the financial resources you will need for this investment. Most families have many questions about funding when they are searching for an assisted living community. How much will a monthly apartment rental cost? What is included? How much will additional care services cost? Are assisted living services included in the monthly rental or is there a separate fee? When touring an assisted living community, a senior living advisor can answer these questions and simplify the details of evaluating cost.
Making “small talk” can be an excellent way to break the ice and form a friendship. For many, however, starting off a conversation can be intimidating and can be better compared to an art form that few have truly mastered. Fortunately, there are easy ways for seniors to socialize in their assisted living communities, as nearly all facilities are designed with the purpose of providing opportunities for seniors to engage and connect.
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Knowing when is the right time to move your loved one into assisted living is not easy. You may have seen warning signs that put you on edge, such as out-of-character behaviors and various odd incidents at home which planted the seed of alternative care in your head. The fact that you are having this mental conflict in the first place is a sign in itself to start the conversation with your loved ones.