For an older adult, the choice between assisted living and independent living usually depends on how well an individual can manage daily activities without extra assistance. Examples of daily activities include, but are not limited to: preparing meals, personal hygiene, managing medications, completing household chores, driving/coordinating transportation, and maintaining personal finances. Someone who has difficulty with any of these daily "independent" activities may want to consider the maintenance-free lifestyle of an assisted living community.
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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.
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As you begin your search for the right assisted living community, you probably already know what your needs are and what to expect from your soon-to-be new home. If not, start assessing your current needs, whether it’s medication management, assistance with taking a shower or help tying your shoes. A caregiver may want to know many details, such as how a change in personal care needs over time would be handled by the staff or how the community can accommodate residents with dementia needs.
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.
You’ll know when an assisted living community is right for you when it fits naturally into your healthcare and lifestyle needs. The first step is to know your needs; thereafter, gather as much information you can on the services and amenities offered within the community to decide whether assisted living makes a comparable fit.
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.
Watching your aging parent’s health decline is heart wrenching, especially when you feel like a helpless bystander. It’s during this time; however, you can show your loved one that you are their greatest fan! Start to ‘clean house’ by overseeing the affairs of your aging parents, ideally with their approval, and before a health crisis develops.
In the period immediately following World War II, the United States experienced an increase in its birth rate. This period came to be known as the "baby boom," with those born during that time being known as "baby boomers." While this was a prosperous period in American history, we are beginning to face one of the unintended consequences of the baby boom… a large aging population. As baby boomers are getting older, many will be facing the decision to move into assisted living or other kinds of senior housing.
Socializing: It's for Kids, Ages 2 to 102. Most people understand the importance of encouraging young children to socialize, but it's easy to overlook the importance of socialization for older adults. Human nature leads us to crave fulfilling relationships with other people. As we age however, life circumstances may push us toward loneliness and isolation unless we take proactive steps to cultivate new relationships. This applies regardless of whether someone lives alone or in an assisted living community. Consider some of the benefits of socialization for your aging loved one…
So often we hear from the caregivers of prospective residents that their loved one just isn’t ready to commit to moving into an assisted or independent living community. They don’t want to be the “bad guy” and push to make a decision. Their loved one is not convinced it is the right time and other family members may feel guilty even suggesting it. This always begs the question “What other decisions have you or your loved one had to make that you weren’t ready for?” That really gets them to think. Change can be hard – but it doesn’t have to be.