Finding the right living solution for your aging loved one does not come with a one- size-fits-all solution. In fact, if you are beginning to consider senior living options, it is critical to understand not only all of the choices, but also the specific interests of your loved one. Ultimately the best living situation is the one that safely and comfortably meets the needs of your family. For a growing number of seniors and their caregivers, senior living communities offer an ideal fit.
Read on to learn why your aging loved one may prefer a senior living community over other housing alternatives in his or her golden years.
The Challenges of Change
Aging seniors, as well as their adult children, feel many emotions when the time comes to move away from a cherished home. Unfortunately, these emotions can interfere with the ability to make a realistic, practical decision. Homeownership, in and of itself, has many challenges; both financial and physical. From attending to home maintenance demands to a lack of daily companionship, living at home can not only be overwhelming, but also isolating, especially for those living alone.
Additionally, as mobility decreases, so can access to essential health and social services, as well as daily activities and social events. While the decision to leave a home may feel monumental, the truth is that few seniors are able to maintain the same quality of life they once had as they begin to age in their homes.
Moving In Matters
While opening your doors to an aging loved one is a beautiful gesture, this decision also comes with great responsibility. Caring for a senior is a big commitment, for which you, your family, and your loved one must be prepared. Caregivers are often relied upon for many diverse tasks, including preparing meals, providing transportation, assisting with health and hygiene tasks, household chores, and managing finances. This can be particularly challenging under close quarters. While these may be things you are happy to do for a loved one, the routine can place quite a strain on your relationship. In some cases, your loved one may not want you to undertake that burden.
A New Outlook
For many aging adults -- including those who are able to live independently as well as those who require assistance -- senior living communities offer the best of both worlds through a variety of housing options tailored to meet your loved one's physical, emotional and spiritual needs throughout the aging process. Meals are prepared and served daily, providing your loved one with a balanced diet and healthy choices. Activities, events, and trips are planned throughout the week to provide opportunities for social engagement, exercise, education, and fun. Transportation services are available for shopping, errands, and trips to the doctor. Healthcare services from a wellness team are offered as needed, providing the management of medications or assistance with daily activities. In short, senior living communities ensure that seniors receive access to attention and help while maintaining a critical sense of independence.
Ultimately, while moving from one living situation to another is never easy, considering your family’s specific needs is an essential part of finding the right fit. By understanding the options while keeping the lines of communication open, you can ensure a positive transition. Before making a decision, make some time to tour a few senior living communities with your loved one and see what you think of the staff, the food, the lifestyle, and the environment. This experience often opens the door for further conversation and can help greatly as you explore the world of senior living options.
Making decisions about senior living options can be challenging, but an informed choice delivers better outcomes.
All options have pros and cons; try to consider the importance of each aspect.
Communication is key: be aware of the needs and desires of your aging loved one throughout the decision-making process.
About Marissa Salvesen
My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!
Connect with Marissa Salvesen
Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.