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Why NOW is the Best Time to Consider Assisted Living

 

Aging is happening to all of us every day. What we don’t realize is that, as we continue to age after 60, the effects of aging accelerate and become harder to cope with, sometimes drastically impacting our livelihood and that of our adult children as well. The sooner we identify we might need some help, the more likely we will have greater choices as to how and where that help will come from. Care Placement Specialists can share story after story of families who waited too long and then, in high stress and panic mode, call for help to find a solution for Mom or Dad. Easy decisions become hard and ample choices become fewer when in crisis.

 

Availability of an expert assessment

How do you know if Mom or Dad is really “OK”? This is a daily conundrum for so many adult children today. With families dispersed geographically and with most adult children juggling kids and a career, daily or even weekly interactions with Mom and Dad are almost non-existent. Interactions occur primarily on the phone and in-person visits are relegated to major holidays once or twice per year.

It’s usually during these yearly family gatherings that someone identifies that Dad isn’t shaving anymore and seems to be wearing the same clothes over and over or perhaps Mom is leaving the stove on or constantly asking the same question she asked only moments previous. Then comes the dilemma of how to approach their parents without hurt feelings or even anger and denial. Self doubt creeps in and many adult children wonder whether they are just seeing their parents through a hyper-critical lens.  Many question whether it is worth the potential backlash associated with broaching this type of sensitive topic to those who were previously the authority figures in the family. This is where an objective approach and thorough assessment by a trained professional becomes so valuable. The ability to ask questions and make observations from a non-emotional perspective allows the adult children to be un-involved observers and truly understand how much care their parents may need.

 

No stress or cost associated with home maintenance

Beyond the obvious benefit of providing 24-hour assistance and care to seniors, there are many other benefits associated with transitioning from a private home into an assisted living community. As people age, the physical and financial burdens associated with home repair can become overwhelming. While Dad used to mow the lawn and clean the pool, now those tasks are either left undone or relegated to an outside service that may or may not be providing a good product for a reasonable price. Even the act of identifying if outside companies have been paid or perhaps paid twice in the same month can become confusing for those aging and create an opportunity for abuse.

 

Availability of full-time and 24-hour assistance

Additional considerations with Assisted Living surround the potential for older adults to require assistance not only in the daytime, but at night as well. Many re-admissions to the hospital for senior patients are the result of falls, and many of these occur during the night. Accident prevention and/or immediate response to a fall can mitigate a trip to the ER when there is awake staff during the night. This type of care requirement can become financially prohibitive if purchased as in-home care. In all Assisted Living communities, whether they are large or small, residents have a penchant to alert staff to respond immediately in the event of an accident during the day or in the middle of the night.

 

 

About the author
Nicolet Araujo

Senior Care Consultant

CarePatrol of Orange County

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