When to Move into Five Star Senior Living
Reaching the decision of when a loved one should move into an assisted living home should be a carefully thought-out and well-planned process. There are a range of factors to consider when making this decision that all tie back to one important question - “is the level of care I and/or my family is able to provide lesser or greater than the level of care in an assisted living home?” Both the senior and the caregiver must start a dialogue to reach a decision together. It is critical to develop a plan in preparation for the next step before health and relationships begin to decline. There are certain key elements that should prompt deeper thought, research, and discussion of when to move into five star senior living.
Big Picture Signs
There are a handful of big picture signs that indicate it is time to start investigating assisted living for your loved one. These questions can be emotionally charged and require an honest and objective look at the situation at hand. Fortunately, they can be answered accurately by you, your family members, and your loved ones close friends and can shed light on how you should proceed.
If you answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, it is a good indication that choosing when to move into five star senior living is a decision that is quickly approaching as the level of care needed is possibly becoming too great for you and your family to handle alone.
Your answers here are very important, not only for the wellbeing of your loved one, but for the wellbeing of yourself and the rest of your family. “Anger, resentment, sleep deprivation, all those things will become part of what happens to a caregiver,” says Rita Vasquez, M.A., an MFTI Clinician at Quail Lakes Counseling Center in Stockton, California. “Of course, also the guilt, when you think, ‘I’m not doing enough.' When that happens, it’s important to recognize how much you’ve been giving to your loved one, and perhaps tell yourself, ‘Okay, I’m not living a life for myself anymore, I’m living for that person.’”
Ask yourself the question once again, “is the level of care I and/or my family is able to provide lesser or greater than the level of care in an assisted living home?” In an assisted living home, monthly bills are usually one flat fee and there are staff nearby 24/7 to help in the event of an emergency.
Up Close Signs
Sometimes it can be hard to tell what your loved one might be struggling with because you aren’t with them 24/7. Maybe you do see what they struggle with during visits, or perhaps you have other relatives who have noticed issues as well. Regardless, you must take some time to find out whether your loved one struggles with daily living tasks, such as bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning, etc. If you are unsure, you should discuss these issues with them directly, even if the subject is difficult to broach. Maintaining courtesy and care will help get you the answers you need to find out the level of difficulty these daily tasks present to your loved one and will help you decide when to move into five star senior living. For help on how to bring up the subject and what to expect, check out this great article, “What to Expect When Talking to Loved Ones About Senior Housing.”
If you answer yes to two or more of these questions, it is probably time to start looking for an assisted living facility.
Unfortunately, your loved one’s ability to complete these tasks independently is only going to decrease as time goes on. In conjunction with that, the physical and emotional toll on yourself and your family members will likely increase. Keeping your loved one’s elder years full of positive and loving interactions shouldn’t be compromised if the stress of caregiving becomes too great.
Mental wellbeing is just as important as physical wellbeing, and they are often intertwined. Diminished physical ability leads to decreased social activity, which can lead to depression, which leads right back around to neglect for one’s physical health. Social signs are just as important as the more obvious physical signs and should be given adequate weight when making your decision.
Deciding when to move into five star senior living for social reasons revolves around “yes” answers to two or more of these questions.
To find answers to some of these questions you will have to discuss them with your loved one directly. Undoubtedly, the answers will be filled with emotion and might not come out the first time around. The key is to be patient and make sure you are asking how your loved on feels, rather telling him/her how you feel and launching into your own critique of his/her social life.
Moving into assisted living can provide a new opportunity for friendships and socialization. Many people in their elders years tend to self-isolate. While privacy is always an option in assisted living, often, opportunities for socialization are right outside of the bedroom door.
Finalizing the Decision
Moving to an assisted living facility or nursing home is a transition that is usually smoother when it happens sooner rather than later, and with the right preparation and research. Taking the time to analyze all these key factors that contribute to when to move into five star assisted living will help you make an educated decision. Once you’re ready to find the home that best meets your loved ones needs, the choice can lead not only to a healthier and safer environment for them, but often times a happier one! After taking some time to adjust, many seniors find that they truly appreciate the higher level of support as well as the added opportunities for socialization, dining and activities. Now, breathe a sigh of relief and start the discussion about when to move into five star assisted living with your loved one and family members today!