If your dear, aging friend or much-loved elderly family member is beginning to show signs that they may no longer be able to manage to live in their own home, then it may be time to start to consider, ideally with their full support and consent, them moving to senior living facilities.
Undeniably and entirely naturally, this is a stressful, emotional, confusing, and conflicting time for yourself, your loved one, and their family and friends. In an effort to help make the important questions clearer and the decision-making process slightly simpler, continue reading for a comprehensive guide to moving your loved one to senior living facilities.
When Is The Right Time?
Naturally, every individual is entirely different and unique, and it is for this reason that it can sometimes be difficult to ascertain when, or if, the time has come for your elderly relative or loved one to start a new chapter in their lives and to move to a senior living facility.
However, there does tend to be some reoccurring behavior patterns and symptoms that do seem to indicate a person is no longer able to successfully and safely manage to live independently. These signs may include, but are in no way limited to:
- Their usually impeccable personal hygiene has started to slip
- The house is dusty and clearly not being cleaned
- Your loved one has missed prescribed medications
- They have unexplained bruises on their arms or legs from falls
- Dishes and washing is piling up that is clearly being ignored
- Their eating habits have declined, and they no longer cook for themselves
- Any pets appear unfed or even unwell
- Persistent low mood and isolating themselves from family and friends
- Changes in behavior and even displays of aggression
The Different Options For Senior Living
Fortunately, again wholly dependent on your loved one’s health and ailments, as well as their wants and needs, there are several different types of senior living facilities, all of which have different specialisms and focuses on catering to different types of people.
1. Independent Living
Independent living is essentially a housing area specifically designed for older adults and consists of retirement communities and senior living apartments. Independent living is the best choice for your loved one if they are still sociable and essentially physically able yet are feels unable to properly and safely carry out the daily chores and maintenance required to run a home. Some individual apartments will come furnished, while others will come unfurnished. Each place is different.
2. Assisted Living
Essentially, assisted living communities allow for residents to live as independently or assisted as they wish or, more importantly, need by tailoring the level of care entirely to the individual resident. Assisted living communities provide a much higher level of support and professional medical presence of personnel than independent living facilities do and also promote a healthy and well-balanced social calendar and environment.
3. Memory Care
Carefully and purposefully designed for residents who are suffering from a memory-based debilitating illness such as Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, memory care facilities offer specialized support and a much higher level of personalized support than the previous two options.
By far, the best option for both your loved one and their family and friends is to choose a senior living site that encompasses several different key types of assisted living, such as Belmont Village Senior Living, to meet the changing needs of your loved one as they get older.
How to handle logistics?
It’s important to determine the moving date and coordinate with the facility to ensure a smooth transition. This may involve arranging for transportation, packing and labeling their belongings, and ensuring that any necessary medical equipment is set up in their new living space.
Hiring professional movers such as North American can alleviate much of the stress and physical labor involved in moving a loved one to a senior living facility. They can assist with packing and labeling belongings, safely transporting furniture and fragile items, and even setting up the new living space.
It’s also important to update their address and inform relevant parties, such as healthcare providers and family members, of the move. Once they’ve arrived at the facility, it’s important to ensure that they’re comfortable and settled in and that any necessary paperwork or documentation is completed.
Important Questions To Ask Staff
Having preliminarily chosen a senior living facility that you feel is best suited to your loved one’s individual needs, desires, and concerns, it would be incredibly pertinent to prepare some key questions to address to the medical staff and other professionals working in the facility.
In addition, you must ask if you, and, where feasible, your loved one can go on a thorough tour of the proposed senior living facility. This gives you the opportunity to get some of your questions answered by seeing it in person for yourself or spark more questions as you go round. Make sure to talk to current residents to gauge a feel of their experiences and thoughts of the area.
If you don’t know what sort of questions to ask on the tour or after, take a look at some of the below examples:
- How do residents get to the shops for groceries, books and other things they want?
- Are pets allowed?
- Are meals tailored to an individual’s dietary requirements and general preferences?
Can residents eat their meals in the privacy of their own rooms if they want to?
- Are residents safely transported to and from their hospital appointments?
- Are residents free to design and decorate their apartments as they freely desire?
Managing Your Own Emotions
Naturally and, of course, as it should be, the only priority when it comes to moving a family member or loved one to a senior living facility should be your loved one themselves.
However, you are likely to be experiencing a mixed range of emotions, and, commonly, guilt may well be attempting to creep into your mind, especially if your loved one is moving to a memory care facility.
During this time, it is crucial that you and other loved ones remember that this is the best possible decision for your elderly relative or friend and every decision you are making comes from a deep and heartfelt place of love, respect, and care. No matter how dedicated you are to the physical and mental health, well-being, and safety of your loved one, undeniably, there will always come a point when professional assistance and medical care will far outweigh and exceed even your best efforts.
Make sure to schedule regular visits to see them, and when you can’t, make sure to speak to them as often as they can. This can help them settle into their new home. Make sure to find out if there are specific visiting hours or not, and this can be a great way to ease your friend or relative that seeing you won’t change even if their home environment has changed.