The prospect of placing an aging parent in an assisted living facility is not an appealing one for most adult children. Many people have a negative view of such institutions based on a handful of salacious news stories exposing the abuses of elderly that have occurred at senior living facilities (mainly nursing homes where patients need around-the-clock care). But there are also many high-quality operations staffed with caring and qualified individuals. As long as you take the time to check out facilities in your area, you should be able to find one that is suitable for your aging parents. But how do you know when the time is right to place them is assisted living?
- Signs of dementia. It seems like more and more people are being diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s these days. While scientists and doctors are still working to uncover the causes of these disorders to offer preventive solutions or after-the-fact care to halt and even reverse the condition, that day is not yet here. So if you begin to notice that your aging parents are suffering memory loss, acting erratically (or in ways that are out of character), or otherwise exhibiting signs of cognitive impairment, you may want to have them tested and consider if the care offered by an assisted living facility is required.
- Physical restrictions. It is not uncommon for seniors to suffer physical ailments and injuries. In many cases, the process of recuperation can be lengthy, and they may need ongoing care. If the prognosis for recovery is poor, you might want to think about how you will provide for their healthcare needs. Assisted living could be the answer.
- Loneliness and limited mobility. Many seniors find themselves stuck in their homes, unable to drive for one reason or another, and far away from family and friends. If this is the case with your elderly parent or parents, you could always think about moving them closer to you. But if this isn’t an option or they simply don’t want to leave the area they live in, you might want to look into an assisted living situation that still allows for privacy and independence (like a senior community) but offers them the sense of community and any services they may need.
- You can’t afford home care. Although you probably want to keep your parents in their own home (or yours) for as long as possible, with the best carer possible from Homecare Preferred, at some point, you may find yourself unable to support the high cost of home-based care. Assisted living facilities may provide a budgetary solution, especially if some of the expense is covered by Medicare or other benefits.
- You are unable to care for them. Whether your parents are in your home or still living on their own, you may be attempting to care for them. But you no doubt have your own life to live as well, including a job, a family, and other interests. And in many cases, your parents do not want you caring for them any more than you want to take on the responsibility and the role of caregiver. Luckily, there are many facilities at your disposal in the realm of assisted living, from the relative privacy offered to the full-time medical staff provided by a nursing home. The state of your dependent parent will help you to determine which option is suitable.