In retirement, older adults have a lot of decisions to make and one of the most important is whether or not to move to a senior living community. The senior living decision is one that has many facets and involves many different considerations. When assessing the pros and cons of senior living, here are some essential questions to ask.
Is mobility decreasing? One of the most difficult aspects of living in the family home is that with age, mobility often decreases and getting around safely becomes more and more difficult. Stairs are harder to climb and can be a fall risk, furniture and rugs can impede mobility, and just taking a shower can become an ordeal. When making the senior living decision, factor in all the hazards associated with decreased mobility and what it would take to make a home safe and accessible as mobility declines. To best assess if mobility is becoming a problem, the Harvard Health Publishing blog, “Two questions can reveal mobility problems in seniors” looks at one way researchers test mobility in seniors.
Are there health conditions that will continue to worsen? Some older adult health concerns can be treated so they are cured or managed. Others, however, cannot. Diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease are incurable and will continue to get worse over time. When a diagnosis is an incurable disease, it requires a senior living decision to be part of a long-term plan of care. While an early diagnosis often allows time to make that plan, it is never easy to know how quickly a disease will progress to the point that the senior living decision cannot wait. At Thrive Senior Living, we offer independent and assisted living as well as memory care to help older adults and their families make the right senior living decision in a community that is prepared to meet all of their health and welfare needs.
Is living at home safe? Feeling safe at home is more than just having good locks on the doors. For example, do you feel confident that you can get out of the home quickly in case of a fire? Can you still safely manage basic home maintenance? Do you feel safe when bathing? There are many home hazards that can become real dangers as we age, each should be considered when making a senior living decision. To find out more potential safety risks at home, check out the seniorliving.org blog, “Home Safety for Seniors.”
Is help needed often or daily? When daily life requires the assistance of a family member or friend it’s a fairly good indicator that it’s time to make the senior living decision. If cooking is no longer safe, or a senior needs help with dressing, bathing, or other personal hygiene tasks, the amount of help needed can quickly go from a little to a lot. When this happens, families can become overwhelmed and outside help may be required. According to the agingcare.com blog, “In-Home Care Costs Breakdown” the average national cost of care is $4,000 per month, on top of all the other home maintenance and living costs. When making a senior living decision, be sure to add up these costs when comparing staying home versus moving to senior living.
Is isolation a problem? Older adults who live alone at home can quickly find they feel isolated, especially when they have health concerns that slow them down and/or they can no longer drive. When family and friends are not nearby to visit or don’t have time, an older adult can experience depression which can lead to more mental or physical health problems or exacerbate current ones. When this occurs, the senior living decision should be on the table for discussion keeping in mind the older adults in senior living communities always have help and friends close by should they need them. For more about the impact of isolation on older adults, the Cleveland Clinic blog, “Pandemic Isolation Can Be Especially Hard on Older Adults” offers signs to look for.
What is there to gain from a senior living community? The senior living decision cannot be made without knowing what senior living communities offer. The truth is they offer so much… from private, accessible housing, to 24/7 care, to chef-prepared meals and a range of other amenities, many older adults wonder why they didn’t make the senior living decision sooner! And, senior living at Thrive offers all this and more!
Still wondering if senior living is right for you? Reach out to one of our community team members for help in making the best decision for you and your family. Find a Thrive community near you.