It isn't easy to navigate when deciding if parents require assisted living. Of course, their independence is vital to them, but there may be clear signs that they need help with activities of daily living. Recognizing signs and supporting a parent through transitioning to assisted living care will give your parents comfort and peace of mind.
Recognizing the Signs
You may see changes in parents indicating they need more help than they're asking for. You may notice unexplained bruising, angry outbursts, depressive moods, or memory lapses that happen more and more frequently over time. Signs that your parent may need additional care include:
- Changes in physical and cognitive health
- Changes in behavior and mood
- Difficulty with activities of daily living
- Increased need for medical attention
Once these signs become more prominent, you should talk with your parent about getting the necessary care.
Having the Conversation
Start the conversation by asking open-ended questions like "Do you feel safe living at home alone?" or "Do you feel lonely sometimes?" Once the conversation starts, listen to any anxieties, concerns, or objections your parent may have about transitioning to assisted living care. Addressing those concerns thoughtfully and empathetically will help your parent make an unpressured decision independently.
Understanding Assisted Living Options
Different types of assisted living facilities are based on the care and services they provide. Therefore, it's essential to know the different types of services and care a facility offers to see if they suit the care your parent needs. Here are some examples of assisted living facilities:
- Facilities provide residents with supervision, personal care, housekeeping, and daily meals.
- Residents of independent housing units are provided with supervision, personal care, housekeeping, and one meal a day.
- Four or fewer adults live in one residence and are offered residential care, housekeeping, and supervision.
Once you decide on the type of facility suitable for your parent's needs, evaluating the facilities is the next step. Questions you should consider during the evaluation process are:
- Is it a for-profit or non-profit assisted living facility?
- Is the assisted living facility financially stable?
- Do they have a specialty license which allows the parent to stay longer in assisted living?
- Are there healthcare services available that will satisfy your parent's present and future needs?
- Will the assisted living facility suit your parent's lifestyle and offer helpful amenities?
Planning for the Move
Once you find a suitable facility that will suit your parent's healthcare, personal care, and lifestyle needs, it's time to consider financing options, such as:
- Private health insurance
- Long-term care insurance
- Surrender or sell a life insurance policy
- Use home equity through selling a home or with reverse mortgages
- Benefits for veterans and surviving spouses
Another factor to consider is a downsizing and moving plan. The space will be smaller in an assisted living facility. It will only be able to accommodate some of their possessions. So developing a moving plan and incorporating tips for downsizing and organizing will help remove the worry of moving. Downsizing and organization tips include:
- Start early to eliminate pressure
- Lay out the new floor plan to know which pieces of furniture will fit.
- Sort items to keep, donate, sell, or discard. Discard duplicate items.
- Scan and digitize photos, letters, and cards to save space
- Ask the whole family for help.
Supporting Your Parent in Assisted Living
Once your parent resides in an assisted living facility, it's essential to stay connected and involved and help them feel at home. Visit regularly and help them get to know the other residents and activity schedules.
Contact us today if you notice that a parent may need assistance. The attentive, caring staff members at our Orchid Terrace and Oakstone Assisted Living and Memory Care centers in Moorings Park Communities can help your parent with activities of daily living and 24-hour concierge nursing services.