As your parent or loved one gets older, you may find that he or she needs extra help with everyday living tasks. If you are not in a position to provide this extra care, assisted living can be a great option. Assisted living allows your loved one to maintain a sense of independence while still getting that extra help he or she needs. However, your relative may have concerns and reservations about moving into an assisted living community. Here are some ways to address those concerns so you can make the decision that's right for your family:
Your loved one may be concerned about losing the privacy that comes with living at home. You can address this by discussing how the assisted living community is set up. Explain that he or she will live in an apartment with no roommates, and that the staff comes in only to assist with certain tasks. Your relative may be confusing assisted living with nursing homes, which tend to have setups similar to hospitals. In a nursing home, a resident might stay in a room with one or two other patients. In assisted living, your loved one can enjoy a private living space. Be sure to ask the facility about when the staff comes in each day; you may find that they will knock or ring the doorbell before entering for added privacy.
Another concern some people have about moving to assisted living is what will happen to their personal belongings. Again, this concern may result from confusing nursing homes with assisted living facilities. In a nursing home, residents may be limited in what they can bring from home. They can't bring furniture with them, and personal items often must fit in a provided dresser or closet. However, in an assisted living facility, there are options for bringing in personal items. You can choose a furnished apartment, but some facilities will let you bring in your loved one's furnishings as well; pictures, clothing, and other items from home can also be brought with them to the assisted living community. Reassure your loved one that other items can also be put into storage so they aren't lost or sold.
Having delicious food can be a comfort for many people, and this is particularly true if your loved one enjoys cooking. He or she may be worried about eating cafeteria food and missing out on home-cooked meals. This problem is often addressed in assisted living communities by providing residents with dining options. Your loved one can choose to eat in the communal cafeteria, but he or she may also be able to cook meals in their apartment as well. Look for a community that features small kitchenettes inside each apartment so your loved one can eat all the foods he or she has always enjoyed making. Remember that the facility may offer meal delivery from the cafeteria if your relative prefers to dine at home instead of in the cafeteria.
If your loved one has concerns for which you don't have an answer, write out a list of questions to ask the assisted elderly living facility. Once you have the answers, you can sit down as a family and discuss these additional concerns.
After my grandmother was too old to live on her own any more, I knew that I had to do something to keep her comfortable and safe. I started looking into assisted living facilities, and before I knew it, I had narrowed down the search to a few different places. It was absolutely incredible to see how many different options there were, so I felt great about only having to choose between a few. After I talked with my grandmother about what she wanted, it made it even easier to choose, and she is now comfortably living in a great environment. Check out this blog for more information.