More than 810,000 seniors are living in some form of independent housing. Independent senior living communities allow older adults to interact with others their age without having to worry about chores, cooking, laundry, home maintenance, etc.
While there are several benefits to senior living, you might be wondering if your aging parent is ready for the next step in their lives. We’ve created a guide to learn the signs that your family member is ready to begin their search for the right senior living community. Below are some of the different types of senior care and living options.
Types of Senior Living & Care Options
Before we jump into some signs your aging parent is ready for senior living, it’s crucial to know the types of senior living options you have. These options consist of:
- Age in Place
- When an older adult remains in their home and either they or a family member hires someone from an agency to come in and care for them.
- Age Restricted Communities
- Typically require at least one resident to be of a certain age, typically 55 years old, and no health care services are provided in this type of community.
- Independent Living Communities
- Independent older adults enjoy an active lifestyle with planned social activities. There may be some health care services provided here.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities
- A full spectrum of health care services is available to ensure quality care as needs arise.
- Assisted Living Communities
- Senior housing that provides supportive health care services to adults when living alone or independently is no longer safe.
- Nursing Homes
- Nursing Home, or senior care centers, offers services focus on medical care more than most assisted living communities. These services typically include nursing care and 24-hour supervision.
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- In-patient rehabilitation and medical treatment center staffed with trained medical professionals. A skilled nursing facility is a temporary residence for patients undergoing medically necessary rehabilitation treatment.
While there are many options, the best thing to consider before making your decision is to ensure your aging parent is okay with the choice you make before they move into senior living. Here are some signs your loved one is ready for a senior living community.
1. Sudden Decline in Health
As we get older, it is not uncommon for our health to decline. The first sign your loved one is ready to move into a senior living facility is if their health suddenly declines or they are diagnosed with a chronic illness.
When a person’s health declines, it means they will require more frequent medical attention, and if you don’t have the time or training to provide that, you need to find someone that will. Many of the staff working within a senior living community have been trained and receive ongoing training to ensure they always provide residents with quality care.
When you move your loved one into a senior living facility, you can rest assured their needs are being taken care of daily.
2. Increase in Financial Issues
Another common occurrence as we age is the presence of financial problems. This is often shown when your aging parent begins to forget the bills they have to pay and no longer keeps track of the finances.
This happens often and bills can begin to pile up, leading to various penalties or late fees. It’s also not uncommon for scammers to target older adults with various financial scams knowing they are vulnerable. When this happens, it can leave your loved one reeling from the loss of a significant amount of their finances before they’ve realized it.
3. Spending More Time in Isolation
Your once sociable parent is spending more time alone than you’ve seen them do in years. An increase in isolation is another sign your loved one may be ready to start the search for a suitable senior living community. There are several reasons an older parent may begin to isolate, including:
- Driving has suddenly become more challenging.
- Finding someone to drive them to places is difficult.
When getting from one place to another becomes a challenge, it is likely your loved one will begin to spend more time at home instead of asking others for help every day. The fantastic part of a senior community is your aging parent doesn’t have to drive anywhere to participate in activities. Monthly, most communities publish a calendar of activities for their residents to choose the ones they want to participate in. Often these activities aren’t just for residents, they’re for family members too.
They also don’t have to worry about finding ways to get to doctors’ appointments because most communities provide transportation to and from necessary medical visits. Depending on the facility or community you and your loved one choose, there might be an in-house doctor to tend to the residents.
4. Decrease in Personal Hygiene
When your parent becomes physically impaired, performing tasks like bathing can be dangerous. Because of this, you may notice your parent goes a bit longer without bathing or doing laundry.
When a person stops taking care of their personal hygiene, it can lead to various issues or worsen current conditions they might be dealing with.
There are several signs indicating senior living is the next step in your parent’s life. If you are noticing any of these signs, the compassionate and caring team at any of the Dimensions Living Communities can provide you with as much information needed to make the best decision for you and your loved one.