Submitted by ub on Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:34

Signs That A Loved One Should Consider Assisted Living - by J.D. Davis

People with aging parents may find it difficult to have a discussion about the prospect of transitioning them into a senior residence, particularly an assisted living community. Many adult children should expect to face some resistance from their parents who may feel they are not ready to give up their independence and/or move from their home. However, there are potential warning signs that one should consider while evaluating the particular circumstances. The following are some examples when having a discussion on the topic might be necessary:
The refrigerator is empty or filled with spoiled food, which may be a sign that food shopping and preparation are more difficult.  

The parent has frequent bruises, which may be a sign of falling or mobility and balance problems.
The parent poses a safety risk by living alone (i.e., forgetting to turn off burners on the stove).
The parent wears the same clothing over and over again or neglects personal hygiene, which can be a sign that doing laundry and bathing are becoming more challenging.
The house isn’t as clean and tidy and is in disrepair, which may show that maintenance may becoming too much of a burden.
The parent forgets things (including doctor’s appointments and when to take medication) or dresses inappropriately for the weather, which may be due to memory loss or dementia.
The parent seems to be depressed or anxious, which may result from isolation and staying home alone, particularly if a spouse recently died.

Assisted living communities offer many great benefits to the residents and provide peace of mind to their loved ones. Some of these benefits may include the following:

Dining plans with many choices of food to ensure that each resident is eating a well-balanced healthy meal.
Daily social and recreational activities to encourage an active social life.
Laundry and linen services.
Assistance with eating, bathing, dressing and medication management, ensuring greater health and personal hygiene.
On-site trained staff for medical emergencies.
Group transportation for shopping and community events, and personal transportation for doctor’s appointments.
On-site medical offices, physical therapists and other medical professionals.

While having a discussion with a parent about moving from the home may not be easy, promoting the benefits of assisted living can make the conversation much easier. Planning ahead and getting them comfortable with the prospect of moving into such a residence is strongly encouraged.

Costs May Be More Affordable
Many families believe the cost of living in an assisted living community is too expensive, thereby it may not be a viable option from a financial standpoint. However, some residents are eligible for discounts at certain communities based on their former careers. For instance, retirees who served as firefighters or policemen may save hundreds of dollars per month at certain communities. In addition, certain residents may be eligible for a government benefit for as much as $2,000 per month, which makes the costs significantly more affordable.

J.D. Davis is a co-founder of Golden Years Living Solutions, which provides a free service to families searching for senior residences. He can be reached at (914) 437-8675 or visit the company’s website for additional information.