When To Move To Assisted Living
A whopping 90% of seniors would like to age in place. Unfortunately, often the homes they live in aren’t equipped for them to do so. Houses with a lot of stairs, poor lighting, and slippery walking surfaces, for example, can make it difficult for seniors to move around their home safely.
However, despite these possible dangers, many seniors will not want to leave their long-time homes for assisted living. It’s easy to see why they would have reservations. Making the decision, at any age, to leave familiar surroundings for the unknown is scary, but for seniors, it can be especially daunting. And then there’s the emotional side of the equation. For them, moving out of their home means leaving the many happy memories they’ve had there.
Because it’s just as much an emotional decision as a logistical one, it can be difficult for loved ones to help seniors choose the right path for them. If you’re the loved one of a senior who is facing this difficult decision, here are a few important points to touch on when guiding them through the decision-making process.
1. Consider all possible options.
Choosing between assisted living or aging in place doesn’t have to be so cut and dry. There are many “in between” options that might also work for your loved one. A Place For Mom offers great questions to ask yourself about your loved one’s health, lifestyle, and other factors that will help you guide them. For example, instead of your loved one moving out, perhaps a home care service could be hired to help keep them company and attend to their needs.
2. Don’t fret over modifications.
Modifying a home so that your loved one can safely get around might seem so overwhelming that making the move to assisted living seems like the best (and easiest) option. But if your loved one prefers staying in their home, know that many modifications are cost-efficient and can be made without a lot of hassle. This guide to senior-friendly remodeling presents ten tips to make your home more aging-friendly: reorganizing furniture so its easier to move about, reducing fall risk by getting rid of rugs, replacing doorknobs with levers, and adding safety features such as external lighting and traction strips. Assess your loved one’s home with these features in mind. You might find that they only need one or two modifications in these areas. If that’s the case and they’re still healthy, making modifications might be the cheaper and easier choice for now.
3. Address transportation.
One thing that doesn’t come up enough when choosing between aging in place and assisted living is how the senior will get to and from where they need to go. If your loved one isn’t able to drive, helping them get to medical appointments and taking care of errands, such as grocery shopping, could become taxing and stressful for family members and friends. Fortunately, there are plenty of car services for-hire out there that can get your loved one where they need to go if they choose to stay at home, and assisted living communities typically provide shuttle service to frequently-visited locations in the community, including doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and grocery stores.
4. Think about the costs associated with the decision.
What is your loved one’s financial situation? Is their home’s mortgage paid off? How much do they have in their retirement savings? These are questions you’ll want to consider when choosing between aging in place or moving to assisted living. As the Department of Housing and Urban Development points out, the costs of non-institutional services are often significantly less expensive than institutional services.
However, if your loved one would prefer going into assisted living, they may be able to get help paying for their new home by selling their old home. While this article focuses on how to sell an inherited home, much of its advice applies to those who may be selling the home of a loved one who has moved into assisted living. For example, it provides information on how to choose a real estate agent, how to select an appropriate asking price, how to negotiate with buyers, and more.
This late-in-life decision is a difficult one, but it’s important to make it as soon as possible. When you do, you and your loved one can begin taking steps to make the transition, whatever it may be, as smooth as possible.
Guest Post by Vee Cecil
Vee Cecil has a passion for wellness. She loves studying the topic and sharing her findings on her recently-launched blog. She is also a wellness coach, personal trainer, and bootcamp instructor.