Moving your older adult to assisted living is a complicated process. It involves emotions, logistics, and many other problems. Your loved one may mourn the loss of his/her younger years, the home he or she built, and their independence.
If you plan to move your parent to assisted living, you have come to the right place. This article provides information on how to move a parent to assisted living.
How to Know It’s Time For Assisted Living?
Trying to decide when to move your loved one to assisted living can be a stressful and uncomfortable decision. There are many factors to take into account in this regard.
Here are some of the most important signs that it’s time to move your older adult to assisted living:
Worsening Health Condition
A chronic health issue that deteriorates by the day is an important sign to move your loved one to assisted living. The National Council on Aging states that over 80% of senior adults suffer from at least one chronic illness.
Instead of trying to manage the deteriorating health condition of your loved one on your own, you consider moving your older adult to assisted living where there is a team of trained and dedicated staff to look after their well-being.
Social isolation can result in early mortality. Older adults who have mobility or hearing issues may have difficulties socializing with others. They might become isolated due to their circumstances.
Isolation can also result in cognitive decline. Assisted living is a great way to help your loved one socialize with other residents and build up a network of friends.
Not Able to Manage Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
If your older adult has difficulties in managing their daily tasks such as bathing, grooming, medication management, dressing, and mobility, you may consider moving them to an assisted living facility.
If your loved one is forgetful or has trouble navigating the stairs in their home, they may no longer be safe on their own. The latest statistics in the U.S. reveal that every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room due to falls.
In fact, falls are a leading cause of injuries, brain damage, and even death in the older population. Safety concerns are a clear sign that your older adult needs to be moved to assisted living.
Inability to Properly Care for Their Home
A cluttered home or an unkempt lawn is a clear sign that your older adult can’t properly care for their home. When some of these issues become safety concerns, your loved one will be at risk of being burglarized because of the state of the home.
This is another sign that your loved one needs to be moved to assisted living.
Regular Memory Lapses
Occasional memory lapses are common to most people who age. But regular memory lapses can be a sign of Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia.
If your older adult is suffering from any kind of dementia, they should be moved to a specialized assisted living facility without delay.
Tips for Choosing the Right Assisted Living Facility for Your Parents
Each assisted living community is unique. There are dozens of such communities in your area. Choosing the right assisted living community for your older adult isn’t easy. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right assisted living facility for your parents.
Here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best assisted living facility for your loved one.
The location is an important consideration when choosing an assisted living facility for your loved one. The location may depend on your loved one’s preferences. Many people prefer to find an assisted living facility closer to their homes so that their children and other relatives can easily visit them.
Do you want to be in a city or a large suburban area? In an urban environment, your loved one will have more convenience and access to various cultural activities as well as the hustle and bustle of the city. But such spaces may be expensive.
The average number of beds in an assisted living facility in the United States is 33. Most facilities widely vary in size. There are large facilities with over 100 beds and relatively small facilities with 4 to 10 beds.
The staff-to-resident ratio also matters when choosing a reliable assisted living facility in town. The size of the facility will also play a role in deciding the types of services offered by the facility.
Look at the size of the rooms as well. This will help you determine which furniture you can bring. For example, you may need to get a new bed that fits better in their assisted living space.
Assisted living facilities offer various services for older adults. For example, your loved one may need only a few activities of daily living (ADLs) such as walking, bathing, medication management, cooking, or more activities including housekeeping, wellness programs, and exercises depending on their health condition.
On the other hand, if your loved one has memory lapses due to any type of dementia, they may require memory care in addition to the other services. You should choose the right assisted living facility depending on what types of services your loved one require.
Cost is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a reliable assisted living facility for your loved one. You don’t want to find an assisted living facility that isn’t affordable.
Narrow down your search to a few good assisted living facilities in your area and get a cost estimate from each community before you choose the right one.
Getting Ready: Steps to Take Before Making the Move
There are many factors to consider before moving your loved one to an assisted living facility. Emotions will surface in both you and your loved one when it’s time to move your older adult to assisted living.
Both of you may require to deal with these emotions positively before making the move. Another important tip is to make the surroundings of the new place look like home. You also should maintain effective communication with your loved one throughout the moving process.
You should frequently remind your loved one that he/she will be moving on such and such a date. It will help ease up disorientation and prepare your loved one for the move.
Moving is emotional and turbulent at the same time. Make sure that you pack your older adult’s stuff when he or she is asleep, out of the house, or without being seen by the individual.
Here is a helpful list of items to bring – and some things you shouldn’t bring – when moving to assisted living.
Moving Day: How to Have a Smooth Transition?
Moving your loved one to assisted living can be both physically and emotionally draining. Try to stay positive even when emotions start to move through you. It will help your loved one to stay positive as well.
Have plenty of snacks and invite other family members to be present at your home on moving day to make it special for your loved one. Check if your loved one has any special requests on moving day.
Do they want to get involved in the moving process or stay busy with other family members?
Settling In: Follow Up and Adjustments After the Move
There are many things to do in order to follow up with your older adult after moving to an assisted living facility. You should unpack and decorate the new space with your loved one.
Setting up a new place involves a certain level of excitement. When your loved one is also involved in the process, he or she will begin to feel comfortable and at ease in the new place.
Checking in regularly with your loved one is another important tip when following up with your older adult after the move. You can check in with your loved one either through a telephone or in-person.
Also, you should encourage your loved one to take part in daily activities at the new facility. Assist your loved one in getting to know the residents in the new facility.
What Should You Do if They Are Refusing to Go?
The first thing is to change your approach. Do not say the same thing over and over when your older adult is refusing to go. Never express your frustration or fear in such a situation.
Instead, you should express your love and encouragement in trying to change her mind. You can get help from the other family members by getting a trusted family member to talk to your older parent. You can get legal help from an elder care lawyer if your older adult is absolutely refusing assisted living.
What to Do if Only One Parent is Moving?
Talk to both parents and explain the situation. When each parent requires different levels of care, you may have to move one parent to assisted living and the other to a specialized care facility. But the latest assisted living communities include a wide variety of services.
How to Deal With the Emotions You Are Both Feeling?
You and your older adult should find a healthy outlet to express your emotions and work through them. If not, the emotions will consume both of you and make the process harder. Work with a professional counselor if you can’t handle the emotions.
When you plan to move your older adult to assisted living, there are many factors to consider. The aforementioned article provides information on how to move a parent to assisted living.