Guest article: 3 Tips That Can Make Talking About Assisted Living Easier for Caregivers
Updated: Jul 25
Thank you for another great article from Annabelle Harris of Elders.Centre a wonderful website for aging independently, vivaciously and positively.
The need for assisted living is one of life’s hardest truths. Often, it’s up to caregivers and family members to recognize the need for assisted living in an older loved one, which can put those folks in the difficult position of having to convince their senior family members to make the move for their health and safety. If you are beginning to wonder whether one of your older loved ones should make this move, here are some pointers that can help.
ADLs Are Used to Assess Assisted Living Needs
It can be challenging to understand why a senior loved one would need help from the services offered in a care home. Understanding ADLs, or activities of daily living, can give caregivers a clearer picture of whether assisted living is necessary or if a senior loved one just needs a little more help around the home.
ADLs can range from the ability to complete maintenance on a home to the ability to prepare meals or get dressed during the day. If your loved one is having difficulties with the latter, it may be time to consider assisted living communities.
But these activities are not the only element that caregivers should weigh when determining assisted living needs. If a senior is at risk of being injured at home, from a fall or any other household accident, moving to assisted living can provide a much safer environment. Falls can be particularly dangerous for seniors, with AgeUK stating that falls result in at least 5,000 older people dying per year.
Another issue facing many seniors is transportation. The ability to attend medical appointments, get groceries, or even connect with friends can be challenging to older adults. There are resources that can help those in this sort of situation, so connect with assistance as needed.
Keep in mind that if your loved one requires skilled medical care and constant supervision, then an assisted living facility is not going to meet their needs. In this case, you’ll have to find a care home for the additional medical support they need.
Online Resources Can Help Seniors Research Facilities
Sometimes seniors and caregivers may feel anxious about considering assisted living because they’re unclear about the benefits it offers. In addition to helping with everyday activities that have become more challenging, seniors who move to care homes can also expect a safer living environment, engaging social activities, and companionship from other senior care home residents.
Care homes still provide seniors with a sense of independence and privacy, two things seniors often fear losing upon transitioning into long-term care. You can further soothe your senior loved one’s worries by connecting with a reliable senior care advisor. AgeUK notes there are several ways to finance a care home, so while that’s a daunting proposition, you should explore your options. From insurance policies to investments to selling your loved one’s home, there are ways to make it work. It may be that refinancing the home or downsizing to a smaller dwelling is the right thing to do. If you’re unsure, sometimes a visit with an attorney specializing in elderly law clarifies the right financial route.
Planning & Preparation May Make Tough Conversations Easier
Spotting the signs that your senior loved ones may need additional help from assisted living can be emotionally devastating, but finding the words to express your concerns to an older family member can be even more of an emotional roller coaster.
You can open the conversation by talking to your loved one about aging and then push into a more direct conversation about care homes. Just try to keep in mind that as difficult as this conversation and transition may be for you, it’s even harder for seniors to accept such a major change in their way of life.
It’s never easy when a senior parent or loved one needs more care, and it’s never easy when family members have to bring up this topic with those seniors. Approaching the conversation with compassion and knowledge can help things go more smoothly, so caregivers should plan their words and tactics carefully. At the end of the day, after all, it is the aging family member who will be most affected by this decision and transition into assisted living care.
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