Making the transition to assisted living can come for a variety of reasons. In some cases, a sudden health issue means that someone who was once independent has no means to maintain their home. In other cases, this may be a slowly-reached decision that a senior themselves may start when they no longer have an interest in the added work that running a house causes. Sometimes, it may be a case where adult children, who were once able to fill in some of these gaps, no longer have the means to do so. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of different considerations that go into helping a loved one make that transition. Here are some things you can keep in mind.
One thing you’re going to want to understand when searching out assisted living facilities is that there is certainly not a one-size-fits-all mentality here. Any two given facilities can vary wildly in terms of the type of services they have and the clientele they cater to. As a result, you want to think long and hard about what your loved one needs and values. For example, do they need help for a few specific tasks, but are going to be able to be independent for the most part? Do they have specific health conditions that can only be treated at certain facilities? Another thing you want to do is try and think ahead. Your loved one’s condition may be a certain way now, but what about five or ten years down the road? If things change, can they still stay in their facility, or will you need to make another transfer?
On top of this, you also want to take the added time to see about the quality of care, from different professional sources as well as people who have been to the home. In some cases, it’s the simple things that you’re looking for, but either way, trust is key when you bring someone to an assisted living facility. Sadly, there are other major issues that can occur in assisted living facilities and nursing homes, including elder sexual abuse. Statistically, 70.7% of cases of elder sexual abuse cases occur in nursing homes. According to the lawyers at Spiros Law, a victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home may show physical scars, “often it does not. Additionally, the emotional traumas that result can be lasting, but can be hard to tie to any specific person or put a monetary value on. These factors combined can make a nursing home sexual abuse a very hard case to prove without an extensive background in nursing home law.” To avoid being put in this position, the best things you can do are twofold:
A. Do your due diligence about facilities and their staff before you bring your loved one in.
Moving back to the transition, make sure that you are logistically prepared for what goes into moving into assisted living. Even a single room is likely to be a lot smaller than what your loved one probably has at home, so you need to make sure that you decide what items are important for them to keep with them prior to the move. With the remaining items, you have a few decisions to make. In some cases, you can give them out to other family members. In other cases, it may make sense to donate them, sell, them or put them into storage. Try to give your loved one a voice in these decisions if possible.
This factors into the emotional side of things, which can be difficult for any senior who is used to being independent. While your loved one is moving, try to encourage them that you still care for them, and help them find ways to interact and get involved in their new surroundings. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, also. Many people feel great guilt after sending a loved one to assisted living, and it’s important that you work through these feelings with a trusted friend, loved one, or spiritual advisor.
Ultimately, as someone who may have been a caretaker for an older loved one at some point during their life, it may make sense that you have a lot of anxiety about leaving these duties to someone else. However, all the tools and resources are available at your disposal to make this process a far simpler one. It just falls on you to use one.Updated Date: 12 October 2018, 11:29