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When to Move from Independent Living to Assisted Living

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A senior woman having a conversation with happy care taker.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for when a senior should move from independent to assisted living. However, some signs that it’s time to make the transition include an increased risk of falls, difficulty with daily tasks, feelings of isolation or loneliness, a decline in physical or mental capabilities, or excessive caregiver stress.

Assisted living may not be the definitive answer to some of these things because each situation is unique. For example, in caregiver stress or burnout cases, respite care in the form of an adult daycare or a short-term stay in a senior community could benefit a senior and their caregiver. Using this service may be the solution that allows the senior to return to their mostly independent living situation with support from a loved one.

What Is Independent Living?

Independent living is a model of living that allows individuals with varying abilities to lead an autonomous life without relying on anyone else to meet their day-to-day needs. It is a great choice for older adults who want to live on their terms, make their own choices, and take charge of their lives. Independent living can be achieved through various means, including living independently, within a community, or with a roommate.

One great benefit of being a part of an independent living community is the increased social interaction and support that can come with communal living. Living with like-minded individuals can provide community, socialization, and companionship.

Many independent living communities offer social events and activities to promote socialization among residents. Additionally, communal living can provide a sense of safety and security, especially if the resident falls ill or has an emergency.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is an arrangement designed for seniors who could use a little extra help with daily activities but do not require 24-hour medical care. The goal is to provide residents with as much independence as possible while assisting them with their daily routines, such as bathing, dressing, and managing their medications.

Assisted living communities usually offer various services and amenities, such as meal preparation, housekeeping, transportation, and social activities. Residents can enjoy their golden years without worrying about the little things. Plus, they can spend time with other seniors and make new friends.

When to Move from Independent to Assisted Living

There isn’t a single reason to determine it’s time to transition from one senior living arrangement to another. Rather, it’s often a combination of multiple things where seniors realize they may need more assistance daily.

Increased Risk of Falls

A senior man trying to grab the bannisters as he falls down a flight of stairs.

One of the first signs that it’s time to move to assisted living is when you or your loved one experiences an increased risk of falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of injury and death among older adults. Assisted living communities typically have staff available 24/7 to offer assistance and provide residents with a safe environment while allowing for as much independence as possible.

Difficulty with Daily Tasks

It may be time to consider assisted living if you or your loved one struggles to complete the daily tasks that were once easy, such as personal hygiene, grooming, cooking, or cleaning. Assisted living communities typically offer personalized care plans to meet individual needs and the care they require.

Isolation & Loneliness

As we age, socialization becomes increasingly important. Research has linked isolation and loneliness to an increased risk of severe health and mental conditions, such as dementia, heart disease, depression, and anxiety. So, if you or your loved one is spending more time alone, it could be a sign that it’s time to move to assisted living. These communities offer socialization opportunities, such as group activities and outings, to keep residents engaged and active.

Declining Physical or Mental Health

If you or your loved one’s health declines, keeping up with daily activities may be challenging. Assisted living communities often have medical staff to monitor health and wellness and provide the necessary care to maintain health and well-being.

Family Caregiver Stress

Finally, if you are a family caregiver and are experiencing burnout or stress, it may be time to consider assisted living. Caring for a loved one can take a toll on your physical and emotional health, and it’s important to prioritize your well-being. Assisted living communities can provide professional care and support for your loved one, giving you peace of mind and the opportunity to focus on your health and well-being.

Don’t Make the Transition Alone

One thing to consider in all this is respite care. This type of senior care can make a great transition tool. Many older adults don’t want to leave their independence behind, and moving to an assisted living community could be overwhelming. Respite care would allow your loved one to experience assisted living first-hand and see its benefits.Mattison Crossing at Manalapan Avenue can help whether you and your loved one are looking for respite care or assisted living. Contact us today to book a community tour where our compassionate staff can show you the quality of life you can expect when you make your home with us.

Morgan Berardi

Written by Morgan Berardi

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