Have you noticed that your senior loved one is requiring more and more assistance as he or she ages? Or, perhaps, you’ve noticed that it’s becoming harder to take care of the home you currently live in. While it would be a relief to not have to deal with the chores and tasks any longer, you also balk at the idea of moving into a “home.”
“This is a very common scenario for many seniors today,” says Ann Zak, Executive Director of Chatham Place at Mary Wade, New Haven County’s newest and preferred senior living community. Ironically, she says, this is a very good sign that you or your loved one could benefit greatly from an assisted living lifestyle.
“When you or your loved one are finding it increasingly difficult or uncomfortable to live independently, moving into assisted living can actually help improve independence and quality of life,” she explains. “But because senior living has for so long had negative associations, it can be a struggle to get over that prejudice and realize that assisted living is a wonderful way to live.”
In fact, Ann says, many residents in assisted living often remark that they wish they’d moved in sooner.
“It can be hard to determine when the “right” time is for assisted living, but there are signs you can watch for that will help you more easily make a decision,” she says. “Many people will put off making a decision until there’s an accident or illness that requires a quick decision to be made. That can make things incredibly stressful and traumatic for everyone. It’s much better if you can recognize the signs and take steps to move into assisted living before it’s absolutely ‘necessary.’”
Still, making the decision to move into assisted living can be difficult. Some seniors will stubbornly cling to their current lifestyle because the idea of moving into assisted living is a sign of giving up independence and freedom (even though, in reality, it is neither of those things).
Other seniors may choose to move into assisted living before it’s “needed,” which allows them to become familiar with the community and make it their home so they can truly age in place.
The decision is a very personal one – but there are some signs that can indicate that an assisted living lifestyle would be beneficial to you or a loved one.
Signs You May Be Ready For Assisted Living
You or your loved one require more and more help in order to be “independent.”
This is a situation that adult children can find themselves falling into as their parent’s age. It starts out with just a few things – maybe Dad needs help fixing something because he doesn’t feel safe standing on a ladder, for example. Or you may need to drive Mom to her events in the evening because her eyesight isn’t good in the dark anymore. But eventually, the occasional assistance creeps into your daily life and you find yourself spending a lot of time helping your parents out. While they may be living “independently,” it’s very much contingent on you shouldering the work to make that happen. If this situation sounds familiar, it could mean that life in an assisted living community would provide the caring assistance required so you or your loved one could live as independently as possible. See our recent blog, How To Talk to Your Parents About Moving to Assisted Living, for helpful tips on discussing the topic of moving to senior living.
There have been increasingly frequent “close calls.”
Have you or a loved one been having more accidents recently, like falling and injuring yourself? Has there been a sudden increase in trips to the emergency room? What about little “fender benders” when driving? Slip-ups and accidents happen to the best of us, but when they are becoming more frequent, it could signal that you or your loved one need a different environment in order to live safely.
There’s a sudden change in you or your loved one’s appearance.
Has your loved one gained or lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time? Have you noticed that he or she isn’t quite as fastidious about personal grooming as before? If suddenly your loved one’s physical appearance changes, it could mean that he or she is having difficulty taking care of herself (with things like bathing, getting dressed, etc.). It could also signal difficulty being able to perform tasks like going to the grocery store or doing the laundry. Or, it could mean that there are health issues or cognitive issues that are at play. This could mean that extra help would be beneficial to a healthy, happy, and more enjoyable life.
You or your loved one aren’t as social as you’d like to be.
If it’s hard to do things inside your house, it’s even more difficult to do things outside of the house, such as staying connected with friends and family. Unfortunately, loneliness is very common among seniors due to health issues, friends moving away or passing away, and other reasons. If you find you’re losing touch with people, are bored, or feel lonely, assisted living can be a huge boon. One of the many reasons people move into senior living is because of the community of fast friends they can make. Not only are you surrounded by people in your stage of life, but there are also always events and activities that allow you to meet people, form friendships, and do interesting things.
It’s hard to do the housework (or you’re just not interested anymore).
Taking care of a home is a lot of work. You have to clean, go grocery shopping, do the dishes, pay the bills, mow the lawn, shovel the driveway … even if you’re still capable of doing it all, it’s becoming more and more of a hassle. Maybe you’d just rather not have to deal with it anymore. Or perhaps you or your loved one simply can’t keep up with the maintenance. This is where an assisted living community has a lot of benefits. Life in a community is all-inclusive and maintenance-free, meaning you don’t have to ever clean or change a lightbulb or even cook again. Instead, that time can be used to make new friends, pick up new hobbies, work out or do whatever else you want. It can be quite nice, after a lifetime of working hard, to sit back and let someone else handle all those tedious details for you.
If any of these signs ring true with you, it may be time to start looking into assisted living communities for you or your loved one. At Chatham Place, our assisted living residents benefit from all the support and help they need to enjoy life on their terms. From dressing and bathing to medication management and more, we provide caring assistance and encouragement, focusing on individual care needs. Keeping residents healthy is our priority and our multidisciplinary team approach ensures comprehensive care and access to our staff on-site 24/7, primary care and specialty physicians, dentists, podiatrists, orthopedists, therapists, home care, and hospice.
Chatham Place at Mary Wade – Now Pre-Leasing!
Chatham Place at Mary Wade provides full-spectrum senior care with a holistic approach. Providing assisted living and memory care options, our devoted team of caregivers and specialists are committed to providing one-on-one, personalized care in a warm and supportive environment while also receiving the best care in the country. Our philosophy of personal service and gentle care remains steadfast and resolute, just as it was at our founding in 1886.
Opening in fall 2021, Chatham Place will offer exceptional senior living options in a warm and inviting atmosphere. This new, state-of-the-art community will have 84 apartments designed to meet today’s safety, security, and comfort standards. As part of the Mary Wade campus, we will continue the legacy of exceptional service, truly resident-centered care, and access to world-class healthcare services.
For more information, please call (203) 423-3293.