Assisted Living- A Choice, Not a Requirement…
Assisted living is not an end-all decision that is forced upon people in every single situation. In many cases, it is actually a choice that is embraced because it offers so many different advantages and benefits to living alone in the later years of life. Too often, children feel like they are forcing their parents into a situation where they don’t want to be if they bring up the topic of assisted living facilities. The reality is that many older adults actually have a desire to become part of these communities because it gives them a better way to enjoy their later years.
When it comes to choosing the right path, you have to think about a few things. Here are some considerations to help you determine whether this is an option and if it is the right one for your loved one:
-What do they want? This is the most important element in the entire conversation. Obviously, if a physical or mental impairment impedes your loved one’s ability to make the proper decision or stay on their own, you will have to keep that in mind. However, in most cases, your parent or loved one will understand their situation and be capable of choosing the option that they would most prefer.
-What is keeping them from living independently? Many like the sense of community and the environment of assisted living. It is an appealing situation, after all. People can enjoy socializing, hobbies, and traveling while their basic needs are taken care of by the staff. If your parents are feeling isolated, this can often be the best solution.
-Is living with you an option? For many reasons, children often don’t want to give up their independence. At the same time, many parents balk at the idea of becoming the child by moving in with their own children. Assisted living provides the interaction, community, and assistance that your parents need without compromising anyone’s independence or putting a strain on your relationship.
You really need to weigh the options and see what is best for your parent or loved one. For some people, it’s a question with an easy answer. For others, it might take some time to consider the benefits of each situation and discuss which is truly best. Ultimately, the decision will depend on the circumstances of your parent. There are some situations where assisted living is not an option, but this is rarely the case. For the most part, many older adults enjoy the assisted living environment because it gives them socialization and the freedom to enjoy their retirement while all the basics are taken care of for them.
Contributed by Mary Albert, a blogger for a senior lifestyle and senior health web site that provides advice for the 55+ age group as well as information on medical alert systems.