Respect for a larger process
At Encore Communities, we consider health, mobility and longevity to be three of the chief priorities in caring for our seniors. We also understand that loved ones and family members have their preferences, but may not be sure what is the best environment for their loved one’s “golden years.” Should they stay in their own home, or is an assisted living community a better option? Most seniors will eventually need some help with daily living activities as they age, and when that time comes, the decision becomes a priority.
Our company values the voice and independence of our seniors, and believes that these two components are necessary for a long and healthy life. It is the empowerment of people that helps them thrive.
Here are some considerations that we think are important when conducting a conversation about the next steps of aging and settings.
Whether in an assisted living community or aging at home, being social is important and part of human nature.
Assisted living offers common areas to encourage socialization and allows for residents to meet potential new friends. Many seniors thrive when participating in planned activities and outings in assisted communities while also finding plenty of opportunity for personal space and independence in a secure setting.
Those who choose to stay in their own homes but are limited in mobility face the risk of social isolation. If a senior spends extended periods of time alone due to movement or health issues, it can affect their well-being and quality of life.
If a loved one wishes to remain at home, there will need to be a level of assurance regarding medications, eating regular meals and keeping track of any other care they might need. As everyone ages, certain abilities change without realization, and assisted living can help prevent forgetfulness or health concerns.
Assisted living communities remove the burdens of a senior living at home, such as preparing meals, cleaning and yard work, thereby affording more quality time with friends and family, and enjoying activities that enrich their lives.
It is important to make sure our loved ones feel safe, both physically and emotionally. Assisted living ensures that a senior has someone who can help them with any physical obstacles or any medical condition they may experience, as well as avoiding the dangers of seclusion.
Safety is often cited as the main reason to move an aging loved one. However, it is beneficial to inquire as to their desires, while balancing the capabilities they display.
In deciding between you or your loved one remaining at home or moving to an assisted living community, it is crucial to consider costs.
Regarding staying at home if you or your loved one owns the home, there are several questions to consider. Will the home need major repairs within the next 10 years? Is it is easily accessible for activities and socialization? How much will your loved one need to spend to be happy or engaged? Are there any additional costs—such as home modifications to prevent injuries—that could be avoided if a family opts for assisted living? What is the potential financial and medical toll that an injury could take?
Optimally, the decision would be up to the seniors regarding whether they want to spend some of their best years in their home or in an assisted living setting. This article is designed to posit aspects not often considered in the aging process. The happiness and safety of you or your loved one are the most significant of those.
A thoughtful analysis, along with an open and honest conversation about needs, can help you make the right choice for yourself, your loved one and your family.