The warning signs may have been there for a while. Maybe Mom is becoming more forgetful and less mobile. Maybe Dad is forgetting meals, or has had a few serious falls requiring medical treatment. Maybe you and your family have been struggling to coordinate care-giving, errands, doctor's appointments, finances, and legal matters. You may wonder if an assisted living facility is a good option.
Helping Mom and Dad move into assisted living will enable them to:
• continue their independent way of life
• receive the routine medical care they need
• eat regular, healthy meals
• have an active social life
• go shopping regularly, with transportation
• and be safe and well-cared for, all in one setting.
Talking with your parents about an assisted living facility may be stressful, or it may bring them some relief. It can be very upsetting to leave your family home that is filled with memories and move to a new place with strangers, unfamiliar routines, and a small apartment. However, what your parents will gain from the move is safety, companionship, and the relief of knowing that their needs will be provided for day and night.
Elderly parents tend to feel anxious and irritable when their health starts to decline and they become more dependent on others for their needs. The loss of independence can make them feel helpless and resentful over time. Adult children may feel caregiver burnout and compassion fatigue over time, as there is often no relief or acknowledgement of the stress that caregiver children can feel from being responsible for their parents' care. Jobs and responsibilities can be difficult to juggle with the stress and needs of the “Sandwich Generation” (those “sandwiched” between caring for their elderly parents and raising their own children). Assisted living facilities can provide a good alternative to this stress.
Assisted living facilities offer a private room or apartment with a full bathroom and kitchenette. The bathroom usually has safety features installed such as an emergency pull-cord, grab bars by the toilet and bathtub (which also comes with a nonslip surface), and the hallways have wide, easy to navigate entries for those with walkers, wheelchairs, or unsteady gaits to maneuver. The facilities generally have primary care medical offices onsite. Maintenance is generally “live-in” or on-call and takes care of all building and property maintenance and repair. Meals are served daily in the cafeteria, where Mom and Dad can meet up with new friends for a healthy meal before heading out shopping or to see a show via shuttle bus with their friends for the day, or they can drive themselves if they are still able to.
If Mom falls and injures her hip or if Dad becomes ill, the facility medical staff will be on hand quickly to help and treat their medical needs. Assisted living facilities are generally prepared to handle most medical emergencies, since they are usually affiliated with skilled nursing facilities that handle rehabilitation and longterm care. This coordination of care is also what makes assisted living facilities a great choice for elderly parents who need some assistance in activities of daily living, but can still maintain their overall independence and self-care routines.
Assisted living will allow you and your family to resume your natural role as adult children, and allow you to enjoy each other's companionship again as a family, knowing that your elderly parents' well-being is provided for.
-Stop The Fall