By Lori Stevens, Certified Concierge Care Advisor
Many seniors feel that staying in their home no matter what the cost is so very important, as well as taking a stand and retaining their independence. What I mean by the title of this blog is that what is perceived as giving up a bit of independence, actually really means hanging on to your independence, power, and choice when it comes to moving to assisted living. Let me explain…
Working in this field, far too often I have seen seniors waiting WAY too long to move out of their own home into assisted living. On a daily basis, Concierge Care Advisors receives referrals from fire departments, doctor’s offices, hospitals, and family members – those very worried about a senior. Firefighters often respond to calls from a senior’s home where the senior has fallen and needs assistance getting up and/or perhaps even a small fire or sprinkler activation due to forgetting a pot on the stove. Doctors and nurses worry about patients that they see and what it is truly like for them at home, alone. Hospitals receive patients that must be nurtured back to health due to dehydration, poor medication management, or overall “failure to thrive.”
I have worked with seniors that have passed away due to “failure to thrive,” when it has taken just too long to get them the help they need. Or I see them in the hospital or skilled nursing facility after they’ve broken a hip, leg, or shoulder due to a fall. The sad part is, when it needs to be an “urgent” move, such as one from a hospital or skilled nursing facility, the senior loses his/her choice. Now it a “must” move. There is no touring of communities, talking with other residents and staff, getting a feel for where you’ll be moving. There is no time to pack and downsize the way YOU want to. It is often a chaotic time for all involved. Not only the senior, but their loved ones.
Truth be told, 95% of the time when I work with a senior to find the perfect assisted living community, once they get there, they absolutely LOVE IT! I will tell you why:
- More opportunities for socialization–a variety of activities to engage in daily, outside trips, friends to dine with, and the opportunity to get out of the house by just going down the hall.
- Amenities–most communities have an exercise room, movie theater, arts and crafts rooms, lounge and dining areas, and lovely outdoor patios.
- Transportation to medical appointments–no more worrying about finding someone to drive you every time you have a doctor’s appointment, need lab-work, test, or need to get your new eyeglasses. Nearly all assisted living communities have their own car, van, or minibus to take you to local appointments free of charge. Scheduling, right at your fingertips!
- Meals, Housekeeping, and Monitoring–who does not love a restaurant just down the hall ready to cook for you anytime you are hungry? Not to mention, housekeeping coming in to vacuum, change your linens, dump your garbage, and make your bed!
- But most importantly, how reassuring it is to have someone not only checking in on you several times a day via your attendance at meals, and the daily check in button to make sure you are ok?
What a relief all these features can be. No more needing to get groceries, cooking, cleaning, laundry, worrying you may fall in the shower. Not only is the senior put more at ease, but so much of a weight is lifted off the shoulders of their loved ones–minimizing the worry that their senior is safe at home by themselves. Keep your choices and options open–BEFORE somethings happens. Not only to keep yourself safe and your family at ease, but to enhance your life with more to do and people to engage with. Let yourself be taken care of and pampered just a bit–you’ve earned it and you deserve it!