A Lot to Think About: Choosing Assisted Living or Aging in Place

Newcaregiver.org

Seniors undergo many physical changes as they age. A loss of strength, flexibility, and mobility makes it harder to clean, get to appointments, run errands, and perform basic household chores. If that describes your situation, it may be time to contemplate a change that can make your life easier and less stressful. Whether that means finding a more senior-accessible house or moving to an assisted living facility, there’s a lot to think about.

Assisted Living

Some older adults harbor misconceptions about assisted living and how it functions. An assisted living facility isn’t a nursing home; residents receive assistance with activities of daily living, but medical care isn’t part of the package. And unlike other senior care facilities, assisted living is designed to help clients stay active and mobile. However, it does mean less privacy and involves transitioning to a new lifestyle, which will take some time.

Moving into an assisted living facility can eliminate problems you’re having with daily tasks like bathing, cooking, cleaning, and dressing. Becoming part of an assisted living community presents many opportunities to make new friends and for socialization every day. If you’re accustomed to visiting the mall, coffee shop, or movie theater, assisted living facilities often provide transportation, as well as laundry and housekeeping services, and can assist with personal needs like medication management. There are plenty of assisted living communities in the Deland area that provide this level of care and interaction.

If you’re worried about losing your independence altogether, remember that assisted living facilities are designed for older adults who don’t want to sacrifice their autonomy. Most facilities offer studios or one-bedroom apartments that you can make your own. Be sure to factor in the expense of assisted living while weighing your options; for instance, the cost of assisted living facilities in Salt Lake City ranges is $3,600 per month.

Modifying Your Home

Sometimes, seniors with diminished mobility and poor eyesight are able to remain safe at home by making physical modifications to their living space. Transition ramps — which start at around $50 and quickly go up — can help prevent falls by providing smooth and level accessibility throughout the home. Motion-activated lighting in hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms make it easier to move around safely at night. Slip-free flooring and grab rails can turn the bathroom into a safer space for older adults who are especially vulnerable to falling.

Always weigh the expense of modifying a home against the cost of assisted living. After all, aging in place doesn’t make much sense if you can’t afford to upgrade or buy a new house, or if mobility is an increasing problem.

A New Home

Finding a suitable new home is difficult for older adults, so try to find a senior real estate specialist in your area. Seniors Real Estate Specialists (SRES) understand what older adults need in a home. That’s a valuable asset because there are few online resources for senior homebuyers. A realtor with expertise in your market makes it easier to find homes that have been adapted for senior living. But don’t expect it to be an easy process — finding the right home, one you can afford (homes in Salt Lake City have sold for an average of $415,000), takes time, patience, and plenty of research. When it comes to hiringmovers, make sure you’ve read reviews and gotten quotes from a variety of movers in your area.

Deciding whether it’s time to move to an assisted living facility is never simple. It’s hard to admit that you can no longer function as you always have without help. There may be options for remaining at home, but they can be expensive (i.e. making upgrades) or difficult to find (finding senior-friendly housing). Comparing the costs, benefits, and sacrifices will make it easier to arrive at a logical and realistic decision.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

 

Guest Author:

Harry Cline | info@newcaregiver.org

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