How Do You Know When It’s Time for a Move to Assisted Living?
Most of us don’t concern ourselves with thinking about Assisted Living until that first inkling that an aging parent may no longer be able to live independently and needs a caregiver to step up and help with the tasks of daily life.
For many, it comes following some unexpected incident that forces a family to confront difficult choices, including senior living arrangements for the future. It’s easy to dismiss subtle changes like confusion or difficulty in remembering recent events as mere “senior moments” instead of symptoms marking the early onset of dementia.
Personality and behavioral changes in mom or dad hint that something is going on that require attention sooner rather than later. The first step is to consult a doctor for a complete assessment. The new behavior might be attributed to something other than dementia, things like depression, hormonal disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and brain tumors mimicking similar symptoms.
Step One: Talk to a Doctor to Diagnose the Problem
The doctor’s assessment should include a review of the senior’s medical history and medications taken, preferably with a close family member there to offer support and additional information. The physician may test blood and urine to identify possible illnesses. Cognitive tests assess memory, language, attention, and problem-solving ability. Brain imaging can rule out brain tumors or blood clots. Finally, psychiatric conditions like depression or anxiety may indicate these treatable disorders are the source of the symptoms rather than dementia.
When persuading a parent to find the root cause of problematic behaviors, family can expect some resistance, possibly even paranoia, so they should emphasize that the concern regards their health and welfare rather than a being a case of trying to “find an excuse to ship them off to the old folks home.”
Such moments do provide opportunities to delicately broach the topic of moving from the empty nest home to a Birmingham Assisted Living community like Regency Retirement Village where they can get some heightened attention to daily needs – but not costly round-the-clock nursing home care.
In the best-case scenario, the senior discovers he or she does not have dementia but realizes the usefulness in planning for future needs BEFORE something more serious happens.
Step Two: Learn How Senior Assisted Living Works
It’s definitely best to research options and decide on the choice in advance of needing Birmingham senior care, although (as mentioned above) many of us do not give it much thought until confronted with a somewhat urgent need.
Visiting communities like Regency — asking questions and talking to residents who’ve lived here for a spell — often dispels misconceived expectations of what awaits them when a parent transitions from a private home to an apartment inside of a shared community.
What Age Do You Have to Be for Assisted Living?
Age alone does not determine the appropriate age for moving to a Birmingham Assisted Living community. In fact, you might find some short-term residents taking advantage of rehab to recover from illness or surgery.
Yes, you ARE more likely to find Birmingham seniors living side by side as neighbors, but this is really an advantage in terms of sharing generational things in common, appreciating similar values, and presenting opportunities for conversations and new friendships.
Step Three: Discover that Assisted Living is NOT the Same as a Nursing Home
We understand that today’s retirees may dread moving to Assisted Living after years of visiting their elders in nursing homes, but after visiting a place like Regency, they realize this is something far more appealing and better balances their dignity/need for privacy with a higher level of care – plus the leisure to finally let someone else worry about the cooking and cleaning and yard work.
At Regency, activities can include such things as picking blueberries, going out for ice cream or bowling, pontooning on the lake, visiting the Barber Motor Sports Museum, watching movies, and so much more. Each day has opportunities for Birmingham seniors to socialize with fellow residents, play games, or go somewhere.
For Birmingham seniors who DO need care for dementia or Alzheimer’s (or may in the near future), Regency Retirement Village offers support and structured activities in secure comfort to offer family peace of mind.
Step Four: Assist the Parent to Move into Assisted Living
To begin, arrange a guided tour with one of our community consultants. And take advantage of the information on this website to look at floor plans, move-in info, and find answers to your questions about how to pay for Birmingham Assisted Living.
Let us know any questions or comments you have. We’d love to schedule a tour so your family can see what we’re about!
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