As we age, our strength diminishes and our vision dims making it very difficult to take care of ourselves without help. Most of the elderly living in the US have to fend for themselves as they do not have family who can help out or look out for them due to their own family obligations or because they may not be living close by.
What is an assisted living facility for the elderly?
An assisted living facility is a place where the elderly can live and get assistance for their activities of daily living such as eating, showering, dressing, daily exercise routines and taking medications on time. There is a common dining area, recreation and activities area in these facilities where the elderly are encouraged to participate.
How does an assisted living facility help the elderly?
Consider the case of the elderly Woodhams, aged 90 and 95, who live alone in their home. Mr. Woodham needs care with the activities of daily living and so does Mrs. Woodham. They are in no shape to take care of themselves and even though they have five children, they all live too far away to be of help. This elderly couple is a very good example for the typical candidates that are eligible to sign up for assisted living which will be the right choice for their overall health, safety and well being.
How to choose the right assisted facility for the elderly
There are several types of assisted living arrangements depending on the level of assistance that is required for the elderly. Being knowledgeable of these options will help you choose the right assisted facility for the elderly like the Woodhams. Here are some valuable tips that will guide you in choosing the right assisted facility for the elderly in your family.
1. Ask about the daily routines at the facility
Inquiring about the daily routines will give you a good idea about whether your elderly parents or grandparents would be able to fit right in. A structured routine is very important for the wellbeing of the elderly and if this is lacking then it is advisable to look elsewhere.
2. Take in the overall ambience of the facility
Look around the facility and get a feel of the place. Is the place cheerful with soothing music in the background or is it dark and dreary? Are the corridors and living quarters clean and well lighted or are they musty and dusty? Getting a tour of the place will help qualm any anxiety and fears that both you and your elderly family might have.
3. What is the friendliness quotient of the staff?
The attitude of the staff is the key to whether the facility is a good place for your elderly to move in. Also, look around and see if you can visit with some of the residents and ask their feedback about how happy they are at the facility.
4. Listen to your gut instincts
Always follow your gut instincts. If you feel there is something fishy about the place, then probably something is wrong and it may be in the best interests of your family to steer clear of that place.
Preparing for transition from home to assisted living
The transition from home to assisted care living can be a daunting one for the elderly who are used to the comforts of their home and memories and possessions they treasure. To prepare them for the transition, it is a good idea to plan well in advance.
Helping the elderly with decisions such as how much of their material possessions they can transfer and narrowing down the list of possessions to a practical list will help prevent any last minute agitation and grief. This will also help the elderly prepare themselves mentally for the move.
Packing well in advance and also helping them visualize and arrange their things mentally in their new living quarters is a great way to make them look forward to the transition with joy rather than sadness.
Do everything within your power to enable a smooth transition; the above tips can help.