How to Transition an Aging Parent to Assisted Living?

We often heard our elders say that they wish to age in their own place. So the question becomes when is the right time to move your aging parent into an assisted living area? Elders have the desire to spend their older days in a place that makes them feel safe, and when they reach a certain age assisted living often becomes the best solution. With a number of reliable home care facilities and visiting nurse and physician programs, granting their wishes is remarkably a good idea.

A day in our life will come when we need to decide on moving our elders to an assisted living. It is encouraged that adult children and members of the family should be knowledgeable of the local alternatives in the community. Do not allow an unavoidable circumstance to occur when you need to hurriedly rush your seniors into an assisted living facility. Below is the article which will offer primary considerations in moving to an assisted living.

Elderly man portrait close up
Photo Credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Below are some of the important considerations when deciding to move your aging parent in an assisted living facility:

• Health. One of the ways to start contemplating of moving your parent to an assisted living is when he/she is diagnosed with degenerative disease. In the early stage of this disease, include your parent with the decision making through discussing with them about your plans of action. It is difficult to accept the reality but their involvement in the choice is a great help to your their adjustment.

• Safety. When you think that the visiting nurse service cannot meet the expected level of care or if your parent feels unsafe in their present home environment would be necessary to move them in a safe facility like assisted living.

• Your elder’s social needs. Your parent also has a need to interact with others. The feeling of being alone plus the loss of mobility and health, spouse or friends would make them more depressed. When you are concern with this need, it is the time to consider them in moving to an assisted living.

• Your capacity. Evaluate yourself and your capacity including those around in your circle of care. Carefully assess if you have enough time and physical capability to care and assist your parent in addition with your own responsibility at home or at work.

When you think about your parent’s need for an assisted living atmosphere, consider factors such as their health, safety, social needs and your capacity.

Below are some of the ways to assist you in choosing and moving in an assisted living facility:

  • Have a talk or discussion with your parent’s doctor, colleagues or friends to solicit their recommendations or opinions.
  • Take time to review the offered options from ALFA. Know what to look for in an assisted living facility and locate some in your community.
  • Develop a list of possible facilities.
  • Allow your parent to choose his or her own room if possible. Develop a personalized space so that they would feel that the area is just an extension of their own home.
  • Create a list if criteria when choosing a facility such as cost, quality and geographic location. Also, you may want to know if the facility valued mobility and independence. It is also a good idea to assess if it offers senior-friendly computers and other activities offered apart from music, bingo or art. Likewise, consider your parent’s important features when deciding.
  • Allow your parents an ample time to adjust in their new way of living in the assisted facility. Your availability and support are also necessary as well as to listen and advocate if needed.
  • Develop a building trust and confidence with the staff and members of the assisted facility. Have a contact and personally visit the top 3 choices in your list. You need to establish a reliable reference rather than being persuaded by attractive ads and promotions. Make interactions and schedule a visit to know about residents and staff. Have a constant communication with your key contact. All the information gathered are a great help to establish trust and feel comfortable with the new environment.

The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) is a significant reference or resource for families.