Posted: February 5, 2021
Aging in place, or living independently at home, is the way many older adults would prefer to live. It’s understandable why seniors desire to stay in the comfortable, familiar environment of the family home for as long as possible. However, as health, mobility, and cognitive changes occur, you may wonder if home is a safe place for your aging parents, or if you should consider assisted living.
76% of older Americans would prefer to remain in their current home, but less than 50% believe they will be able to do so, according to a survey by the AARP. Eventually, most seniors will need some form of help with activities like cooking, shopping, doing yard work, and maintaining the home.
As your parents age, their vision, motor skills, and hearing may decline, and driving can become difficult or risky. For married couples, it’s common for one spouse to take on more of the tasks of daily living, which can lead to resentment, depression, or rifts in their relationship. Adult children who step in to become caregivers find themselves in a role reversal that is challenging for everyone. As your parents’ needs increase, the demands of your own family, job, and responsibilities don’t decrease, and this can lead to caregiver burnout.
Parents can be reluctant to ask for or accept help, not wanting to be a burden. Fear is also a factor, because admitting they need help means things will likely change. They might feel angry or embarrassed about not being able to maintain their independence and control over their own lives. This can lead to parents hiding information about their physical or mental well-being.
In addition, the home that served someone with a growing family is often not suitable for retirement. Modifications to the home, such as grab bars and handrails, or remodeling to creating a main floor bedroom might be necessary to make the home accessible and safe. Read AARP’s recommendations on making a home safer for seniors.
For older adults who need only occasional help, remaining in their home can be a good choice. As needs increase, hiring a home health care professional is a viable option, but it is often a stopgap measure. A fall, an unforeseen health crisis, or burnout of family members who are providing care can force an emergency move. A better option for many is to think of moving into an assisted living community as a way to age in place in a new space.
For many, assisted living may bring up mental images of a nursing home or hospital type of setting where people rehabilitate after surgery, or place where only those who are extremely ill live. Today, assisted living communities offer opportunities for solitude, socialization, and adventure for many independent and engaged seniors.
There is a wide variety of services and amenities to be found in a modern assisted living community including elevated dining experiences, fitness studios, beautifully maintained outdoor spaces, as well as lounges and living rooms with opportunities to safely socialize with other vibrant older adults. An assisted living community also offers a maintenance-free, private living option to age in place with the peace of mind that care and support is available when needed.
Assisted living communities offer a variety of safe, socially distanced life enrichment activities as well as organized outings. At an assisted living community, you do not have to leave home to find friends, take a fitness class, eat at a restaurant, play games, or enjoy beauty and services.
At Cappella of Grand Junction, residents live as independently and privately as desired, while receiving the support they need. Your parents may only need a small amount of support now, but as their needs increase, a higher level of support is available without interruption. You and your parents can have peace of mind knowing that a caring support team is equipped to handle changing care needs. With a variety of floor plans to choose from, your parents can find an apartment to call home.
There are many emotional and physical health benefits to living in an assisted living community. Life at Cappella of Grand Junction is built around the four facets of successful aging: Social, Intellectual, Inspiration and Physical, or SIIPs for short. Many seniors living at home have suffered from extreme isolation and loneliness, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. While federal and local health restrictions limited activities and outside visitors to many assisted living communities, residents living inside of a community have had access to a team of dedicated professionals whose number priority is to care for their mental and physical well-being. Additionally, our residents were afforded easy and timely access to the COVID-19 vaccine in the comfort of their community, while many older adults living at home have been left to navigate the complicated distribution system on their own.
It’s exciting for older adults to retire and have more time to enjoy hobbies and spend time with friends, yet many seniors find themselves isolated and lonely. Aging in place at home may seem appealing, but for many seniors, that may mean a loss of independence.
Activities of daily living (ADLs) can become difficult and frustrating as many older adults face mobility challenges and cognitive decline. Although it is hard to admit we or someone we love needs extra help, it is better to be proactive and begin thinking about assisted living before it becomes an urgent need.
Unexplained weight loss, neglecting personal hygiene, forgetting to pay bills or take medications, struggles talking on the phone or using familiar technology, as well as depression or increased anxiety are all warning signs that it may be time to make the move to assisted living. Making the move before these warning signs present themselves may make the transition easier. Read more about knowing when it is time for assisted living.
The decision to move to an assisted living community is difficult. We are here to help seniors and their families as they discuss and research options. We invite you to take a live virtual tour or contact us for more information.