Considering Assisted Living? Avoid These 4 Common Mistakes
Old age comes with its share of new challenges, both for an elderly person and associated family members. Fortunately, assisted living facilities are an appealing alternative to the stress of changing abilities and the potential for getting into a dangerous situation. Keep reading to learn about four frequent errors that family members make when thinking about transferring a loved one into a specialized facility, so you can avoid them.
Delaying the Transition
Many family members don’t even suggest the possibility to a loved one, at least until something serious happens that makes the change hard to put off for any longer. Although many residents in assisted living facilities do struggle with severe problems that compromise livelihood, such as dementia, the National Center for Assisted Living says that the majority of residents need help with an average of two activities of daily living. Some of these include bathing, getting dressed and eating.
By planning for the possibility of a transition well in advance, you can help everyone be more aware. No one likes to rush into major decisions, but an elderly loved one may feel that’s exactly what’s happening, especially if the announcement is made so hurriedly that there’s little time to indicate preferences. Whenever possible, start approaching the idea of assisted living early, so that any resistance can be worked through thoroughly.
Not Doing a Complete Analysis of Needs
Relatives often find that it’s fairly easy to determine the type of assistance that a loved one needs currently, but more difficult to judge what the future may bring. It’s essential to think carefully about particular needs and always consider long-term outcomes, too. For example, even if a person is able to get around without difficulty, problems like strokes could change that in an instant. With that in mind, it’s usually best to choose a care facility that can help your loved one with what’s needed now, as well as future concerns.
Making a Decision Without Performing Adequate Research
A 2007 report from the US Department of Health and Human Services found that there were more than 38,000 assisted living facilities in America. Although that creates many choices, it can also become more difficult to select one that’s most appropriate. Facilities rely on television ads, glossy brochures and Internet banners to promote themselves and those methods are often helpful for making a list of facilities in a particular geographic area. However, it’s always best to schedule at least one in-person visit before making a final choice. While touring the facility, it’s usually easier to get a sense of whether or not residents seem happy and well cared for. It also gives you a chance to bring up any concerns about your loved one’s situation and requirements.
Failing to Keep a Loved One Involved
Make sure that a loved one is kept abreast of what the future may hold, even if they don’t have the physical or mental capacity to fully participate in the decision-making process. By instead leaving them out altogether, you could create unnecessary friction and strong emotions. Everyone deserves the chance to know what’s to come, and you can help a loved one feel valued by keeping them informed.
Deciding to transfer someone to an assisted living facility is not a choice to make quickly. By keeping the precautions above in mind, you can avoid hassles and enjoy a more pleasant experience during your search for a loved one’s new home.
Sam Negrete is an avid blogger. If you’re having difficulty choosing an assisted living facility, AssistedLivingToday.com helps elderly find housing.