Assisted living is a type of care that involves residential housing with extra aid, provided by professionals in the health care field. This type of living arrangement can be suitable for seniors who need help with cooking, cleaning, bathroom tasks, and traveling to and from appointments. |
Assisted living facilities provide a variety of services and care. Typical services include serving residents three balanced meals each day and providing housekeeping to keep living areas clean. Residents also receive help with bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, walking or moving around, and eating, if necessary. Healthcare professionals are on call around the clock, providing help with medication management, emergency care, and security for residents. Other services include laundry, wellness programs, transportation, and planned recreational activities.
Assessing Your Needs
Someone who is having trouble managing independent daily life in a house or an apartment might be a likely candidate for assisted living. Some signs that could indicate a need for extra help include weight loss because shopping and cooking becomes too difficult, use of the same outfits repeatedly because washing clothes is too hard, lack of personal hygiene because bathing becomes a challenge, bruises due to falls, an inability to manage appointments and medication, inappropriate behavior (such as not dressing for the weather), and depression that stems from isolation.
Choosing a Facility
The facility you choose for a loved one will be an important decision. Take the time to explore every option available within your immediate geographic area. Read through pamphlets that describe the services and amenities available at the facility. Make appointments to visit each facility for a tour and speak with representatives. While touring, note the environment and whether it feels like a warm and caring atmosphere. Watch how staff and residents converse and see whether the residents seem happy and comfortable. Notice the overall cleanliness of the facility and whether safety and security measures are in place for residents. At a minimum, the assisted living environment should feel warm, comfortable, safe, and secure. Your personal preferences may also include gourmet meals and expensive amenities, but these features should be over and above the basics of cleanliness, care, and safety.
Making the Transition
The move from independent living to assisted living care can be a big one for many people. Proceed with sensitivity and support as you help your family member through this transition. Acknowledge feelings of loss and grief derived from moving away from a home. This can be especially difficult for someone who has been in a home for years. Provide encouragement and support throughout the moving process, helping to sort belongings and pack boxes. Stay involved with regular calls and visits after the move. Help with adding personal touches to the new living space by decorating and finding a place for personal possessions. Include your family member in gatherings and outings as much as possible. Speak with staff members to find out how your family member is acclimating to the new environment.
While this type of move is a difficult rite of passage, your support and involvement can help your loved one make the adjustment.
To learn more about their options for assisted living, Salt Lake City residents should visit http://www.heritageplaceseniorliving.com/.
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