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Why Assisted Living Can Be the Best Way to Care for Your Parents

Choosing assisted living —

the best way to care for aging parents

Here’s a scenario many middle-aged people are living through right now: Their 70-plus-year-old parent has lived alone for decades. He or she has always been self-sufficient, but in recent years has needed progressively more help with shopping, cooking, housework and bill paying. Wintertime has become especially challenging. Recently, there have been repeated episodes of falling along with ambulance rides to the ER in the middle of the night. You’re spending as much time as possible helping out, but it’s not enough. You’re neglecting your own children and falling behind in your personal responsibilities. You’re thinking about quitting your job. Is it time to choose assisted living for your loved one? Clearly it is, but your parent doesn’t want to talk about it, and you feel guilty and exhausted just thinking about it. What’s going on?

senior getting help with medication management with a health care worker in assisted living

Why we hesitate to choose assisted living

As adults, we’ve learned to just keep going, regardless of what life may place in front of us. Our parents set this example, and it’s the model we follow today. If more help, or more work, or more time is required to remedy a family situation, we just provide it ourselves. We find a way. We wouldn’t feel right otherwise. Especially when it’s a beloved parent who needs help. We can’t always see that despite our best intentions, we may not be best suited to provide the different kinds of aid they really need. And trying to do everything ourselves is simply untenable as time goes by.  

Yet, it’s hard not to feel as if you’re failing or abandoning a parent if you advocate for assisted living. You may even have promised your loved one you’d always be there for them. The challenge is in recognizing that “being there” effectively translates to helping find the right solution for their particular needs. More often than not, that solution involves the collective benefits found at a reputable community offering assisted living services.

senior receiving help from a health care worker at an assisted living community

The positive aspects of assisted living and the importance of senior care

The answer involves more than you alone. To set an older person on course to continue leading a healthy, happy life, a number of factors have to align. They need to escape boredom and isolation; they need productive outlets for their free time. They need intellectual stimulation, as well as a healthy diet. They may need aid and assistance with activities that are physically challenging, and above all, they need safety and security, with access to competent medical care. No individual son or daughter, no matter how devoted, could provide all this.

Many people say they wish to remain in their homes indefinitely, but eventually find that’s not really feasible. For the right situation, assisted living facilities can provide for many essential needs in a single solution, and elevate the quality of life for an older person and their family members. A reputable community offering assisted living services is generally a safer, more social environment for aging seniors than carrying on alone at home. Basic necessities like residential maintenance, meals, exercise, transportation, monthly finances and much more simply take care of themselves inside an assisted living community.

If your loved one should need additional assistance with activities of daily living, it will be there for them. And trained professionals are always available to monitor and assist in any medical situation that may arise. Overall, the staffing resources and clinical capabilities of an assisted living community far outstrip any efforts you might attempt to provide at home. What’s more, with a parent safely inside an assisted living community, family members can stop attempting to be caregivers and go back to being sons and daughters. 

Gaining a better understanding of the benefits of assisted living

Without firsthand knowledge of what assisted living communities are and the type of services they provide, it’s easy to assume the wrong thing — that a residence in assisted living is the same as being in a nursing home, for instance. This article addresses the common myths associated with assisted living and will give you current, fact-based information about assisted living communities today. And once you and your loved one conclude that assisted living services may be the best solution for your family, you’ll need an efficient way of finding and evaluating communities in your area. This article can help with that research and provide a list of important questions to answer before making your choice. And even after you’ve found what you believe will be the right assisted living community for your loved one, you’ll want to refer to these five tips to help them ease the transition. 

senior man sitting with his dog in a pet friendly assisted living community

Choosing assisted living at The Ridge Senior Living

The Ridge Senior Living communities are well versed in helping families navigate the challenges of moving parents to assisted living. Each of our communities in Holladay and Salt Lake City, Utah; and Lakewood, Colorado, empowers assisted living residents to expand their opportunities and maximize independence. Having one’s own spacious, pet-friendly apartment can help make this next stage of life the most fulfilling yet. Please call us at 1-877-894-9008 to arrange your personal tour.

 

Hear from Randy about the importance of socialization and why he was glad he moved into senior living.