In the coming decades, as the baby boomers continue to enter into the retirement phase of their lives, the options for living as independently as possible have increased. In states like Arizona or Florida, adult communities have provided a snapshot of what aging looks like for seniors. While active and independent at age fifty-five, aging into one's eighties and nineties often requires some assistance with daily living activities. Assisted living residences have evolved out of the desire to be as independent for as long as one can.
In the healthcare industry activities of daily living (ADLs), such as being able to drive, use the telephone, make meals, and maintain personal hygiene, are used as a measure of an adult's ability to live independently. If a person needs help in one or more of these activities, choosing a home that provides this aid may be the answer.
A healthcare provider should conduct an evaluation of any limitations of daily activities. Knowing how much help an individual needs is the first step to finding the right residence. Some assisted living communities are set up to provide very basic services, like making meals, assisting with shopping needs, and providing help with transportation. Other communities will provide basic care at the start, yet have the ability to add services depending on a person's future needs.
Once the level of care is known, the decision of where to locate will need to be addressed. Plan ahead, it can make the move easier for all involved. If the move will be to a new town or another part of the country, learn about the weather, the attractions, and other information to make the change easier. Locate a facility early in the decision process. Arrange help to pack and transport belongings. Engage family and friends to help in the transition.
When the location has been chosen, visit various facilities. Learn about the services that the care facility offers to make sure it can properly assist with current and future needs. Visiting the community will provide knowledge of the amenities available, how the staff interacts with the residents, and if the residents are happy and involved in activities.
Pay close attention to the staff's interaction with the residents. Do the staff members take time to talk to the residents, and do they appear comfortable and genuine in these interactions? Find out the ratio of staff to seniors, is it adequate to handle the number of residents?
Check out the recreational schedule, does it provide a variety of events? Walk around the community to see if the residents are actively participating in different events and how well they like the community.
While moving can be hectic, with advanced planning and getting others involved, should provide for an easier transition. An assisted living residence can increase the social interaction of seniors, while providing the security of needed care. Scheduled events and arranged transportation can present new opportunities for the residents. Knowing that the level of help is available should calm any current or future fears.