Aging brings a variety of changes to our lives. We may find ourselves slowing down, and everyday tasks that used to be simple are now becoming more of a hassle to complete. Many seniors start to realize that downsizing their current home and moving to a senior living community is the best option to continue to thrive and enjoy life. However, with so many options and levels of care available today, it’s important to take some time to assess your current needs, as well as what your needs may be in the future, before determining what community is right for your healthcare requirements.
What Level of Senior Care is Right for You? An Assessment Checklist
Ensure a happy, fulfilling home environment as you age by planning for your future housing needs. Every senior is different, and therefore, just because your neighbor is moving to an assisted living community, this doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you. The key to choosing a senior living community that is suitable for you is to match your housing with your current lifestyle and health. Remember, it’s normal to feel somewhat frustrated as you become less independent than you have been in previous years, but keeping your mind open to new possibilities is essential to improving your overall quality of life.
Some of the things to consider as you’re assessing your needs include:
- Physical capabilities. Aging brings physical changes to our bodies, as muscle strength, endurance and flexibility tend to decrease in our later years. These changes can make it difficult to maintain the home and yard, or even affect your mobility to move easily throughout the house.
- Mental health. Some seniors face mental health issues like depression or loneliness, which can lead to becoming disinterested in life or doing some of the activities you used to enjoy.
- Social and emotional needs. As you age, you may notice changes in your support systems and social networks. The loss of a spouse or friends passing away can take a toll on you emotionally, and without social opportunities to keep you engaged in the world around you, you may find yourself socially isolated. Plus, it might become more difficult to drive, so you are missing opportunities to get out of the house and spend time with loved ones.
- Activities of daily living. Perhaps you’ve fallen ill and had a tough time recovering, or chronic conditions make shopping, cleaning, cooking or even bathing and dressing yourself too difficult to maintain. In this case, moving to an assisted living community is a good option, as they provide a higher level of care than an independent living community.
- Your safety. Living safely in your home means you might need to do things like remove throw rugs or low furniture to ensure you don’t suffer a fall. Or, maybe you need modifications like handrails in the bathroom to keep you steady on your feet. You should also consider the safety of the neighborhood in which you live; is it a safe, quiet community?
- Financial situation. Maintaining a home can be costly, especially when big ticket repairs come up, like needing a new roof or furnace. There are many financial options available to help pay for the cost of senior care which can help save you money in the long run.
All of these factors need to be taken into consideration as you’re choosing a senior living community that will best fit your needs. If you’re still active and mobile, an independent living community is sufficient and provides an easy, maintenance-free lifestyle. However, if you need more assistance, the higher level of care provided at an assisted living community could be a better decision for your future.
It’s important to communicate your wishes with your loved ones, too. Many seniors find that family members are happy and supportive in their decision to choose housing options like an independent living apartment or senior assisted living.
For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.