The Assisted Living Transition
As your loved one ages, it’s natural for them to begin requiring a bit of assistance in executing their day-to-day activities. But what happens when you can’t be there to provide such assistance? At Wesley Court Assisted Living, we understand your concern and want to help put your mind at ease. We’re here to assist your loved one with their daily needs, affording them the opportunity to continue living as independently as they desire.
Not sure where to start in your assisted living journey? Read on for more information about how to determine if a loved one needs assistance, what types of assistance might be most beneficial, and how to make moving to an assisted living community easier for your loved one.
WHEN IS IT TIME FOR ASSISTED LIVING?
Wondering whether your loved one is a good candidate for assisted living? Ask yourself: Do they have trouble with the activities of daily living (ADLs)? The six categories of ADLs cover basic physical abilities, including:
- Ambulation: the ability to walk on one’s own or move independently between positions, such as from a bed to a wheelchair.
- Feeding: specifically, the ability to eat independently.
- Dressing: in addition to the physical ability to clothe oneself, this also includes selecting appropriate clothing for the weather and/or occasion.
- Personal Hygiene: the ability to maintain cleanliness of body through bathing and grooming, including dental care, skin care, and hair and nails.
- Continence: the ability to control bladder and bowel functions independently.
- Toileting: this includes getting oneself to and from the toilet independently, as well as the ability to keep oneself clean after toilet use.
When determining the level of assistance your loved one needs, the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) also recommends considering instrumental ADLs, which are more complex in nature than the physical ADLs and require both physical and mental organizational skills. Instrumental ADLs include:
- The ability to manage transportation, either by driving oneself or organizing another means of transport to obtain groceries, socialize and attend events.
- The ability to manage one’s own finances – to keep track of and pay bills on time or to balance a checkbook.
- The ability to feed oneself beyond just eating independently – this includes the ability to select groceries, maintain proper nutrition and prepare meals.
- The ability to maintain a clean and safe home space.
- The ability to communicate with others and to manage communication.
- The ability to self-manage medications.
Other warning signs it may be time for your loved one to transition to assisted living include aggressive behavior, escalating care needs, or an increase in caregiver stress. Home safety issues may also be cause for concern, especially for loved ones prone to sundowning or wandering.
ASSISTED LIVING LEVELS OF CARE
You’ve determined your loved one does need assistance – now what? Now it’s time to identify communities that can provide the level of care appropriate for their needs. Three kinds of assisted care communities you can explore include:
- Nursing homes, which typically provide 24/7 assistance for residents who require skilled nursing attention and medical care during their long-term stay.
- Assisted living communities, like Wesley Court, which often feature 24-hour assistance, but residents typically do not need as much medical assistance as those in nursing homes.
- Memory care communities designed specifically to aid residents with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
At Wesley Court Assisted Living Community, we offer the comfort and security of 24-hour assisted care services, including a 24/7 on-site licensed and certified nursing staff, individualized care plans for every resident, medication management, and so much more.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR ASSISTED LIVING
Moving to assisted living is a big decision, so be prepared for your loved one to feel apprehensive; it may take time to adjust to a new living situation. Here are some tips to ease the transition to assisted living:
- Do your research: Does the community offer the appropriate level of care for your loved one’s needs? What are the costs of the assisted living community – is it all-inclusive, or does it operate on a “levels-of-care” tier-based pricing system? Help your loved one prepare by including them in the research process and answering any questions they may have about how to get into assisted living.
- Arrange a time to visit the community before moving in. Let your loved one spend a day exploring the community, familiarizing themselves with their new home and participating in activities with staff and residents before they move in.
- Give your loved one time to adjust. Don’t take it personally if they aren’t immediately comfortable following the move; listen to and acknowledge their concerns and fears and allow time for the emotional transition.
- Personalize their room with belongings from home and limit the number of new items they bring with them. Too many new items can overwhelm your loved one, who may find it more comforting if they recognize the things around them.
- Familiarize yourself with the staff. Chat with the sales counselor about the processes used to onboard new residents: Will they have a mentor? Are there activities for new residents geared to help them settle in? Knowing what to expect can offer you and your loved one reassurance. Also, be sure to chat with the caregivers who will be assisting your loved one on a regular basis – don’t be afraid to ask them any questions you might have specific to your loved one’s care!
- Get to know the neighbors. Your loved one will likely be living in the same hallway or on the same floor as many other residents. Encourage them to reach out to the individuals next door – and get to know the neighbors yourself! Dine with your loved one and other residents while you visit. Developing a sense of community can help make this a smooth transition.
ENJOY LIFE AT WESLEY COURT
Need help getting started with the assisted living planning process? At Wesley Court Assisted Living, we can help you or your loved one feel right at home. Reach out today to request a tour of our Boiling Springs, SC community, or contact us for a personalized consultation. Call 864-599-9929 today!