There are no two ways about it: the thought of moving into an assisted living or skilled nursing facility is something that many older adults begin to dread as they age. The reasons for this are perfectly rational: none of us want to leave the home we’ve worked to build for most of our lives; none of us want to feel like we’re losing our independence. But how much of those fears are based upon a negative stigma? How much of that stigma is actually true of the assisted living experience that is available today?
All too often, the move to an assisted living or skilled nursing facility comes immediately after the effects of a critical accident. The urgency of this situation can be stressful, and can lead to a rushed decision. The idea that assisted living is a last resort can drive people to wait too long to consider their changing needs. But senior services don’t have to be seen as something to be avoided; a good support program strives to maintain consistency and enable individuals to lead the lives they choose by alleviating the growing burdens of every day routine – such as navigating a complex schedule of medications, battling joint or back pain to enter and exit the bathtub, or struggling to keep up with seasonal maintenance around and inside a large house. The difference between a positive and negative experience can be as simple as one’s perception and attitude associated with the issue at hand.
By thinking of assisted living as a way to maintain independence and happiness rather than an end result when one has lost it, a family can encourage active participation from everyone involved in finding the right place for your loved one. Being prepared in advance increases the chance that your loved one will be happy with his or her destination – that the location, amenities, and people that comprise the living experience will support his or her vision of life.
Modern assisted living and skilled nursing facilities have a wider range of specialized and customizable amenities than ever before. If you or a loved one is starting to find that certain everyday tasks or responsibilities are interfering with the ability to enjoy free time, look into the support options that your community may be able to provide. You might be surprised at how much difference some help can make!
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