Making the decision to help an aging relative to move out of their lifetime home is never easy, but one of the toughest decisions is determining whether to choose assisted living or independent living. This decision really comes down to what types of assistance and how much assistance your relative needs. Here are two main factors to consider as you make this decision.
The Level of Freedom Desired
Freedom is something everyone desires; however, many seniors begin to lose the ability to be free as they age. While this is not by choice, it naturally happens in life, and it can be hard to talk to an aging person about this subject and stay objective with it.
While independent living certainly offers more freedom to people, it is not always the right choice for everyone. It's important to remember that assisted living centers still offer freedom to residents. Residents will live alone and take care of many needs and tasks on their own, but they will also have the ability to get help when it is needed.
The Amount of Help Needed
The amount of help your relative needs will really be the main determining factor in this decision. While an assisted living facility offers some freedom, the advantage of it is that there are trained aides and nurses on staff and present at all times. These employees will be there to complete scheduled tasks and to help at other times. Scheduled tasks can include:
- Dispersing daily medications
- Bathing, dressing, and other personal hygiene tasks
- Meal serving or preparation
- Rehabilitation services
These are the types of things your relative could get help with every day on a regular schedule, but he or she will also have the ability to call someone in for other types of help. For example, if your relative cannot reach something, he or she could call for help.
In addition, your relative will have a way to get emergency help if he or she falls down, gets really sick, or has any other type of emergency, he or she will have a way to call for immediate help. This could be by pushing a button on a bracelet or necklace the person is wearing, or it could be pulling a string attached to an emergency lever.
As you make this decision, be sure to thoroughly check out both options before choosing one. You can do this by visiting a center that offers assisted living.