When is living independently in one’s own home not all it’s cracked up to be? How does one decide when it is time to investigate assisted living?
Loneliness can influence the decision to seek a living alternative that provides increased interraction with other human beings. According to a study performed by the University of Texas School of Social Work, social isolation, imposed by chronic illness and functional limitations, makes homebound individuals more vulnerable to depression than their mobility-unimpaired peers. The following assessment tool can provide answers in contemplating whether to stay in the home; or to stay in the home by employing people to assist with the care of the home and life’s tasks; or to explore life in a new setting.
- Are there times when moving around the house and surrounding area is difficult?
- Are there problems with hearing or vision?
- Are there health-related problems that limit the ability to take care of everyday activities?
- Are there signs of forgetfulness, confusion, or decreased reasoning capabilities?
- Is there a drop in social activity, like meeting with friends?
- Are there times of boredom, loneliness, or depression?
- Are there feelings of frustration or worthlessness from inactivity?
- Are there times when taking prescribed medications is challenging or not worth the trouble? Does the fear of side effects result in a refusal to take the medication(s) in a way that is not supervised by the physician?
Photo courtesy of Carme Balcells
Kathy N. Johnson, PhD, CMC provides that up to half of seniors are unable or unwilling to follow a prescribed medication regimen. Long term medications present even more of a challenge and require monitoring by a caregiver.
More and more seniors are making the decision to discover for themselves the benefits and peace of mind that assisted living provides. In today’s world, assisted living facilities are no longer your grandma’s nursing home. “Older adults are now getting the traditional care they need while maintaining much of their independence and dignity in a place they can call home.” said Charles Robinson, director of assisted living for Brookdale Senior Living. Whether it is through structured activities in an assisted living or community center environment, many older adults find that maintaining high levels of mental, physical, and social activity enrich and may even extend their lives.
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The number of living options available to seniors is growing as rapidly as the population group. Experts in the area can provide answers as to what’s new and available; and how to ensure a transition that is as simple and stress-free as possible.