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Cindy Dennis

Executive Director

A Caregiver’s Guide to Thinking About, Planning for, and Talking About Assisted Living

Are you concerned about the safety of your senior loved one? If so, it may be time to think about whether a move to assisted living is warranted. While this may be an emotional and difficult prospect for seniors and their loved ones, transitioning into assisted living can provide a welcome boost of stress relief and independence in the long run. Need more information? Cindy Dennis Ministries offers the following tips on recognizing assisted living needs and managing transitions.

Is It Time for Assisted Living?

Knowing when the time is right for assisted living can be tough for family caregivers, but there are some common signs to watch out for when it comes to aging loved ones. If your older family members are a danger to themselves or others, have started to wander, or require care for a chronic condition, then it may well be time to help them transition into an assisted living facility. An inability to carry out tasks of daily living, including taking care of themselves or their home, can also indicate a need for assisted living or another form of senior care. If you begin to see these signs in a loved one, you may want to start thinking about these crucial steps.

Paying for Long-Term Care Expenses

Paying for senior care can cause both seniors and family caregivers a considerable amount of stress, so it’s crucial to spend time researching all viable options for covering the costs of assisted living. If you have the financial means, you could pay for those costs out of your own pocket, or you can check to see if your loved one is eligible for VA aid, Medicaid, or non-profit support that can make assisted living more affordable. As you weigh the options for how your loved one will pay for senior care, you should also think about whether selling the family home is a viable choice, particularly if your loved one has a considerable amount of equity. Bear in mind the home will need to be prepped for sale and that you’ll need to connect with a real estate agent to determine best practices and what to understand when selling a home during the pandemic.

Planning an Assisted Living Transition

If you suspect that a senior family member will need to move into an assisted living facility, you should begin helping them prepare for the transition as soon as possible. Many seniors will need to declutter and downsize their current homes before they move into a senior care facility, and it can be difficult to part ways with possessions that hold so many emotions and memories. So try to allow your loved one some time to process those confusing emotions and enlist help if needed. For example, senior move managers can provide assistance to seniors and their families from start to finish when it comes to an assisted living move. You may also need to help your older loved one with essential moving tasks to ensure they don’t miss crucial steps.

Discussing Assisted Living and Senior Care

Planning for the financial and logistical aspects of a move to assisted living can actually make talking to your senior loved one about their senior care options much less stressful. With the facts laid out, you will have a better chance of remaining calm and objective when discussing assisted living or other long-term care needs with your loved one, and they may feel less pressure knowing that they have options. Of course, there may still be some tension as you talk to your senior loved one, so try to remain patient and talk to them several times if needed. If a senior refuses care and the need is great, you may also need to explore your legal options for protecting their welfare, health, and safety.

Having a plan and researching options can make planning for an assisted living transition less stressful. So if you think an aging parent or loved one may need assisted living soon, or even in the future, start thinking about that research now so you both will have more options.

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