There are times when the concept of moving a loved one into assisted living seems to be the better option, rather than having them continue to live at home and be lonely. However, how do you know when assisted living is the right decision? When do you know that it’s time to begin to sit down with your loved one and have a rather honest conversation about the prospect?
Often, when talking about elderly care, the idea of personal home care tends to center around an in home care provider or other such caregiver arrangement. While this is often the better option when your loved one is still capable of living comfortably and safely in his or her home, with a little help from someone else, there are times when an assisted living facility simply would be a better option.
One of those reasons may be the feeling of isolation that your loved one is enduring at the moment. Perhaps your mother is in her eighties and almost of all of her friends have either moved away (into assisted living, with family) or passed away. Your mother may not know anyone in the neighborhood anymore and the entire region could feel foreign to her. This is a tough experience to deal with and while she may not want to move out of the fear that she may regret her decision, being alone may be far worse in the long run, especially if you or other family members are not able to stop by or include her in your plans.
When someone is feeling lonely and isolated, cut off from the rest of the world, they may try to fill that void in unhealthy ways, such as willingly talking to telemarketers who call or shopping on the Home Shopping Channel, collecting items that they simply don’t need because they are trying to feel happy again.
Even if your mother has a live in caregiver, this doesn’t mean that she will feel less lonely. The relationship is a professional one and even though many in home care providers develop bonds with the people they care for, it’s not the same as having friends and family to talk to, play games with, watch movies with, and so much more.
Assisted living offers elderly residents the opportunity to take part in activities with other like minded people their age. They can choose to join in the activities or read by themselves. It also offers seniors the opportunity to meet new and interesting people, something that your mother might not be able to do living where she is.
While in home care should be the first option, if you believe that your elderly loved one is isolated and feeling alone, then certainly consider assisted living.