A longtime family residence is not just any old type of shelter. For many people, especially seniors, it’s a unique haven with its own personality and history. Every inch of a family residence becomes a storehouse of one-of-a-kind treasures and vivid memories.
Over time, it often becomes more difficult for a senior to function in the place he or she has enjoyed calling “home.” In spite of that realization, it’s probably hard for many a senior to imagine a life spent anywhere else.
Still, deciding whether to make a lifestyle change is often the result of one or more issues that hamper daily life:
- Home injuries. Evidence of falls, declining mobility and balance issues in the form of frequent, if not unexplained, bumps and bruises.
- Isolation. Limited to no interaction with family, fellow church members, friends and neighbors, a situation that can often lead to depression.
- Memory loss. Failure to perform personal-hygiene tasks like bathing, or taking medications and keeping medical appointments. Taking steps to ensure safety, such as locking doors, activating alarm systems or turning off burners on stovetops.
- Transportation problems. Inability to travel even short distances due to being unable to drive, having difficulty driving and/or lacking the option or desire to use public transportation.
- Trouble handling simple chores. Lack of energy or strength to cook meals, or to complete light housework and basic yard work.
When seniors – or the family members who love them – examine these and other issues that threaten quality of life and safety, thoughts naturally turn to exploring options for places of residence. Two types of communities that many people consider when making lifestyle changes are those in the independent-living and assisted-living categories.
Independent-Living Community vs. Assisted-Living Community
An independent-living community provides services such as meals, transportation and recreational options. It’s most appropriate for seniors who need minimal help with daily living, desire social activities that keep them connected with peers and prefer a residence requiring them to perform little to no upkeep.
An assisted-living community is best suited for individuals who want or require others’ help with a host of daily activities, from meal preparation to short- and long-distance transportation. Such communities balance 24-hour support and access to care (minus the round-the-clock medical care and supervisions associated with nursing homes) with privacy and independence.
Making the Move
Once the senior and his family members select a new residential community, it’s time to prepare for the move. Tasks range from getting estimates from movers or truck rental companies and cataloguing all household goods two months prior to the move, to performing final checks of the house on the day of the move.
For a senior, leaving a family residence is perhaps the ultimate lifestyle change. This is why it’s so important to carefully select a new community with the atmosphere, services and staff that will best meet the senior’s needs.