Senior Living: Signs a Relative Might Benefit & How to Help Them with the Move
If you have an elderly relative that you are looking after, then it’s only natural to be concerned for their health and wellbeing. You want them to be happy, safe, and healthy, and sometimes this might bring some tough decisions with it, such as whether or not it is best to move them from their home into somewhere where they can be cared for and supported by professionals. If you have noticed that your senior relative has recently declined in terms of health and mobility, are struggling to look after themselves at home or having trouble with everyday tasks, then the idea of moving to a senior living facility might have crossed your mind.
For many seniors, living at home is no longer feasible if they are struggling to look after themselves and the home, experiencing more accidents such as falls, or they have health and mobility issues that are preventing them from getting around the home. In this case, moving to a senior living or care facility can be an ideal way for them to remain as independent as possible, in an environment that is easier for them to manage and with caregivers nearby to offer help and support when needed.
What are Some Signs Your Relative Might Benefit from Moving?
Many seniors live at home well into their golden years and manage well. This might be the case if your relative is living in a small bungalow that has been adapted to their needs and is therefore easier for them to manage. However, there are also lots of seniors who will struggle a lot continuing to live at home. If you have noticed any of these signs, then it might be time for a change for them.
They Struggle to Get Around
Seniors who are living in homes that are not adapted to their needs might end up struggling to get around quite a lot. It is definitely worth considering searching for senior living near me to find out what is available if your relative is dealing with problems such as trouble getting upstairs to use the bathroom or go to sleep. Of course, there is also the option of adapting their home, but this can be expensive and involve a lot of work depending on the property.
They Have Become Isolated and Lonely
Another big sign that your loved one might benefit a lot from moving to a senior living facility is that they have become isolated and lonely in their own home. More and more seniors are dealing with loneliness as a result of living alone and having mobility or health issues that prevent them from getting out and spending time with others as much as they might like. Families can do their best to visit, but it’s not always easy when you have your own life and commitments to deal with. A senior living facility can be a great option for combatting loneliness, as there is always going to be somebody around to talk to, while residents get their own space for ‘me time’ too.
They’re Struggling to Upkeep Their Home
Household chores can become much harder for seniors who might be dealing with mobility issues. If your relative has always been quite house proud but you are recently noticing that their home is untidy or parts have not been cleaned for a while, then this is a big sign that they might be struggling to keep up with it. This might happen if they are living in a large family home, but the family has flown the nest. Senior living facilities offer small apartments or rooms that are much easier to manage. Along with this, they also have staff on hand to help with everyday chores.
They Express Wanting a Change
Some seniors are happy to live in their current home forever. Others, however, will want a change, especially if they are feeling lonely or unfulfilled. If your relative has been talking about moving somewhere else or expressing a desire to change something in their lives, then listen to them. It might be the right time for them to consider moving to somewhere where they can focus on themselves more without a big house to worry about and make new friends while enjoying their golden years.
They Need More Professional Support
As our relatives get older, it can often be tough to see them dealing with health and mobility issues, or cognitive decline. However, if your relative is showing the early signs of dementia, for example, then it might be time to start thinking about moving them to a facility where they will be able to get the professional care and support they require. Memory care facilities are an ideal choice as they are set up in a way that allows residents to stay as independent as possible and thrive despite their condition.
Making the Change – How to Help Your Relative Adjust
Change can be tricky for a lot of people, and seniors in particular have often gotten used to a certain way of life and aren’t always open to changes. Unless your relative themselves has been expressing an interest in moving to a senior community or making other big changes in their life, you will need to be prepared for some resistance if you bring the idea up, and an adjustment period if they decide to move.
Let Them Decide
Unless you are in a situation where your relative needs to be moved to a senior care facility for their own health and safety, then you should always let them decide. There is nothing wrong with putting the idea to them but respect their right to make their own choices and give them some time to think about it. Have a conversation about the struggles that they are currently facing and how moving to a senior living facility might be able to help combat them. Keep a positive mindset and focus on the benefits, especially if they are anxious about the idea. That being said, you should always hear and empathize with their concerns.
Give Them Time
A sudden change can be jarring for anybody, so give your relative some time to think things over and get prepared for the move. Make sure that they are as involved as possible in choosing a new place and deciding which senior living community is going to be a good fit for them. Go with them to visit different options and look around. They might find it helpful for you to take care of some of the mundane paperwork for them, but ultimately, give them time to make their own decision about where they want to go as, after all, it’s going to be their new home.
Help Them Get Organized
Moving from a bigger home to a senior living community is often a huge downsize and some decluttering will be needed. Your relative is unlikely going to be able to take all of their belongings with them so this can be a good chance to help them get organized and have a clear-out of stuff. Make sure that you prioritize keeping and packing anything that might be important to them such as family heirlooms, photographs, and their favorite clothes or pieces of furniture.
After moving day has come around and your relative is in their new home, it’s a good idea to visit them often, to make sure that they feel supported as they adjust to being in a new place and have a familiar face around. If they have moved to a senior living community that is nearby to friends and family, you might want to speak to other relatives and friends to let them know that your relative would appreciate a visit. If they are happy to use one, it might be worth providing them with a smartphone or laptop so that they can easily keep in touch with the people who mean the most to them.
Be Ready for an Adjustment Period
It’s not unusual for seniors to have some mixed feelings about the situation when they move into an assisted living or senior living community, especially if they are struggling with health issues or the early signs of dementia. It can be a lot to take in, and your relative might be elated about their new home one day but want to move back to the old one the next. Be patient and understanding about how they feel, and make sure that they know that you are there to support them as they get settled in. Caregivers and other professionals who work at senior living communities are quite used to the adjustment period for new residents, so get support from them too if needed.
While many of us would like to continue looking after and supporting our senior relatives, it can be tricky to do alone. Moving to a care facility or assisted living facility can often be the best way for our relatives to stay independent and get the support they deserve.