Posted: November 2, 2021
Living independently at home, or aging in place, is the preferred option for many older adults. The desire to stay in the family home as long as possible is understandable – it is comfortable, familiar, and gives seniors a sense of independence. However, as health, mobility, and cognitive changes occur, living at home may no longer be safe for your aging parent. It’s important to understand the desires and dangers of aging in place and the benefits of living in a senior living community.
According to a survey by the AARP, 76% of older Americans would prefer to remain in their current home, but less than 50% believe they will be able to do so. Most seniors will eventually need some form of help with activities such as cooking, shopping, doing yard work, and maintaining the home.
As your parents age, their vision, motor skills, and hearing may decline, and driving can become difficult or risky. For married couples, it’s common for one spouse to take on more of the tasks of daily living, which can lead to resentment, depression, or rifts in their relationship. Adult children who step in to become caregivers find themselves in a role reversal which is challenging for everyone. As your parent’s needs increase, the demands of your own family, job, and responsibilities don’t decrease and this can lead to caregiver burnout.
Parents can be reluctant to ask for or accept help, not wanting to be a burden. Fear is also a factor because admitting they need help means things will likely change. They might feel angry or embarrassed about not being able to maintain their independence and control over their own lives. This can lead to parents hiding information about their physical or mental well-being.
In addition, the home that served someone with a growing family is often not suitable for retirement. Modifications to the home, such as grab bars and handrails, or remodeling to create a main floor bedroom might be necessary to make the home accessible and safe. Read AARP’s recommendations on making a home safer for seniors.
For older adults who only occasionally need help, remaining in their home can be a good choice. As needs increase, hiring a home health care professional is a viable option, but it is often a stopgap measure. A fall, an unforeseen health crisis, or burnout of family members who are providing care can force an emergency move. A better option for many is to think of moving into an assisted living or memory care community as aging in place in a new space.
When many people think of assisted living or memory care, they might think of a nursing home or hospital type of environment where people go to rehabilitate after surgery or a place where only those who are extremely ill live. Today’s senior living communities are full of independent and engaged seniors who have opportunities for solitude, socialization, and adventure. Learn more about what makes assisted living and nursing homes different.
Modern assisted living and memory care communities offer a variety of amenities, including elevated dining experiences, fitness studios, beautifully maintained outdoor spaces, as well as lounges and living rooms with opportunities to safely socialize with other vibrant older adults. For those wanting privacy, a senior living community offers a maintenance-free living option to age in place with the peace of mind that care and support is available when needed.
At a senior living community, you do not have to leave home to find friends, take a fitness class, eat at a restaurant, play games, or enjoy beauty and services. Assisted living and memory care communities offer a variety of safe, socially distanced life enrichment activities as well as organized outings. At Walnut Crossing we provide residents hand-on learning and sensory experiences through our “Cooking with Krystal” where residents get involved in preparing food, typically centered around celebrations, special events or holidays.
Walnut Crossing residents live as independently and privately as desired, while receiving the support they need. Your parents may only need a small amount of support now, but as their needs increase, a higher level of support is available without interruption. You and your parents can have peace of mind knowing that a caring support team is equipped to handle changing care needs. With a variety of floor plans to choose from, your parents can find an apartment to call home.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many seniors living at home have suffered from extreme isolation and loneliness. While federal and local health restrictions limited activities and outside visitors to many senior living communities, residents living inside of a community have had access to a team of dedicated professionals whose number priority is to care for the mental and physical well-being of residents. At Walnut Crossing, we take the time to build a connection with each resident and we know how important it is for residents to stay connected to family and friends while also prioritizing the wellness of residents and team members. Residents at Walnut Crossing have had access to the COVID-19 vaccine, while many older adults living at home are left to navigate the complicated distribution system on their own. Read more about our Needlepoint Cleaner Air Ionization System that was installed in our community to reduce the risk of spreading harmful pathogens.
Many older adults are excited to retire and have more time to enjoy hobbies and spend time with friends, yet many seniors find themselves isolated and lonely. Aging in place at home may seem appealing, but for many seniors may mean a loss of independence.
Cognitive decline and mobility challenges can make performing the activities of daily living (ADLs) difficult and frustrating. Although it is hard to admit we or someone we love needs extra help, it is better to be proactive and begin thinking about assisted living before it becomes an urgent need.
Some warning signs that it may be time include unexplained weight loss, neglecting personal hygiene, forgetting to pay bills or take medications, struggles talking on the phone or using familiar technology, as well as depression or increased anxiety. Making the move before these warning signs present themselves may make the transition easier. Read more about the signs it may be time for memory care and some common reasons you or your parent might choose to move to an assisted living community.
The decision to move to a senior living community can be a challenging process. We are here to help seniors and their families as they discuss and research options. We invite you to take a live virtual tour or contact our friendly staff to learn more about our memory care and assisted living community in Marysville, Ohio.