When assisted living is the right move

Posted:  Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 8:30am

When a family member begins struggling to keep up with daily tasks such as cooking meals, maintaining a home and caring for themselves, it may be time to consider a new living arrangement that offers personalized assistance.

Assisted Living is an ideal living arrangement for people who are in a transitional stage of aging. It can provide a new lease on life and is a favorable choice for those who cannot live on their own, but do not need nursing home level of care. This type of residential care helps residents remain as self-sufficient as possible with the availability of assistance when needed. And, unlike in-home care where personnel are not usually there 24/7 and hours are designated by an agency, Assisted Living residents have around the clock staffing, with a nurse supervisor on call.

Many years ago Don Walker and his wife purchased and moved into a cottage at St. Andrews Village. Years later when his wife passed away, Don and his beloved bichon frise companion, Mandy, moved to an Independent Living apartment at the Village's main Inn, where he says they enjoyed many good years. Due to some recent health and safety issues, Don's family and Village healthcare staff encouraged him to make a move to Assisted Living. While he admits that it was an adjustment at first, Don says, “I’ve lived at the Village for a long time now . . . I chose this place because I knew that if I ever needed extra care that I wouldn’t have to leave my home.”

Families often struggle deciding when a move for a loved one is necessary. For many the decision becomes clear with the realization that their loved one could use a little extra help and would benefit from individualized services, including personal care, medication administration and healthy meals. They often see their loved one becoming more isolated and know that new social outlets would be of great benefit — much more so than if they remained alone at home.

Another aspect to consider is the cost of maintaining a home. As people get older they often cannot do even routine household tasks, much less repairs, yard work, or serious cleaning. Assisted Living eliminates this altogether--there is no more home maintenance. Charlotte Gowen, a resident in the Village’s Assisted Living, enjoys the housekeeping services she receives. “They not only clean my apartment, but they take the time to ask how I am doing or if I need extra assistance with my cat Cokie.” Gowen says that all of the staff are so nice and go beyond their duties to assist her and her fellow residents.

It isn't always easy to determine the exact moment when staying at home is no longer viable and safe. You worry about whether or not you can find a trusted source of care and if your loved one will adapt well to a new living situation. When conversations with loved ones turn to their current care needs, it is helpful to relay the positives of moving to Assisted Living. And a visit to nearby Assisted Living facilities can go a long way toward easing your loved one's fears – and your own.

If you or someone you know would like more information about the benefits of Assisted Living, please call Bob Drury at St. Andrews Village Retirement Community (633-0920). He and healthcare advisors are there to answer any questions, provide tours and help guide individuals and families through the process.