Many senior adults have worked hard to build and maintain their homes. They know every square inch, and can recall scores of memories in every room.
When facing the prospect of moving to an assisted living community, some may fear it as a place where they will feel lost and have to interact with people they have never met, not to mention say goodbye to a lifetime of memories.
Fears About Assisted Living and the Comforting Facts
Below are some of the most common fears seniors have about moving into assisted living and facts that may help them deal with those fears:
Fear: Will I be lonely?
Fact: Your life will be enriched by meeting a variety of people you share interests with as well as caring staff members who will assist you.
Fear: Will I lose my independence?
Fact: You receive only the care and support you need, which frees you up to pursue activities that interest you and enjoy your leisure as you choose.
Fear: Will I be bored?
Fact: Even though COVID-19 has required some social activities to be suspended or modified, there are plenty of ways to keep you active and engaged in an assisted living community.
Fear: Will I have to give up my car?
Fact: There are some residents who live in assisted living communities that continue to drive.
Fear: Will I be able to afford it?
Fact: Before discounting assisted living due to cost, consider options like Social Security, VA benefits and retirement accounts. It might pay to consult with a financial advisor or a geriatric care manager to discover resources that may be available. In fact, assisted living may be more affordable than you think.
Fear: Will I like the staff?
Fact: Good assisted living communities are staffed by professionals who are committed to the wellbeing and happiness of residents. Seniors and family members should schedule an in-person visit, or a virtual visit due to COVID-19 restrictions, to learn more about the care and support residents receive at the assisted living community they are considering.
Fear: Will I have to follow a program schedule?
Fact: There are activity calendars available to residents of assisted living communities, but they are a menu of activities that the residents can select from, not a list of requirements. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in activities and events that interest you.
Fear: Will I be able to bring my belongings?
Fact: New residents are allowed to bring many items from their home when moving into assisted living.
Fear: Will I be able to learn my way around?
Fact: Staff members will be there 24 hours per day to provide assistance and reassurance within a comforting environment.
How Family Members Can Help Ease Fears About Assisted Living
Family members can dispel some of the fears their senior has about assisted living by explaining that it emphasizes maintaining as much independence as possible while seeing to the senior’s safety and comfort.
Services offered can include medication management and assistance with using the bathroom, dressing, and grooming. Housekeeping, meals, laundry, and transportation services. Social programs and activities are offered. Staff is available 24/7 to help with safety, care, and support.
Here are some tips on effective ways to talk with your senior about assisted living:
- Give your senior a sense of control. Ask them to discuss the possibility of assisted living rather than just telling them they have to do it.
- Enlist help. Find another advocate your senior trusts and respects to join in the conversation about entering assisted living. This could be a member of the clergy, a physician or another family member.
- Share your concerns. It’s OK to tell your parents you are concerned about them. Explain it would be better not only for them but for your peace of mind if they joined an assisted living community.
- Retreat for a while. If the discussion is not going well with your senior, back away from the subject for a short time. Remember, seniors are very sensitive to the idea that they are losing their independence. Talking about assisted living may come across as intimidating and scary. Yet, it may be the ideal scenario for their personal wellbeing.
Contact us today to ask about touring a Bethesda assisted living community near you.