Learn more about this decision in our brief guide below.
Individuals and families balk at making the choice for assisted living for a number of reasons. Some people don't realize they can live a more independent, vibrant life with the support they get in such a community, for example. Many times, older adults are more active, more social and happier when they move from their existing home into a loving, caring community.
Families may be hesitant to approach such a move out of misplaced feelings of guilt. They may feel they're supposed to care for their loved one in their own homes and "keep the family together," so to speak. In reality, many families simply don't have the resources or safe homes to do this, and many older adults might actually prefer the privacy of a nice independent living or assisted living apartment.
Some specific benefits of assisted living include:
Often, this is a choice a family of faith may want to make together. Include the older adult as well as their adult children or siblings who might help out regularly. The preferences and needs of the older adult in question should always be considered, and the family may want to pray together or individually to seek God's guidance in this decision.
Taking time to research options for assisted living can help an older adult find a community that works best for them. You should consider a variety of factors, including:
While many assisted living communities do offer some activities for people of faith, faith-based communities tend to offer more. They also help increase the chance that your loved one is surrounded by like-minded residents.
Some amenities you might look for in faith-based communities include:
Always consider the protocols a community has in place to support safety and security while maintaining as much independence for individuals as possible. For example, if you're looking at a memory care level of service, does the location have procedures and tools in place to reduce risk of wandering? In an assisted living community, how are the staff trained to respond to a medical emergency, and are there options in the rooms to make it easy for older adults to call for aid when they need it?
Ask to tour the community so you can see everything for yourself. Check that bathrooms look safe and are outfitted with safety products like grab bars or walk-in showers where needed. Ask questions about how many staff are at the community at various times of day, whether any staff are licensed clinical professionals and who oversees any care plan that's created.
Consider assisted living communities that provide support and care for the entire person — mind, body and soul. Families of faith may be interested in ensuring that their loved one is offered plenty of socialization activities to improve mental and emotional health and keep cognitive wheels moving. They may also want to ensure their loved one will continue to receive spiritual guidance and support, even if they're leaving a home church to move into assisted living.
Finally, consider how much family involvement is supported by the particular community. Is it close enough for regular visits? Does the community have options such as a community kitchen where families can cook and eat together? Are staff committed to keeping family members informed and involved?
By asking questions when you visit an assisted living community, you can learn more about how it may help your loved one.