For many seniors and their families, it’s difficult to make the decision to even consider senior housing—much less to choose a senior housing facility to move to. For many, considering senior housing means considering giving up independence and familiar surroundings—and it’s common to put off planning for senior housing until the senior’s health has deteriorated to the point where there is no other choice.
However, senior housing isn’t just for those who are too incapacitated to care for themselves. Many senior housing facilities provide a range of services, from light help with more strenuous household tasks to full-service in-home nursing assistance. Making plans for senior housing early, while you still have time, can lead to finding options that fit you—and that can accommodate your changing needs as you age. Here’s an overview of when it might be a good time to think about senior housing.
Moving to a senior housing facility is usually not an easy decision. But many senior housing facilities deliver a wide range of services while allowing residents to keep their independence and live an active, social lifestyle.
Maybe it’s as innocuous as forgetting an appointment—or maybe you’re having trouble keeping track of medications or forgetting to turn off the stove. Small lapses in memory can have big consequences, and if you’re experiencing these occurrences, it may be a good time to look into your options for senior housing.
When you’re having trouble with daily tasks
If you’re having difficulty with daily tasks that used to be simple—such as making your own meals, daily grooming routines, or paying bills—this could signal that it’s time to consider senior housing. Many independent living facilities provide a range of assistance for people who need only light to moderate services, while allowing residents to maintain their lifestyle and independence.
When you’re having physical problems
If you’re having difficulty sitting or standing up from a sitting position on your own, negotiating stairs, or getting out of bed, senior housing may be able to provide you with a comfortable living space designed to help you negotiate daily mobility issues. However, many seniors consider senior housing before this point—when they’re having trouble handling yard work and maintaining a home, but are still mobile. Many types of senior housing will take more strenuous home maintenance tasks off your hands without providing other assistance unless it’s necessary.
When you’re afraid of falling
If you live alone, falling can be a particularly frightening prospect. If you’ve already had a bad fall or fear your ability to help yourself up on your own, now may be a good time to consider an assisted living facility. These facilities allow you to maintain independence, but have personnel on hand to respond to slip-and-fall occurrences and get you the help you need immediately.
When you’re having trouble getting to appointments
Maybe you don’t have trouble remembering appointments—but you are no longer able to drive and have trouble negotiating public transportation. Senior housing facilities may have doctors on staff who can take care of your medical needs, or they will provide transportation to doctors’ offices and other appointments. Many senior living facilities are located near area hospitals so you can have fast access to medical care.
Moving to a senior housing facility is usually not an easy decision. But many senior housing facilities deliver a wide range of services while allowing residents to keep their independence and live an active, social lifestyle. Memory lapses, mobility difficulties, fear of falling, and trouble handling household tasks and chores can all be signs that it’s time to consider senior retirement communities. Start before there are more serious problems, and you’ll be able to take your time in choosing the senior housing community that’s right for you.