One thing is certain in life – change is constant. And, for most people, change is not easy. Change can bring new challenges and uncertainties, push us out of our comfort zone and require us to learn and adapt in new ways. Marching through life, there is so much change, and there are so many new things that require people and families to adjust and change course. Aging causes changes, physically, mentally and emotionally. Over time, certain solutions to problems no longer work, and as situations change, new resources can be introduced to help support all involved.
To help ease the ups and downs and challenges of the aging journey, many families turn to the available resources and support systems. For some families, that means offering themselves as family caregivers; for others that means moving to assisted living care. To stay in front of decision-making, it helps to understand what resources are available and what support is needed for specific, individual situations throughout the aging process. This includes making the transition from caregiving to supporting a loved one in a senior living community.
When Assisted Living Is Needed
If an older adult is considering making a change from living at home to assisted living care, there are many things to consider. The most important question is – when is assisted living needed?
While the timing will vary from person to person, there are some standard signs that older adults and their families should be aware of. The signs it may be time for assisted living care include:
- Chronic health problems that require assistance
- Recent or persistent falls
- Forgetting to take medication or missing health appointments
- Fears about safety
- Requiring assistance with one or more activities of daily living
- Increasing isolation
- Poor eating habits or decreased focus on healthy living
- Caregiver stress
Caregiver burnout is the one factor in the list that depends more on the caregiver than the senior involved.
Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. Burnout can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able, physically or financially. This is often the case when caregivers try to provide care at home even after other circumstances have made this care too difficult for them to successfully provide.
What Caregivers Need to Know About Assisted Living
For family caregivers, the care and safety of a senior loved one is of utmost importance. Family caregivers spend an incredible amount of time with their elderly family member and are committed to providing the best possible situation for their loved one to live, learn and adapt as life brings on new challenges. Once it is clear that an older adult would be safer, healthier and happier moving into assisted living care, it is time to take a deeper dive.
For a caregiver, moving an older loved one can be an emotional transition; there are feelings of loss, guilt and a fear of the unknown. Because there are a host of emotions involved, it helps if the entire family, and the senior involved, are all confident that moving to assisted living care is the right decision. However, even when everyone agrees in the decision, there are still things to be considered. And, for caregivers, the more information they have, the better and more confident they feel going forward.
So, what should a caregiver understand is involved in assisted living care? Assisted living communities, like Windsor Estates, provide older adults with personalized care in a residential setting. Assisted living care communities are for seniors whose health and wellness require a higher level of support but who want to maintain a large amount of independence. Assisted living for seniors also provides a healthy lifestyle and offers opportunities for social engagement.
The most common assisted living care services offered include medication management and assistance with activities of daily living, such as using the bathroom, grooming and dressing. Housekeeping, laundry, meals and transportation to appointments and outings, as well as social programs and activities, are generally included. Assisted living care team members are available day and night to help with safety, care and support. Residents are encouraged to bring furniture and personal items to make their new home feel like home.
In most cases, assisted living residents are assessed when they move in to determine the level of care they need and so the community can offer an individualized service plan to make the level of assisted living care personal. Residents in assisted living care usually live in their own semiprivate or private apartments, which include a furnished or unfurnished bedroom, kitchen area and bathroom.
Although assisted living communities differ by state, and by the services offered, most caregivers can rest assured their loved one will receive the following services in assisted living care:
- Assistance with activities of daily living
- Dining programs that include three meals a day, as well as drinks and snacks
- Educational activities and programs
- Emergency call systems in private and common areas
- Exercise programs
- Health services and medication management
- Housekeeping and maintenance
- Organized recreational activities
- Personal and/or nonpersonal laundry services
- Social services and religious activities
- Transportation arrangements
- Wellness education
- Community security
About Windsor Estates
At Windsor Estates, we have the services and variety needed to meet the needs of all our residents. As a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), Windsor Estates is equipped to support our assisted living residents as their needs change and grow. We encourage the hobbies, interests and independence of our residents, while providing social opportunities, entertainment and health care services right on-site. Services for assisted living residents at Windsor Estates include:
- Managing medication
- Transferring bed/chair
Interested in learning more about Windsor Estates? We would love to answer your questions! Contact us today!