~By Joie Stapleton and Berry Sprague on June 7, 2013
Moving into an assisted living community is a sensitive and complicated decision. Many seniors are at a crossroads in life where assisted living is the next step. However, they have no idea what to expect when they arrive in their new home.
Top three questions about moving into an assisted living community
1. Will I feel alienated from the outside world? Many seniors fear that once they commit to living in an assisted living community, that they have, in essence, built a wall between themselves and the outside world. These feelings, although very common, are a huge misconception. Seniors who move into assisted living communities find that they are more engaged than they have been in a very long time, which includes activities, outings to events such as concerts, lunch, and visits to museums. All of these trips come without anxiety and fear of safety. Many seniors, until this move, have been fearful of being active in outside events and activities due to a recent fall or scenario that left them feeling unsure of leaving home.
2. Will I lose my privacy? Preserving dignity is crucial in any successful group living environment and while assisted living does require safety measures, it should be handled with sensitivity to a resident’s privacy needs. A resident’s apartment is their home, therefore, something as simple as knocking before entry, or allowing a resident to nap without interruption can make an enormous difference. These measures allow the caregiver to be well-integrated into the resident’s life, while also providing safety and security for the resident.
3. Will I give up my favorite hobbies? Throughout our lives, the things that we enjoy tend to define our personality. Hobbies and where we spend our free time become part of how people recognize us. Seniors fear that they will be forced to stop doing the things that they love when moving into assisted living. The reality is that assisted living communities help to find what your interests are and offer many options to keep you doing what you love. Clubs such as gardening, knitting, music, sports and many more are offered so that seniors can not only keep up their interests, but share with other resident friends.
Although assisted living is a big step in life, it can offer many positive and enriching changes that seniors had not considered previously. Providing care while maintaining the life and legacy that a senior has built is not only a possibility, but a necessity.