A Top Question in Senior Living: When to Move Into Assisted Living

January 18, 2022

Every older adult’s situation is unique, which is one reason that deciding when is the best time to move into a retirement community can be so challenging. Moving into a community that offers multiple levels of care often makes the decision easier.

Seniors who are ready to leave behind the responsibilities of maintaining a house but who still are active, healthy and able to live on their own can choose an independent living community at their convenience. The general advice is to make the move sooner rather than later, to take full advantage of all the services and amenities that are available.

It can be trickier, though, knowing when assisted living might be the right choice. For those living in a community that offers both independent living and assisted living (maybe along with memory care and/or skilled nursing), the staff can be a particularly helpful resource when it comes to making this decision.

But what if you’re still living in your own home and it’s becoming harder to manage on your own? Or what if your 78-year-old parent seems to be struggling to keep up with his or her daily routine? It might be time to consider another living arrangement.

Who Can Benefit From Assisted Living?

In general, assisted living is for those who need some help on a regular, if not daily, basis. That might mean help with grooming, or meals, or moving around one’s living space. It might also mean assistance with making sure that medications are taken correctly.

Emotional health is something else to take into account. It’s not unusual for older adults — especially those who can no longer see or hear as well as they once could — to begin to withdraw. The process may be gradual and subtle, but the effects can be significant.

Social isolation harms elderly individuals in numerous ways. For instance, loneliness in the elderly can give way to depression and anxiety, which in turn can cause physical and behavioral health issues. At the very least, it diminishes their quality of life. Senior living communities that offer assisted living, like The Variel, prevent social isolation in the elderly by providing abundant opportunities for residents to interact with one another and participate in meaningful, enjoyable activities for seniors.

In some cases, assisted living might also be appropriate for those who are in the preliminary stages of cognitive decline. It is not the right option for seniors who are in a more advanced stage of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, or those who require the type of medical care available through skilled nursing.

Signs That Assisted Living Might Be a Good Choice

The following questions are useful in assessing whether it might be time to seriously consider assisted living for someone you love.

  • Have they experienced a recent or sustained decline in health?
  • Are they eating an adequate amount of healthy food on a daily basis, or is it hard for her to shop for food and prepare their own meals?
  • Can they bathe, groom and dress themself relatively easily?
  • Can they keep their clothes, towels and sheets laundered?
  • Do they remember to take their prescription medications (and supplements, if any) as directed? Do they skip doses, get their medications confused or have trouble getting refills?
  • Do you notice bruises or scrapes that they can’t explain? (This could be a sign that they have fallen.)
  • Is the house or yard starting to look neglected?
  • Have you noticed that they sometimes forget to turn off the stove, iron or another appliance that could start a fire?
  • Can they still drive safely, or do they have access to other transportation?
  • Have they maintained their friendships, or are they spending most of their time alone? Do they still enjoy their usual activities?
  • Are they still able to pay their bills on time and manage their financial accounts?

Negative responses to these questions may indicate that your loved one would be safer and more comfortable in an assisted living arrangement. The more “no” responses there are, the more likely it is that he or she is at risk of serious illness or injury in the current living environment.

Another Consideration

If you’re helping to care for your parent (or grandparent), there’s something else to think about: Can you continue to provide what might be an increasing level of assistance for an undetermined amount of time? Consider this carefully.

While it’s understandable that you want to be there for your loved one (there’s a reason it’s called “caring” for someone), what happens if you become ill because you’re trying to do too much? It’s better to plan ahead and prevent that from becoming a reality.

What to Expect From Assisted Living at The Variel

One of our goals here at The Variel is to establish a new paradigm. We intend to serve as a model for other retirement communities in California to emulate.

One way we plan to accomplish that is through our unique approach to assisted living. Inspired living is something we encourage for all residents of The Variel. This is why Assisted Living at The Variel offers an enriched lifestyle in addition to providing personalized care as it is needed.

Even though older adults may need some assistance with routine tasks, they still want to maintain as much independence as possible. We want that for them, too. Assisted Living at The Variel can give them the confidence and freedom they need to enjoy an enhanced quality of life.

Ample opportunities to participate in uplifting social activities are available. A comprehensive option for personal well-being at Zenergy, our wellness gym, yoga studio and juice bar. Nutritious, tantalizing dining (including the Savanna, a dining room dedicated specifically for Assisted Living at The Variel). An indoor therapy pool. A plush theater. An elegant salon and spa. All this and more awaits those who will choose to make The Variel their home.

Moreover, the professional staff in Assisted Living at The Variel are well qualified to monitor residents for memory loss or a decline in cognitive abilities. In such cases, these residents are offered priority admission into the Mezzanine and Tessera levels of our innovative MOSAIC Personalized Care program.

Is It Time for You to Consider Assisted Living at The Variel?

If you’re wondering whether a move into assisted living is in the near future for you or someone you love, we encourage you to contact us. You don’t have to make this potentially difficult decision on your own. We have the experience and the expertise to help you.