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While we often hear, “I wish I had done this years ago,” the decision to move to an assisted living community is often difficult and the source of conflict within families. Regency’s Vice President of Business Development compared the feelings about the process to those that a high school senior has about going away to college. The move to an assisted living community is a new experience and with it can come an anxious, sometimes homesick emotion.

It can often be a challenge for seniors to leave the comforts and independence of home in favor of an assisted living community. However, it is important to encourage the move before accidents or declining health force a decision. For seniors with early Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the process can be more difficult in times of chaos.

Honest communication and expressing concerns openly will allow seniors to be more present in the choice and future residence. Including seniors in selecting an assisted living community ensures that they will find a place with the comforts of home. Additionally, it is important to consider factors such as location, activities, services and atmosphere when selecting a community.

Assisted living communities are different than a traditional nursing home. They provide a social interaction while balancing independence and assistance with tasks such as laundry, housekeeping, cooking and medication.

“Seniors may have a preconceived notion that Assisted Living is going to be a cold, hospital-like setting, but when they visit, they quickly realize that living at Riverwood is simply having an apartment, except there’s help available to do things like housekeeping, laundry and remembering to take their medications. Residents are free to come and go, and they enjoy delicious meals in a social dining area, along with planned activities,” Clay said.

There can be a variety of signs indicating that it may be time to consider moving to an assisted living community:

  • Difficulty with cooking or housework.
  • Forgetting to take medications.
  • Limited human interaction beyond immediate family.
  • Fear of living alone or accidents.
  • Challenges with driving.
  • Greater dependence on family to perform daily tasks.

Aging and limited mobility both impact the activities and social interaction seniors enjoy. At Riverwood, we have planned events and group outings to keep seniors engaged and active. Joining together for meals in our dining room also fosters friendship and communication. When a new resident joins the family at Riverwood, our staff conducts an activity survey and meets to discuss their needs and preferences.

There are a variety of factors to consider when the time comes to move your loved one to an assisted living community. For more information on our services, please visit http://riverwoodretirement.com/.