Many aging people are in need of additional support for their physical, mental, or emotional well-being. The decision to move a loved one into an assisted care center can be difficult for the family and the individual, but doing so often leads to numerous benefits. In order to optimize those benefits, relatives should find ways to get involved. Having support from loved ones can make a person’s stay in an assisted care center even better.
When managing health care decisions for elderly relatives, children and grandchildren sometimes seek to take full control of the situation. Remembering that elderly individuals have a lifetime of experience and a rich repository of knowledge is critical. There are certainly situations that elicit intervention, and some people cannot make all of their own decisions. However, establishing a respectful balance and recognizing boundaries are both necessary. Family members can work with agents at the assisted living center to learn more about how to create this balance as each situation has unique features to consider.
Select Relevant Services
Since every situation comes with its own circumstances, relatives must carefully select services that are appropriate for their loved ones. One benefit of moving into an assisted living community in Los Angeles, CA, is that different levels of services are available. For example, some seniors may need regular monitoring and daily support to help with tasks such as walking or remembering to take medications. In other cases, seniors are still capable of having more independence and participating in community-based activities and programs as they wish. Pushing too many services on an independent senior can lead the individual to resent the family. On the other hand, being too frugal with services could lead to dangerous situations.
Give Some Space
Allowing relatives to acclimate to their new surroundings is important. Relatives might feel inclined to visit every day, but doing so does not necessarily allow seniors to get used to the community. Of course, relatives don’t want their loved ones to feel abandoned either. Relatives should carefully gauge the situation.
For example, if their beloved senior is able to fully comprehend the situation, they can explain that they want to provide some space but that they are just a phone call away if a visit is needed. In situations where seniors are dealing with issues such as memory loss, the sudden and extended departure of relatives can be frightening. Consulting the senior’s doctor and the staff members at the senior living community can help family members learn how to provide space in a comfortable, safe way.
Moving into an assisted living community can be traumatic for some individuals. People are often hesitant to move out of their homes. Some seniors feel as though their family members are trying to take away their remaining freedoms. Instead of getting into squabbles with loved ones, relatives should aim to stay as positive as possible.
Using positive language to describe the community and the activities, for example, can be uplifting for the senior. This suggestion may sound simple, but it can be easy to slip into negative talk, even in small ways. For example, relatives might scoff at one of the available programs or make a negative comment about one of the menu items. These comments can seem small and insignificant, but this type of talk can actually be frightening and overwhelming for a senior who is already dealing with the challenge of a major change.
When loved ones move into a center that offers respite care for seniors, they might worry that they will become disconnected from family events and activities. Continue to extend invitations as appropriate. In other words, if the seniors would have been invited to an event or outing if they were not in a senior living center, do still invite them. Relatives may need to reassess as their loved one’s physical or mental health status changes.
Keep in mind, though, that most seniors simply don’t want to be forgotten. Some people appreciate being invited to outings and events even when the host knows that they cannot attend. These invitations can allow loved ones to still feel as though they are part of the family. Also, extending an invite allows for an autonomous decision about whether or not to attend. Seniors do not have to feel as though the decision has already been made for them.
Offering support to seniors living in an assisted care community is a critical part of their overall health. Maintaining connections with loved ones can help to feel loved, respected, and part of their family’s community.
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