How to Help a Senior Loved One Transition to Assisted Living
Assisted living is a great solution for older adults who need help with daily activities. Family caregivers often do as much as they can, but sometimes a greater level of care is required. If you’re caring for a senior loved one, finding out more about assisted living options is sometimes the best way you can help. Below, find out when assisted living can be beneficial, and discover how to help your loved one get the care they need.
Behaviors That Indicate It’s Time for Assisted Living
Many seniors can live alone safely, but this isn’t true for everyone. As a caregiver, it’s important to look out for warning signs that your loved one might not be safe alone anymore. According to AARP, things such as unpaid bills, a change in your loved one’s appearance, or a stack of traffic tickets can all indicate that your loved one needs more hands-on care.
If you notice household hazards that make it more likely for your loved one to fall, these can be warning signs as well. Stairs, a steep driveway, or even household clutter can all pose a danger for your loved one.
It also helps to learn about the signs of depression in seniors. It’s common for older people to feel lonely and isolated, but depression should always be taken seriously. Not only does depression affect seniors’ quality of life, the symptoms are also similar to Alzheimer's. Paying attention to the early warning signs of both conditions can help you find treatment earlier for your loved one.
What Assisted Living Option Is Best?
As a caregiver, it helps to learn about the different types of care available before starting a conversation with your loved one. You’ll want to start with the basics by exploring the differences between assisted living and skilled care.
Assisted living provides help with daily activities like bathing, dressing, medication management, and more but also provides the opportunity for seniors to be independent. Skilled care on the other hand is necessary when medical services are needed as well as 24/7 care.
When it comes to assisted living communities, you may find that it’s best to choose one that provides a continuum of care. Many communities only provide one level of care, which requires your loved one to transition to another community when their health or medical conditions change. With a continuum of care facility, your loved one can transition smoothly to different levels of care while remaining on the same campus that they’ve come to call home.
Talking with Your Loved One About Expenses
Assisted living is expensive, but there are a variety of ways to help cover costs. It’s a good idea to start by checking if your loved one’s medical insurance will help pay for care. Medicare, for example, doesn’t cover custodial long-term care, which includes help with daily activities. However, it does cover certain periods of long-term medical care in hospitals.
Some people also opt for long-term care insurance, which is designed to help pay for services your loved one would receive in an assisted living setting. If your loved one can’t afford a policy, there are several other options to help cover expenses.
If your loved one has life insurance, cashing out the policy may be one way to help pay for assisted living expenses, too. Another option is to put their home up for sale. To get an idea of what your loved one could stand to make off their home, take a look at local listings for comparable homes. This provides a starting point as you try to address their financial future. In addition to connecting with a real estate agent with experience in these types of transitions, you’ll also need to declutter, clean and make any repairs before it goes on the market.
Another important expense to keep in mind when moving is the cost to hire movers. While this might seem like a frivolous expense, working with a reputable moving firm ensures your loved one’s belongings arrive safely and intact. Start reviewing local companies by searching for the “best movers near me.” Once you have a few choices, reach out for quotes and timelines. And remember, look for movers with top ratings and strong reviews.
Talking about assisted living can be a challenge, but it’s easier to have a productive conversation if you do your research ahead of time. Checking out the options and exploring payment options yourself may help your loved one feel more willing to take the next step in their life.
Are you looking to sell your loved one’s home in order to fund assisted living? The Brokaw Group can help. Our dedicated agents are prepared to make this a seamless process for your loved one as they navigate such a major life transition. Connect with us today to find out more.