I’ve worked in the health care industry for over 20-plus years. I’ll have to tell you, the biggest challenge comes with understanding why one should choose Assisted Living. Since assisted living hasn’t been around for many years, our aging elders still assume the word “assisted” means “nursing home.”
It’s an incredible fear they possess, which is valid. Somewhere in their life, they’ve probably watched a person die in a traditional nursing home. And, believe me… they will never forget that experience. So logically, anything but home is a nursing home, right? This assumption couldn’t be more wrong!
Assisted living is a well deserved quality of life for our aging elders. Let’s discuss why…
- No more meal planning or cooking; you’ll have your very own restaurant right down the hall.
- No more kitchens or dishes to clean; after your meals, you simply walk away to do something fun, like joining a planned activity with your friends.
- No more heavies like towels, sheets, etc., to launder; it’s done for you weekly along with a change of fresh sheets. Yes, weekly housekeeping is also included! Let’s face it; making beds is a hardship!
- No more canceling doctor visits because the weather isn’t perfect; community transportation is available.
All of you adult children out there who are searching for the perfect place for your parents, you’ve all thought it or even expressed it when touring…sign me up, right? Remember this when approaching your aging parents. This is gracious living, not a death sentence!
I know you have questions so let me help you answer them:
Q: Should we take our parent (s) to tour when we start exploring communities?
A: Absolutely NOT! Touring communities can be exhausting, as some communities are quite large! So, make sure you do the legwork in touring communities first! After you’ve toured several, it will be very easy to narrow it down to two or three communities. Once you’ve done this, it’s now time to take them to tour your selection. Remember, no one knows your parent (s) better than you do, which is why you’ll know how to narrow down the search for them.
Q: My parent(s) have two dogs that are their world; what do we do with the dogs if my parent(s) need assisted living?
A: What an important questions to ask! Please don’t expect them to give up their animals; these very animals are their friends and companions, and pets provide purpose! There are communities that accept pets, so make sure this is one of the first questions you ask if your parent(s) have pets. They’ll be much more likely to consider a move if they know their furry friend will be accompanying them.
Q: Should we call communities to schedule times to tour?
A: My opinion? NO! I’m a firm believer that touring should be at your leisure. That way, you see what you see! If it’s a well established and successful community, you’ll see exactly that! If a community won’t accommodate your unannounced visit…One would have to question why, right? So, pop in to the communities and see life at the community firsthand!
I’m committed to our aging elders and their families in offering compassion, expertise and guidance and welcome any additional questions. Most importantly, remember this…Assisted Living is simply “Gracious Living”!
Sales Specialist, Sunrise Senior Living