Deciding whether or not it is in the best interest of an older adult to move into a senior living facility can be a difficult decision for both the individual, as well as their family. The decision can be life-changing and families may worry if they are making the right choice. When making this decision, it is important to understand that not all forms of senior care are the same. People often associate every care facility with the horror stories they have heard about nursing homes many years ago, when in reality there have been so many improvements in recent years and are a variety of different options. Senior care is not “one size fits all”. Learning about your options is key. created a list of the main types of senior care facilities, which include: 

  • Assisted Living Care
  • Independent Living Communities 
  • Nursing Homes
  • Alzheimer’s Care

Dr. Sidney Katz created a list of 6 basic activities/routines or ADLs (activities of daily living) that could help determine if an older adult is in need of senior care of assistance and who might need to move to a care facility. This list consists of:

  1. Bathing
  2. Dressing
  3. Toileting
  4. Transferring
  5. Continence
  6. Feeding

After these are considered, one should also consider broader activities that could create a deeper understanding of what type of senior care may be the most appropriate for that individual. These include:

  • Paying the bills
  • Cleaning the house
  • Cooking food for your/themselves
  • Being able to transport yourself outside of the house
  • Socializing

There are some signs that are a large influence on whether one should consider assisted living, such as worsening medical conditions, isolation, and/or poor hygiene.

We’ve decided that it is time for me/my loved one to move into a senior facility. Now what? 

One of the most important things that need to be done in order to create a smooth and easy transition to their new home is to create an environment that is “home-like” and gives off a familiar vibe. One of the worst things that could happen is for one to move into a place that feels like an institution and cause them to seclude from everything, which has proven to have a negative impact on one’s health.

In addition, it is important to know exactly what one should bring when moving into a senior care facility. Look into what the facility will already be providing throughout the room

This decision is a personal one that varies from family to family. In one situation, it may make more sense for the older adult to move into an independent living facility. For another, it may be better off for them to move into an assisted living care or a nursing home. No matter what your situation is, make sure to do thorough research on the living options available near you. In addition, learn what your role will be in this living transition and how you can make it as soon as possible.