Aging in Place or Assisted Living?
What is best for you or your loved one?
As a new generation is growing older, there has been an increasing trend towards considering whether aging-in-place is a possibility for this population. Many elderly like the idea of staying-put; their homes are filled with memories of kids and grandkids and walking away from that feels like abandoning their life. However, health and mobility challenges force a discussion about where seniors will receive the best quality of life and care. These conversations can understandably be challenging, and therefore necessitate a respectful dialogue about what to consider when making these decisions.
Cognitive changes can dramatically impact a senior’s ability to care for themselves. Simple tasks like remembering to take medicine can become increasingly challenging throughout the aging process. Seniors may be able to remember some tasks, but the increasing level of self-care responsibilities grow as a senior ages, making the burden of simply caring for oneself overwhelming.
Aging in place requires that seniors with cognitive difficulties have significant outside support. This may require an aid, a nurse, or a family member to be present daily to ensure that basic self-care needs are being attended to. Bathing, dental hygiene, medicines, meals, house-chores, landscaping maintenance, and more are life requirements that would need to be hired out or handled by a family member. It’s important to adequately assess whether the senior and their family has the resources and time to properly ensure that these things are cared for.
Not only do cognitive difficulties necessitate outside help, but physical limitations can dramatically impact the ability for a senior to age-in-place. Oftentimes, significant home modifications are needed to make the senior’s home a liveable space for their later years. These home modifications can be costly, but are necessary for the safety of the elderly who desire to remain in their home. As a rule of thumb, seniors who choose to stay in their homes will need safety rails, shower benches and rails, ramps for exterior stairs, widened door frames for wheelchair accessibility, adjustments of kitchen countertops and sinks, slip-proof flooring, and more. Significant modifications are often needed to accommodate the physical requirements of in-home living.
Assisted living is designed to be handicap accessible with living quarters specifically tailored for the health needs of an aging adult. They provide emergency accessibility in case of falls and offer the comforts of home with the support and specifications needed for seniors to live as independently as possible. Assisted living also ensures that daily needs are cared for including well-balanced meals and cleaning services. This removes a heavy burden from the senior and their family members and allows seniors to live as independently and burden-free as possible.
While aging-in-place would seem to allow seniors to maintain their current relationships better, it can significantly contribute to isolation in the elderly. As going out-and-about becomes increasingly difficult due to health challenges, seniors become more and more isolated. Even navigating a simple porch stair can deter seniors from going outside to socialize with long-term neighbors and friends. Oftentimes, seniors who try to remain at home will find themselves more and more isolated and alone.
Assisted living can offer on-site socialization, activities, transportation to & from community events and doctors appointments, and more. It prevents seniors from becoming socially isolated in the confines of their own home.
Assisted Living in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Understandably, aging in place has a significant draw for seniors as it is challenging to walk away from the home you raised your family and grew old in. However, cognitive challenges, mobility, and social interaction are just a few of the reasons why doing so is incredibly complicated and may not be the best option for you or your loved one.
The Cedars Retirement Community offers a high-level of independence and support for seniors looking for assisted living. Our premier assisted living community in Fort Wayne, Indiana, would be happy to help you process what is right for you or your loved one. Deciding whether aging in place or assisted living is right for you is a complicated and emotional decision. We’d love to answer any questions you may have about assisted living and give you a tour of The Cedars assisted living community.
Assisted living can be extremely beneficial and a positive experience for seniors. We have found that the best assisted living communities contribute far more towards the quality of life for the elderly than aging-in-place, as they ensure that every challenge that seniors face is addressed with care and concern. If you are considering assisted living in Fort Wayne, Indiana, please contact us today to schedule an appointment to see our well appointed assisted living homes.