It’s become clear to you, as much as you may have initially struggled to accept it—your loved one is experiencing cognitive decline.
At first, you tried to brush it off. After all, everybody starts to slow down a bit at some point as we age, right?
As time passed, however, you realized the issues you were seeing with your loved one’s memory and daily functioning were not going away. In fact, they were getting worse.
And you knew—your loved one is dealing with dementia.
When it started, you probably pitched in to help out, willing and able to lend a hand to a cherished family member. Maybe you even enlisted some professional home care services to support them and help keep them safe.
For a while, you were able to establish systems to help them maintain a sense of normalcy and routine. But still, you worried. Many nights, you lay awake, imagining all the issues and incidents that might happen while you weren’t around to keep a watchful eye on them.
You also became concerned about their lack of social interaction, and their difficulty with making and eating enough quality food and drinking enough water. You began to witness firsthand the ripple effects cognitive decline can have on a senior’s life.
Choosing whether to help your loved one remain in their home to age in place or transition them into senior living and care is a complex and often overwhelming decision.
This article will assist you with exploring the facets of your decision making process. In it, we’ll unpack the factors that go into your decision, as well as share some facts and statistics about senior care that you may find helpful (many of which you may not even be aware of!).
What are the signs my loved one is no longer safe to remain in their own home?
There’s an old saying that’s often applied to meeting the person you’re going to marry—”When you know, you know.”
For most people, the knowledge it’s time to transition your loved one into senior living and care will present itself similarly.
But, this doesn’t take into account the emotional and logistical factors involved in this complex decision. These, along with your loved one’s own preferences and desires, may serve to muddy the proverbial waters when it comes to making a final decision that it’s time to make a change.
Both you and your loved one may seek to minimize their issues. You may begin taking on more and more household and caregiving responsibilities, until you start feeling like you have another job and rarely get to feel like a family member to your loved one anymore, because you’re too busy wearing all the other hats.
This situation is all too common, and can even lead to serious health consequences—both for your loved one if they’re unsafe in their own home, and for you.
Statistics show caregivers are, themselves, at increased risk for health issues and other adverse events, due to the increased stress and strain their additional duties place upon them. It’s sad, but very true.
For several reasons, many families wait too long to consider transitioning their loved one into senior living and care.
It’s a difficult, multifaceted decision, to be sure. But, here are some red flags that can help you recognize when it might be time to make a plan for senior living—
- Your loved one is getting disoriented and losing their way, even in familiar places
- Your loved one forgets to turn off appliances, like the stove or bathtub
- Your loved one is beginning to wander
- They become easily confused, frustrated, or even agitated, especially at night
- You loved one has been falling
- Your loved one struggles with getting enough to eat and drink
- Your loved one has difficulty following a schedule and using a calendar
- Your loved one is increasingly isolated and doesn’t socialize regularly
What options are available for senior living and care?
Thankfully, there are many options available when it comes to senior living and care. Let’s explore them in greater detail, to help you understand which one might be the best fit for your loved one’s needs in this continuum of care.
This is a lifestyle choice for seniors who are largely independent with their daily routines, and who desire a community feel, where they can interact with peers and form strong social bonds. Seniors in independent living are typically an active and engaged bunch—they enjoy many different activities and are often involved in their community at large.
Seniors in assisted living require some level of support with their daily activities. Typically, assisted living communities offer apartments, where residents reside and can have access to nursing care, medication management and support, and some assistance with daily needs.
Assisted living represents a spectrum of senior needs—with some residents being largely independent but for one or two areas where assistance is needed, to residents who are largely dependent on caregivers and nursing staff.
This is the setting for individuals who require 24 hour skilled care. Typically, skilled nursing facilities provide both long and short term stay options. Many people come here directly from the hospital in order to recover and rehabilitate before returning home or back to an independent or assisted living setting.
For some residents, long term care is required, and they will remain in skilled nursing to receive the daily care they require for the remainder of their lives. Skilled nursing offers constant access to nursing care and therapy services, including physical, occupational, and speech and language therapy.
Like skilled nursing, memory care offers residents access to round the clock assistance and care. However, memory care is designed specifically to support the daily needs of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other forms of cognitive decline.
If your loved one is experiencing changes in their cognition, Palm Beach Memory Care is the premier memory care community in Florida. We were created especially to cater to the unique needs of our residents with dementia and their families.
We offer exclusive programs and amenities, in a gorgeous setting that encourages our residents to find joy and purpose in their daily lives—rediscovering hobbies, connecting with loved ones, and finding many opportunities to promote their holistic health and wellness.
What are the benefits of senior living and care?
While many people hold a negative view of senior living facilities, this image is often out of step with the current reality of this industry and its options for lifestyle and care.
You may imagine and dread the thought of placing your loved one in an “old folks’ home,” believing they’ll be doomed to live out their remaining days isolated in a place that feels more like a hospital than a home.
But the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course, there are a wide range of options when it comes to senior living and care—but many modern senior communities are shattering this long-held notion of what senior living can look and feel like.
At Palm Beach Memory Care, our residents and their families often remark how our community feels more like a luxury resort than a senior living community.
Instead of the drab, sterile, impersonal space they expected, they’re greeted with our bright, lush, tropical vibe. And that’s exactly what we were going for when we designed and built this community—a place that doesn’t feel at all like what you might expect from a memory care community.
Here, our residents always have access to the quality care they need, without ever feeling like they’re living in an institutional setting.
They’re free to explore and enjoy their surroundings—because we designed our community to be safe and easily navigable by people with changing cognitive abilities. We also utilize our innovative Vigil Monitoring System, which allows us to maintain our resident’s safety and their calm and dignity, through the use of silent sensor technology.
While many people with dementia believe their quality of life will be highest if they remain in their own homes—research has shown this is often not the case.
In fact, according to a recent comprehensive survey of senior living residents, conducted by A Place For Mom, seniors who transitioned into senior living were five times more likely to report their overall quality of life improved rather than worsened!
That’s because senior living offers residents a chance to combat loneliness and isolation by connecting regularly with same-aged peers. It also provides seniors with many opportunities for enrichment, including activities, hobbies, outings, events, and even lifelong learning classes.
Additionally, senior living communities reduce the daily burdens on seniors by providing some assistance with their daily tasks and needs. Residents no longer have to worry about home maintenance and upkeep, medication management, chores, or meal planning and preparation.
These daily tasks can be huge energy drains for seniors in their own homes—imagine how much more energy your loved one could have to enjoy their life if these things were already taken care of for them?
On top of the typical amenities offered in senior living communities, some provide programs that go above and beyond what you can commonly expect. At Palm Beach Memory Care, our proprietary Pathways Program is leading the way in providing holistic, evidence-based care for individuals with dementia.
Isn’t senior living much more expensive than staying at home?
This is another common misconception when it comes to budgeting for and funding senior living and care. Happily, many families often find the opposite is true when it comes to transitioning their loved one into a senior care community.
How can this be? Well, many people fail to consider and weigh all the factors that go into aging in place at home.
General home upkeep, maintenance, property tax and insurance costs are often not fully factored into the equation. Nor are added expenses such as home care assistance costs, meal preparation services, installing additional safety equipment and features in a home setting. These things can quickly add up!
With senior care, the costs are typically presented upfront, and include several items you pay out of pocket for in a home setting—things like groceries, utilities, housekeeping and yard maintenance services, as well as transportation and entertainment costs.
At Palm Beach Memory Care, we are very transparent about our pricing. We’d be happy to assist you with a cost comparison, so you can have all the information at your fingertips to make the best, most informed decision for your family when it comes to senior living.
You can reach out for our assistance easily right from our website, and one of our skilled advisors will contact you shortly to offer any personalized support and assistance you require.
In addition to this assistance, you may also qualify for additional funding support through programs not everyone is aware of.
This includes programs like—The Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit, long term care insurance, and life insurance conversion. Our advisors will be happy to help you assess if any of these options are available to and right for you.
In addition to the financial aspects of a transition into senior care, it’s also important to consider the many benefits it can offer for your loved one’s overall quality of life and your peace of mind.
Imagine your loved one enjoying their life again in a setting that encourages their independence and engagement in fun activities and events. And picture yourself no longer worrying they might take a fall while at home, or those late night phone calls when they’re confused and in distress. Instead, both of you can rest easy, knowing your loved one is receiving top quality care in a community created just for them. And that is something you can’t put a price on.
Please visit our website for more information about life at Palm Beach Memory Care. Our advisors<link to contact page when available> are also happy to assist and support you in navigating the transition into senior living and understanding the options available to you. You can also schedule a tour<link to book tour when available> anytime to come see us in person! We’d love to meet you!