Is it time for an aging parent to move into a retirement community? An increasing number of seniors are opting to downsize, leave the home where they have raised their children, and move into a supportive retirement facility. Yet others still live in their own home. But how do you determine when its time to move your folks into a retirement community?
Moving a parent into a retirement community is always a difficult decision to make. The decision is wrought with emotions. You may have uncomfortable twinges of conscience. Your parent may balk at the thought of leaving the place which has been home for a large part of her life. Is the decision of making the transfer to a retirement community the best one for your parent?
To age in place refers to a person remaining at home even as she ages. This presupposes that the person is able to take care of herself independently. She has to be able to manage her ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), which refer to the activities that one routinely does daily to take care of ones self and functions without assistance. The routines relate to functional mobility and personal care.
In deciding whether to allow a parent to remain living on her own or to send her to an assisted living community, you may do well to determine if your parent is still able to efficiently perform the basic activities of daily living. Some retirement communities, like www.rowntreegardens.org, also provide home care. ADLs are fundamental self-care activities, not unlike the skills that you are taught in early childhood. These are things that a person does in the normal course of her daily life bathe, dress, groom, feed, maintain continence, and move about. They are critical for independent living, whether at home or in a retirement community.
Some considerations are: Can your parent take care of her personal hygiene? Can she bathe, groom, and perform oral care independently? Can she take care of dressing herself? Is she capable of making the appropriate clothing decisions and efficiently change her clothes? Can she eat on her own? Can she maintain continence does she know when to go to the restroom and do it on her own? Does she exhibit functional mobility? Can she move from place to place without assistance? Can she walk without support getting in and out of bed or sitting and arising from a chair on her own? Can she get around the home on her own?
The ability to get these basic things done is a good measure of independence. Your parents ability to perform ADLs is essential to establish what kind of long-term care she needs, be it assisted living community, a nursing facility, or in-home care. If your parent finds it difficult to engage in these basic activities of daily living, it may be time to consider transferring her to an assisted living community or getting a family caregiver to provide her the necessary daily assistance. And lastly, consider what kind of health coverage she needs and has if she has Medicaid, Medicare, or long-term care insurance.
The video below will provide more information as well.