When to Move From Independent to Assisted Living

Seniors laughing and chatting in assisted living facility

As adults reach their later years, they often find themselves embracing independent senior living. An independent lifestyle suits many seniors, but for most of them, this period of time only lasts for so long.

Let’s explore some indicators that seniors are ready to move from independent to assisted living.

Independent vs. Assisted Living: What Are the Differences?

Some seniors live independently, while others transition into assisted living, where independence levels may vary. What is the difference between these two types of senior living? Knowing can help you understand when to move from independent to assisted living.

What is Independent Senior Living?

Living independently is something that many of us look forward to, but independence means something different as we get older. Independent senior living is the act of living independently as a senior. It means being a senior who is fully capable and comfortable living alone well into their retirement years.

What is Assisted Living for Seniors?

After many happy years of independent living, a good number of seniors enter assisted living. This approach to living pairs seniors with professionals who help fill in the gaps when it comes to living alone. Depending on the needs of the senior, assisted living may be more or less involved.

Although senior assisted living is often available to those who reach retirement age, most people enter assisted living when their independence becomes more of a risk than an opportunity.

Knowing When It Is Time to Move from Independent to Assisted Living

Finding the right time to transition from living independently to assisted living is a big discussion. These are some of the clues to look out for.

Health or Safety is in Question

No matter how many wonderful years we work or how many beautiful memories we make, health and safety are always a consideration during the last few decades of our lives. Two of the most significant determining factors for senior independence are health and safety.

It all comes down to a simple question: can you live alone safely, or is living independently placing your health at risk?

These discussions can be challenging for families, but they are necessary. The older we get, the harder it becomes to remember to take life-saving medications on time or even how to safely make a good meal.

If health or safety is a concern, it may be best to move from independent to assisted living.

Group of four seniors stretching together

Comfort or Quality of Life is Declining

Independent seniors embody many different lifestyles. They can pursue new hobbies and spend happy and fulfilling moments with friends and family. However, as we age, living alone gets a little more complicated.

Although health and safety are top concerns, quality of life cannot be overlooked. Just because an independent senior is not a direct threat to themselves, it does not mean they are living alone in a way that suits them.

Are you comfortable, or are you starting to cut corners because you don’t have the energy or ability to maintain the quality of life you’re used to?

Feelings of Isolation

Loneliness impacts us at any age, but it is surprisingly common for seniors. Independent seniors who have lost a spouse, significant other, friends, and family can find themselves feeling lonely or isolated. This drastically lowers their quality of life, and it can actually be a big risk too. Human connection is important, and we all need it—even if you’re a senior who is living alone comfortably.

Assisted living can be beneficial when seniors are living isolated lives because it gives them that constant connection. They can interact with caregivers and their neighbors daily, allowing them to form bonds in those later years.

It is always nice to have friends around, especially during retirement!

Regular Tasks Are Becoming More Challenging

Most of us carry out so many daily tasks that they pass by for us in a blur, but this can change when we get older. Senior independence can absolutely become a problem if the urge to be independent is out of touch with the very real challenges that are being faced.

There are many tasks that we may start to struggle with as we get older, including:
● Bathing and good hygiene practices
● Using the restroom independently
● Certain household chores
● Food preparation
● Shopping

More often than not, these tasks are some of the more extreme considerations that will impact quality of life. Seniors who move from independent to assisted living can gain help in these key areas, making them safer and more comfortable.

Memory is a Concern

When we are young, an absent mind often has a simple explanation, but memory isn’t all that simple for aging adults. After a lifetime of independent living, some seniors find that their minds are less clear than they used to be, and this can be a strong indicator that it is time to move from independent to assisted living.

Poor memory can lead to many risks, including:
● Forgetting to take essential medications
● Missing important appointments
● Forgetting when food is cooking
● Losing key details that can have a big impact
● Forgetting to do basic self-care tasks

Senior woman playing memory game outside with her daughter

Getting to Appointments is Becoming a Problem

The older we get, the more we find ourselves spending time around doctors. This is a good thing—it helps us to stay healthy and comfortable for longer. More importantly, it can save our lives and catch problems before they escalate.

Doctor appointments are a critical component of senior health. However, many seniors start to lose confidence in driving or getting from place to place. If you’re unable to make essential medical appointments, it may be best to move from independent to assisted living where you can get support for these important tasks.

Feeling Disconnected From Loved Ones

Human connection is a beautiful gift that we all share, and for seniors, it is critical for survival. Staying connected with loved ones keeps them informed and keeps seniors safe in the event of an emergency or medical incident. Seniors who struggle to maintain these connections can place themselves at a much higher level of risk.

While many independent seniors will engage in daily communications or may even bridge the gap with a check-in service, seniors who can’t reliably stay in connection may be safer in assisted living. Of course, a check-in service can still be highly beneficial for seniors in assisted living facilities too.

Support Senior Independence at Every Stage With CheckinBee

Independence is a treasure, but it helps to have a little assistance when we need it. At CheckinBee, we believe that senior independence should be maintained for as long as possible. Our service helps seniors stay independent by offering daily check-in solutions that keep friends and families informed with only a couple of taps on your phone–and our services work great for adults in assisted living too!

To learn more about senior independence and how we help increase safety for seniors, explore our services today.

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