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Considering Assisted Living? How to Know When to Start

Two senior men in hats playing chess on a park picnic table

By Lizzie Weekley

Assisted living provides a valuable means of support that enables residents to maintain a degree of independence while getting the help they need with daily lifestyle activities. If you are considering assisted living for a loved one, the perfect time to start planning if when you become aware of certain conditions.

Medical Conditions

When someone develops a chronic illness or a debilitating injury, they may be unable to live alone. If the situation is long-term or permanent, assisted living might be a reasonable solution. People who are generally able to provide self-care but who need a certain amount of help could benefit from living in a residential facility with professional services available onsite. This might include nursing care, housekeeping assistance, and food preparation as needed.

Mental Health Concerns

A person who lives with a mental health diagnosis that can potentially flare up and cause problems may feel more secure in assisted living. Someone who is going through addiction recovery or adjusting to a new diagnosis like bipolar disorder, PTSD, or anxiety can be helped by living in a home where both professional help and practical aid are readily available to provide stability or support when indicated.

Mobility Issues

Many people who use devices for mobility like a wheelchair or a walker do just fine at home. However, some may prefer to live in an ADA-compliant housing unit for comfort and convenience. They can request help with navigating their apartment as well as getting transport to and from doctor appointments or other types of public errands. Planning ahead is important for someone whose condition is expected to deteriorate, such as a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis or ALS.

Financial Considerations

Living at home with a health-related condition that requires special care and added support can be expensive and time-intensive for family members to orchestrate and monitor. Living in a residential home with professional assistance available around the clock not only helps to keep loved ones safe and in good hands but also provides relief and reassurance to family members who are overseeing a loved one’s care. The cost of living at home versus assisted living with special needs may be surprisingly similar. Start planning the living expenses now so an informed decision can be made in a timely manner rather than waiting for an emergency need to force a hasty choice.

Whatever a person’s medical needs might be, it is good to have assisted living as an option. Have those important discussions now to ensure a well-prepared future.

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.

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