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When Should Someone Move from Independent Living into Assisted Living?

woman discussing with old woman about moving from independent living to assisted living

Navigating health care decisions later in life can be challenging and stressful. Each person ages differently, so there are no set timelines for when you, or an older parent or loved one, might need to move from independent living to assisted living. Making a move to assisted living can be upsetting for all involved, and usually, the hardest part is knowing when the time is right. Sometimes the decision is made for you following a health crisis, but more often than not, there is no one clear sign that the time is right. However, numerous clues can alert you to the need for a change.

Buckner Villas in Austin, Texas, is a faith-based nonprofit senior living center offering a full continuum of living and care options for seniors at least 62 years of age. Our fully licensed 24-hour senior assisted living programs are designed specifically for those who require assistance with daily activities but want to uphold the dignity, privacy, and freedom they know. Whether you know you or your loved one are ready for assisted living now or are planning for the future, reach out to us at 512.580.9882 to learn more about assisted living at Buckner Villas.

Signs it is Time to Move into Assisted Living

Few people want to leave their homes for assisted living communities. It is emotionally and mentally difficult to acknowledge and accept no longer being able for oneself. Family members often feel tremendous guilt over not caring for a parent or older relative. Overall, this is a complex process around which everyone needs time to adjust. The main challenge for family members is knowing when the time is right.

If you are questioning whether it is time for you or a loved one to transition from independent to assisted living, consider the following:

  • Chronic or worsening health problems
  • Difficulty managing medications
  • Problems completing activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Poor eating and hygiene skills
  • Recent falls or new or worsening mobility issues
  • Changes in mood, including being angry or unhappy
  • Self-isolating or lack of access to social support or regular visitors

Additionally, the inability to safely drive, getting disoriented or lost outside of the home, and not properly caring for pets or attending to household maintenance are strong indicators that it is time to move to assisted living. Unfortunately, many families wait too long before talking about assisted living. Starting the conversation sooner rather than later can help everyone be better prepared, physically and emotionally, for the transition.

Conversation Starters for Transitioning into Assisted Living

Moving from independent living to assisted living is a significant life event. Making decisions under pressure or with high emotions can prevent families from making an informed placement in the right community. Often, the complex emotions that come with this process can be better processed over time, so it is recommended to begin conversations early and break the process into manageable steps.

Before starting the conversation, write down your concerns and the points you want to get across to your loved one. Do some research on options and what might be a good fit for your loved ones. Then start talking. Some things to keep in mind about these conversations:

  • Start with a general discussion of what life is like at home for your loved one. Ask about safety issues or challenges they might have and if these can be easily remedied, such as installing extra handrails around the bathtub.
  • Ask if your loved one feels lonely. One of the most significant upsides of moving to assisted living is increasing social stimulation.
  • Ask if your loved one wants help with housekeeping, laundry, running errands, or other daily chores. They might be struggling in silence and hoping you’ll offer or find them some help.

Be sure to have these conversations in person so you can pay attention to body language and nonverbal clues as to how your loved one is feeling. Be empathetic and supportive, and avoid argumentative, especially if your loved one is in denial.

Call Buckner Villas for Information About Assisted Living

Buckner Villas is the premier choice for senior living in Austin, Texas. Our assisted living programs are designed to provide the daily assistance you or your loved one need while maintaining your dignity, privacy, and freedom. Residents can choose between The Meadows or The Grove, which offer state-of-the-art services and amenities. Call 512.580.9882 for more information about assisted living at Buckner Villas.