Ensuring that your elderly loved one is properly cared for can be fraught with emotions and difficult choices. You might struggle to devise ways to best navigate these challenging circumstances. While deep down you recognize it’s time to seek professional assistance, the guilt, fear, or apprehension you feel about placing your loved one into senior care forces you to delay that decision until it becomes unavoidable.
Families will regularly defer this inevitable decision for several reasons, such as:
- "My father is comfortable at home and he’s not ready to make such a big life change."
- "I'm worried about how my mom will respond if I suggest she needs assisted living."
- "I live far away, so I need to wait until I have time to be there before we start the process.”
- I’m too busy with work to help my loved one look for and transition into a senior living community right now.”
- "I want to conduct more research on all the available options before we move forward."
While the reasons may vary, the outcome is usually the same; people delay making those important senior care choices until an emergency occurs, transforming a decision that should be methodical into an impulsive, rushed undertaking. Alternatively, we urge families to start the decision-making process sooner rather than later.
Assisted Living Locators of Northern Virginia is a free senior placement service that works with families in the Northern Virginia area ready to make the necessary senior care decisions. Are you ready? Here are three primary reasons you shouldn’t delay this process any longer:
1. Enrich Your Parent/Child Relationship
Whenever an elderly loved one starts to require significant assistance with tasks they once completed independently, like personal care or household chores, a shift begins to develop in the relationship between that elderly loved one and the family member(s) who now assist.
Most seniors largely dislike needing their family to take substantial time away from their individual lives to care for them. With many decades of independence under their belt, requiring someone to bathe and dress them, pay their bills, complete their household chores, or take them to and from various medical appointments on a routine basis is far from anything they’d ever want to burden their family with. And in all truthfulness, adding senior care responsibilities to an existing list of personal obligations is generally not what the family wants.
We have numerous assisted living and memory care communities across counties like Prince William, Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun, and Alexandria. When a senior becomes a resident in one of these communities, their care needs are met daily by trained caregivers. This arrangement ensures the senior is adequately cared for and alleviates strain on the family, fostering a happier, more harmonious familial relationship between the senior and their loved ones.
2. Improve Their Engagement and Socialization
Regardless of whether you believe your elderly loved ones are safe and healthy living at home, there is still a possibility they’re suffering the ill effects of isolation and loneliness. According to the National Institute on Aging, many of us become gradually more alone as we age, leaving us susceptible to some health issues tied to social isolation and loneliness, including depression, heart disease, and cognitive decline. Yet, in addition to providing care, facilitating social engagement and communal activity is a fundamental component of the assisted living and memory care forums by moving them into senior living communities. At the same time, they are still relatively active and sharp; we can help them reap the many benefits of living in these social environments.
Moreover, senior living placement can empower them to establish new friendships and connections, but they are also motivated to explore new interests and develop new skills. Most assisted living, and memory care communities throughout Northern Virginia offer a wide range of exciting programs and activities to prompt interaction and relationship-building among the residents.
3. Ensure Consistently Nutritious Eating Habits
Another primary concern that many families contend with when an elderly loved one is living alone involves whether they are eating correctly. Research shows that many seniors don’t consume an appropriate amount of nutrition. There are various reasons for this occurrence, including a decrease in appetite, inability to go shopping, reluctance to prepare meals or a feeling of isolation. Based on the World Health Organization data, as many as 47.8% of older adults over 60 years old suffer from undernutrition.
If you know your elderly loved one is not receiving adequate nourishment at home, an assisted living or memory care community could be the best option. These communities typically provide residents with at least three delicious, healthy meals each day as well as snacks throughout the day. These scheduled meals are also offered in communal dining rooms, allowing residents to enjoy mealtime in a social, engaging environment. Additionally, most communities will provide customized meals to adhere to residents’ preferences and dietary restrictions.
You Shouldn’t Postpone Any Longer
If you know your elderly loved one is not receiving adequate nourishment at home, an assisted living or memory care community could be the best option. These communities typically provide residents with at least three delicious, healthy meals each day and snacks throughout the day. These scheduled meals are also offered in communal dining rooms, allowing residents to enjoy mealtime in a social, engaging environment. Additionally, most communities will provide customized meals to adhere to residents’ preferences and dietary restrictions.
Maybe you’ve now decided it’s time to do what’s best for your loved one, and you’re ready to start making those critical decisions, but you don’t quite know where to start. Assisted Living Locators of Northern Virginia can help you through every step of the senior placement process at no charge to you. Our local Northern Virginia team works closely with families in Prince William, Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun, and Alexandria, examining your unique wants, needs, and requirements for senior care. We then use our expert knowledge to recommend local senior living communities that best fit your loved one, working with you throughout the entire selection and transition process.
For more information or no-cost assistance with independent living, assisted living, memory care, or other senior living options in Northern Virginia’s Prince William County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Arlington County, or Alexandria, please call our local elder care experts today at (703) 878-7870 or contact us via E-mail.