Adjusting to assisted living

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ASSISTED living communities are booming, but many seniors and their families agonize over making the difficult and stressful decision to move into such a facility.While there often is an adjustment period after the senior moves in, there are things families can do to ease the transition.

The assisted living communities we’re mostly referring to here are the larger ones with full activity programs, but most of our comments also are relevant to smaller “board and care” homes that must comply with the same state licensing requirements as the larger communities.

Most seniors are wedded to their homes. However, when they begin to need care, it’s natural to consider whether to arrange that care at home or in a communal setting. Many factors are at play, including personal preferences and financial resources.

Remaining at home with live-in care or round-the-clock shifts may cost more than living in an assisted living community. Continuing at home with less costly care may be affordable but not as desirable for seniors who would prefer the built-in social activities of a community to being more isolated at home.

The senior’s family often takes the initiative because they feel an assisted living community would be a better solution for their relative’s social, financial and care-related needs. They may carefully, patiently and thoroughly explore this option with the cooperation of their senior and some professional guidance from an elder care manager.

After visiting the community, completing the application and making all the arrangements, the move-in occurs and the deed is done. Or is it?

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