Aging can be scary because of its uncertainty. You don’t know what your long-term health will be like, how it might affect your ability to live the life you want, or how it might affect the people you love most. Uncertainty doesn’t have to be scary, though. It can also be exciting. The next chapter of your life offers a chance to learn new skills, nurture lasting friendships, and grow fully into yourself — without the constraints of working or raising a family. Finding a senior living community where you feel safe and confident that your needs can be met can ease your anxiety about the future and make your retirement as joyful as you deserve it to be. You may wonder whether skilled nursing or assisted living is right for you. Here’s how to make the decision.
Many adult children talk about putting a parent in assisted living with a sense of dread and guilt. They worry about Mom or Dad feeling lonely, scared, or betrayed. They wonder if they have abandoned their obligation to love and care for their parents unconditionally. The very notion of “putting” someone somewhere is at the core of this problem. Here’s why this mindset is so harmful, and why you need to change your thinking.
The transition to retirement is filled with excitement, anticipation, and a sense that anything could happen in this new life. For some people, retirement is also tinged with fear, especially if they have a chronic illness or a family history of serious health conditions like dementia, diabetes, or osteoporosis. Planning for retirement also demands planning for the unexpected. Assisted living offers a safe, comfortable retirement, a chance for new adventures, and the opportunity to master new skills. Yet many seniors and the adult children who care for them give little thought to assisted living because they worry it’s outside of their budget. Especially as healthcare and other costs mount, don’t ignore this enriching and affordable option.
According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 10 million new diagnoses of dementia annually. This is a staggering statistic, but nothing is quite as overwhelming as when your loved one becomes one of those 10 million. When your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, you suddenly find yourself making many decisions about their current and future care.
Think you know assisted living? Think again. Many seniors spent some portion of their childhood visiting grandparents and other relatives in nursing homes. This has colored their opinion of senior living, and stoked plenty of fear about being “sent away to a home.” But today’s assisted living communities are nothing like those of the past. Instead, they cater to active, independent seniors who crave adventure and meaning. Forget about the myths you’ve heard. Check out these surprising assisted living facts.
This blog was published on January 21, 2016 and updated on January 20, 2020.
Caring for an ailing senior can be exhausting work that leaves caregivers burned out. As a senior’s needs change, you may find yourself continually adding support services such as in-home aides, daily check-ins, and home modifications. Although these services can improve your loved one’s quality of life, they’re not always enough. When a senior has a progressive medical condition or serious health needs, assisted living or a nursing home may be the best option.
For many Americans, the transition to retirement offers a chance to imbibe as much information as possible. Yet reading tends to decline as people age. Data from the Pew Research Center found that in 2015, 69 percent of seniors reported having read at least one book in the past year, compared to 80 percent of people ages 18-29 years old. Finding the right book can be a challenge, especially for seniors who have not read in a while. Check out our roundup of the best books for seniors.
This blog was published on March 16, 2017 and updated on January 15, 2020.
Forty-nine percent of seniors are concerned that they will outlive their savings, according to the United States of Aging Survey. An additional 64 percent worry that healthcare costs will increase over the next five to 10 years. Fully 40 percent of seniors have low or moderate incomes, and many live on meager savings or fixed Social Security payments. A recent Health Affairs report found that many middle income seniors will be unable to afford long-term care. With seniors living longer than ever — and desiring more meaningful and adventurous retirements than previous generations — these figures present a serious problem. What happens to seniors in senior living communities when their money runs out?
Many seniors relish the chance to downsize, embrace minimalism and enjoy a smaller, tidier home in assisted living. Of course, there’s a reason that most of us spend our lives accumulating miscellaneous stuff. Everyone develops emotional attachments to their possessions, and the way you choose to decorate your home and adorn your furniture is a reflection of who you are, what you enjoy, and even what you believe. You don’t have to abandon these personal touches when you transition to assisted living. Here are some great ideas for making your new space uniquely yours.