home or moveWe all want to remain independent and stay in control of where and how we live, but our ability to do so may depend on our health and physical well-being. As we age, some things naturally become harder to do on our own. We may begin to consider alternatives when it becomes difficult to perform daily living tasks without significant support from others. Some of these challenges may include loss of vision, poor balance, memory loss or forgetfulness, fatigue, loneliness, or dementia. Determining what type of day-to-day living situation is best for you can be daunting, but it can be made easier by understanding your options.

In order to help you plan around making these kinds of decisions, One Senior Place Greater Orlando is hosting Where is Your Safe Harbor? Home vs. Senior Living Communities on Tuesday, October 20 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

“It’s important to do your homework and make certain decisions before a crisis occurs,” explains Emily Stowers, MSW, Aging Services Manager at One Senior Place in Altamonte Springs. “Whether you decide to age in place responsibly or move to a senior living community, each of these options comes with a myriad of financial, health and safety considerations, and you need to gather information beforehand in order to make educated decisions that will benefit you in the long run.”

Moving to a Senior Living Community

Sometimes, when we can no longer function in our own home without a great deal of assistance from others, it becomes necessary to consider a senior living community. Fortunately, there are many options, including: Active Adult Communities (Condos, 55+, mobile home parks, apartment or single-family homes. No services or amenities provided); Independent Living/Senior Retirement Communities (Meals, housekeeping, transportation, and activities are included in the monthly fee. Services and assistance available onsite as your needs increase.); Continuing Care Retirement Communities (usually requires a “buy-in” fee, promotes “aging in place” and offer independent, skilled nursing and memory care. They guarantee that you can remain on the campus for the rest of your life.); Assisted Living Facilities (In addition to meals, housekeeping, transportation and activities, these facilities promote independence but offer personal assistance for meals, bathing, dressing and medication on an as-needed basis.); Memory Care (specialized assisted living or nursing facility for residents with various forms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.); Skilled Nursing Facility (offer short-term, sub-acute rehabilitation and long-term nursing care.)

Transitioning to senior living can be one of the most emotional and difficult situations a family can go through. On top of this, getting rid of long-time possessions as we get older can feel like giving up cherished memories, especially if we are faced with leaving a long-term home. This is when enlisting trusted friends and family to help you clear your clutter can be an enormous help. Having others around to share memories with can make the process less painful and also make it less overwhelming and time-consuming. Sometimes, when you have been in a home for many decades, the situation requires the help of senior move managers who can assist with downsizing your possessions and are experts at helping with the transition into senior living.

Aging in Place

Aging in place is a concept many seniors strive for, as they want to stay independent in their own homes as long as possible. Not only are they used to their surroundings, but staying comfortable in their homes allows them to retain dignity and quality of life they may fear would be gone if they moved into an assisted living facility.

“If you want to age in place and continue to live at home, you need to understand the risks,” continues Stowers. “It’s unhealthy to stay at home if you don’t have the support you need because this represents a major risk to your safety. If you can manage to stay at home safely and independently, you should, but if your health declines, you need to reconsider your options.”

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Do friends and family live nearby? Isolation is always a concern, so you want to make sure there is a support network nearby.
  • Are you self-sufficient and do you enjoy living alone? If you’re active and social, you may want to consider a senior living community.
  • Is your home safe and practical for your needs? A home safety assessment will point out modifications — such as grab bars and shower chairs — and repairs that can reduce or prevent accidents that can be devastating to an older person.
  • Do you have access to the resources you need? A sleepy suburb might present real challenges if things such as shopping, transportation, entertainment and health care facilities are inaccessible.
  • Is your community safe? Some communities may not be safe for vulnerable seniors. Local police may be able to offer realistic advice about crime rates.

“The key is to prepare in advance so that if and when a current living situation becomes untenable, you and your family are ready,” stresses Stowers. “Whether you want to age in place responsibly or decide it’s best to move to a senior living facility, there are many resources available in the community that can help you do it right.”

 

***

One Senior Place is a comprehensive, one-stop resource office with access to information, advice, and services for seniors. Not only are a variety of businesses available in one location, but we also offer educational seminars on a regular basis, and our Senior Resource Library is available to help you find what you are looking for. Call 407-949-6733 for a complimentary consultation with a One Senior Place Aging Services Expert.