Life is full of many natural progressions that happen when we are children, adults and then in our older years. Assisted living is one such progression for elderly individuals who are looking for additional support in their daily lives or with specific tasks around the home so that they can retain their lifestyle. Also known as residential care, assisted living looks different for all, so let’s discuss what to expect and where you can start in making this transition.
Understanding your options
Just as there are different reasons to engage an assisted living solution, there are also a number of assisted living providers. A great place to start would be to familiarise yourself with the key aged care providers in your local area who offer assisted living, and understand what is possible through this assisted living service. You might also want to ask whether you will have the same carer for each visit, if your chosen days are locked in or flexible, and you may even request more information regarding pricing.
Assessing your needs
Now that you are aware of what assisted living options are available to you, you can start to articulate what your needs might be. Do you require support with household duties, transport to appointments and running errands, or are you looking to add more value to your social life with frequent company from your carers? You may wish to discuss this needs assessment with your General Practitioner, friends and family – as sometimes those closest to us can identify the right opportunities and potential shortfalls better than you can yourself.
Consider your independence
Assisted living is not about reducing your physical and mental output, it’s about prioritising what is important and delegating some of the more menial tasks to a carer. When transitioning into assisted living you want to identify the things that add value to your life and ensure that you continue to do them by exercising your independence. Carers and aged care providers will work with you on designing a program dictated by you with the flexibility to reduce or add support as you wish so that you have an active role in how your day and schedule looks.
Transitioning into assisted living may equate to more or less physical movement, depending on what your routine was before. Carers are trained to support the body and minds of elderly individuals and will work to incorporate low-impact exercise as part of normal daily tasks. This might be walking, stretching, swimming or even isolating certain muscles that are causing discomfort with simple but effective movements. A great benefit to assisted living and something to be mindful when starting is that you are introduced to new and improved ways of doing things that are going to have a positive impact on your health.
Getting comfortable in the new surrounds can sometimes take a while, which is why many find comfort in assisted living and the option of remaining at home when receiving this specialised care. Staying connected with the community, routine and the creature comforts we fill our homes with can go a long way in impacting our wellbeing. Outside of the home environment, assisted living is about removing friction and replacing that time with social interactions, wellness initiatives and activities that are important to you.
It might feel overwhelming when you begin to learn about the many aged care solutions out there, and how assisted living fits within these options. The beauty of assisted living is that you can still live the lifestyle you desire, with fantastic benefits that support your needs, whether physical or mental. Be sure to access and understand all the information available to you from your chosen provider and carer so that you know where to start and can have a great transition.
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