Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A. - Elder Law

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Moving vs. Staying

We are all eventually faced with the difficult decision of moving a loved one to a senior living facility. There are many reasons why one may or may not be able to care for a family member. The change from living at home and moving into senior living can often bring anxiety to seniors who fear the loss of their independence. Family members also feel guilty over not being able to provide a safe environment for their older family members.

This comparison table will provide a better understanding of what a senior living facility can provide:

SOCIAL INTERACTION Offers a schedule filled with daily events which encourages social interaction with other people who want to share similar interests and activities Seniors who live alone often have family members who are busy themselves. This conflicting schedule often leaves them feeling isolated and lonely. Often times they may experience a loss of meaning.
TRANSPORTATION Facility arranges free transportation for social activities, doctor’s appointments as well as other social outings. Seniors may find it difficult to make their own appointments as well as arranging their own transportation to and from these events.
NUTRITION Senior facilities normally employ a full culinary staff that provides 2-3 healthy meals a day. Seniors often have to rely on easily prepared meals leaving them lacking in healthy meals. This is a common occurrence when cooking and eating alone.
HOUSEKEEPING All maintenance duties are performed including housekeeping, and laundry services weekly or as requested. Self care such as cleaning and laundry can become a great burden especially when mobility is a challenge as well as access to certain parts of the home.
EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE 24 hours assistance is provided as well as routine checks on residents as well as a routine call system in every apartment and restroom. Immediate help is often not available to elderly who live alone unless a medic alert necklace of some sort is provided.
FITNESS Most facilities offer exercise and rehabilitation programs which maximize mobility, strength as well as overall health. Seniors do not often have access to exercise equipment and fitness programs. This leads to a sedentary lifestyle which may create more health issues in the long run.
MEDICATION * Assistance is provided with medication management. Facility ensures residents are taking their medication properly and on time. ** Due to lack of assistance, seniors may take medications improperly and may miss their scheduled dosage.
INDEPENDENCE Offer assistance as needed and encourages residents to try to remain as independent as possible. Seniors can become totally dependent on family. This in turn causes a loss of individuality as well as feeling less fulfilled.

* Applies only to assisted living residents with medication assistance services

** Services provided where allowed by state regulations