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What to Do When It's Time to Move Your Senior Adult to Assisted Living?

AARP reports that 77% of adults over 50 want to stay in their homes as they age. However, home may not be the safest place for a senior adult as mobility or memory issues arise. Here are signs that indicate assisted living may be the better choice for your loved one and tips on how to talk to them about making the change.

Watch for These Behaviors

Over time you may start to notice changes in the behavior of your loved one that indicate it is safer for them to live in a care facility. Common factors include:

• Poor hygiene

• Memory loss

• Weight loss

• Social isolation

• Depressed mood

• Incontinence issues

• Mobility problems

• Lack of home maintenance

Another critical factor is if they stop taking their prescribed medications. Check the medicine cabinet to see if prescription bottles are full.

Talk About the Move

Be prepared for your senior adult to resist discussing moving to an assisted living community. Always keep a positive tone and speak in a quiet and calm voice, even if they get agitated.

Your first step is to listen to their reasons why they don't want to move. Be sure to validate their feelings as you point out the potential advantages of the move. For example, loss of independence is often one of the concerns, so point out how a move providing additional care can increase their independence.

Keep this a two-way conversation between the two of you instead of a lecture. Use "community" to describe assisted living and "condo" instead of a room. Also, point out all the free time they'll have once someone else does the cooking, cleaning, and home maintenance. Point out all the amenities and benefits they can enjoy once they move.

Determine Finances

According to recent statistics, there are 251 assisted living communities in Alabama with an average monthly cost of $3,075. Your senior loved one may be concerned about being able to afford this care over the long term. Be prepared for this conversation by showing them their monthly income from Social Security payments, pensions, annuities, and retirement savings.

Another way to pay for assisted living is through the proceeds from the sale of your loved one's home. Be sure to research the current prices in the Cullman area before selling the house.

Tour Several Communities

Once your loved one has agreed to investigate the move, research local facilities to find ones that best meet your senior adult's needs. Each facility provides assistance for daily living, such as dressing, bathing, and grooming. Facilities also offer three meals a day, housekeeping, and weekly laundry.

Next, schedule a tour of the communities your senior adult is interested in seeing. Be alert for any signs of a bad facility by asking the staff about the turnover rate and ratio of staff to residents. Observe the demeanor of the residents to determine if they look well-cared, alert, and happy. Finally, always read reviews of the assisted living facility and its parent company if it is a part of a larger company.

This guide can help you successfully move your senior adult into a safe assisted living community. Don't be surprised if they are so happy after the move and wonder why they didn't make the change sooner.

Author Bio:

This post was written by Lydia Chan who is the owner and primary author on for

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