Making the decision to move to an assisted living community is a big one. How do you know if it’s time for you or your loved one to make that transition? Maybe you’re reluctant to move out of your NYC house or apartment, wondering what assisted living can give you that living alone cannot. Ask yourself or your loved one these questions to figure out if now is the right time to make a move.
- Do I Need Help Taking Care of Myself?
Assisted living communities are designed to help you with your activities of daily living (ADLs), including bathing, toileting, eating, dressing, and even housekeeping and cooking. If you struggle to do these things on your own, it may be time to consider making the move so you can have the support you need.
Keep in mind that you can still move to an assisted living community without needing around-the-clock care. Communities offer you help with things you cannot do on your own, while giving you the independence to do what you can do on your own.
- Do I Feel Safe Living By Myself?
This is an especially important question for those with mobility limitations: does your home have stairs, and can you safely get up and down them? If you use a wheelchair, are the halls wide enough to accommodate you? Are you worried about falling and not having anyone around to help you? In an assisted living community, you’ll have 24-hour access to mobility assistance and emergency services, so you will never have to worry about not having the help you need. Facilities are also designed with your body in mind—from elevators to walk-in bathtubs, they make getting around easier and safer than your current home.
For New Yorkers especially, daily tasks like walking around the neighborhood or taking public transportation might put a strain on you. Many facilities offer transportation services, meaning you can get wherever you need to go safely. If you think you could benefit from these accommodations and resources, now is the time to start thinking about transitioning to a new community.
- Do I Feel Isolated from My Loved Ones and My Community?
When living in your home as an aging adult, you might have fewer opportunities to get out and socialize. Your family might live far away, or your decreased mobility might hinder you from leaving the house regularly. This social isolation can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and even physical health.
Assisted living communities are special in that they are communities—not only are you surrounded by people to help you, but there are other adults your age under the same roof. Communities organize social and recreational activities, giving you plenty of opportunities to eat, play, and connect with others on a regular basis. Think of it as living on a college campus, but for older adults!
- Can I Maintain My Home on My Own?
Your home is where your heart is, but can you care for it like you used to? Do you feel comfortable doing all the dusting and mopping yourself? Do you wish you had help with your laundry? Assisted living takes care of all of this! Whether you struggle to get down the stairs to the laundry room or just find housework to be a burden, an assisted living community might be right for you.
- What about My Future?
Even if you think you can make do with living at home for now, that could change in a few years. You don’t have to wait until you need around-the-clock care to move to a community—there’s an appropriate option out there for you, whatever your needs are!
Some assisted living facilities are flexible and have an “aging in place” approach—you can move in now even if you only need a low level of care, and you can stay there even as you begin to require more care. Even if you think you could wait a few years before moving in, you may also want to consider moving in sooner so you can begin taking advantage of all that assisted living has to offer, and start making your new community feel like home.