Aging is a natural process. Some cope better with both physical and mental aspects of it, some worse, but it is something inevitable. Ever since the human race has existed, we have been trying to stop aging, to look forever young like the elves from “The Lord of the Rings”, and there were even many attempts to make the legendary philosophers’ stone. As we can see, it was all in vain and we continue to age.
Of course, many positive changes have taken place, so the lifespan is almost twice as long as it was a few centuries ago. Quality of life and medicines have the greatest impact on extending lifespan. Today, old age can be so comfortable that many people can’t wait for it to come. You don’t have to go to work, the children are grown up, so you have the opportunity to do exactly what you want every day. There are also institutions called retirement homes where you can live. But there are different types of retirement homes, and they are usually divided into independent living and assisted living. Find out what the difference is and when it’s time to move from independent living to assisted living in this article.
The difference between Assisted Living and Independent Living
You are entering uncharted territory both for you and for your children. If you don’t have someone from your family who has already gone through all that and can give you advice, you have to find out everything yourself. Since you already live in an independent living commune, you know what you are getting. Not every independent living is the same, but in general it is a commune that looks like a college campus. You have your own apartment as well as many available services, but you do not have 24/7 care from employees nor does someone else arrange your day-to-day activities, which is why it is called independent. Also, non-stop medical care is generally not available.
On the other hand, assisted living is what we mostly see in movies and on TV when the topic is retirement home. You just have to pay, and they will take care of everything else. It is similar to living in a hotel plus you have amenities, services and medical care available 24/7. Accessibility is at the highest level and the employees of the nursing home also organize fun activities. Assisted living is always more expensive because you get absolutely everything, while in independent living you have additional costs. If you want to learn more about this type of retirement home, those behind assisted living Boise Idaho will be more than happy to answer your questions.
Signs you should move fromIndependent Living to Assisted Living
If you notice any of these signs, especially more than once, consider that a red flag.
Chronic health problems
Almost every person over the age of 65 has some chronic health problem. It can be something that is easy to keep under control with the right treatment and that does not affect the quality of life significantly, but it can also be a condition that is progressive. This means that the symptoms will worsen over time. If you notice that it is increasingly difficult for you to cope with that health condition and that you are not physically able to do many things, you definitely need the constant help of professionals, which you will get in assisted living.
Accidents and falls
Anyone can fall, even younger people. But it is not natural to fall multiple times within a few days and weeks. This is a sign that your motor skills are deteriorating or that your eyesight has weakened, which significantly affects your safety. Any fall can be fatal. Even if it is not fatal, older people have brittle bones due to osteoporosis and you are likely to break a hip or arm. Recovery is long and arduous, and recovery is rarely 100% at that age. In assisted living, everything is adapted to your safety. You won’t have to go down stairs often and bathrooms are specially adapted to make showering easy.
Nutrition is of the utmost importance for all people on the planet, especially for children and the elderly. In those two stages of life, it is necessary for each meal to be balanced. It must contain all macronutrients – proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and supplementation with vitamins and minerals is necessary. Preparing such meals requires effort and time. You certainly have time in retirement, but it is highly questionable whether you can physically do it. You need to buy everything at the grocery store, and then prepare three meals a day and a few snacks. As soon as that becomes too challenging for you, it’s time to move to a place where you won’t have to think about food, and when it’s meal time, you’ll get just what you need. You can order food at independent living but that is usually more expensive option.
You partner passed away
The death of a partner is one of the most stressful events in life. Unfortunately, that also has to happen at some point, and then people feel lost. Also, everyday life becomes significantly more difficult because you have no one to help you. Two elders can often do everything necessary, but when there is only one person left, it becomes almost impossible. Moving to assisted living is not only beneficial because of that, but the grieving period will also be easier to bear.
It is important to be realistic. People often do not want to accept that they need assisted living and then struggle with daily activities for a long time, wanting to maintain their alleged independence. While in fact that period is very difficult without any advantage. The transition from independent living to assisted living is very simple and after that you will feel safe and cozy. You will not lose your privacy, and you will get everything you need. Don’t risk injury or damage to your home, but as soon as you notice any of these signs we have talked about, take the necessary steps or let your family do that for you.