When is it time? Navigating Senior Living Transitions

Home is where the heart is and the vast majority of older adults want to age in place in their own home. When care needs increase, many families will support their older loved ones by either providing direct caregiving help themselves or will hire caregivers to care for their loved one so they can stay in their own home. However, there are times when even that support may not be enough to meet their loved ones needs. Here are some of the more common situations that may warrant considering a transition to a senior living community:

1. Safety concerns: If the home environment poses significant safety risks for the older person, such as steep stairs, inability to provide safe accessibility modifications, or unsanitary conditions with vermin or hoarding issues, it may be challenging to ensure their safety even with home care assistance.

2. Medical needs: If the older person requires frequent medical attention or specialized care, such as chronic wound care, complex medication management, or two person transfers with physical assistance. Or, if there is a need for specialized medical equipment that is not readily accommodated in their home, it may be more appropriate for them to receive care in a setting where equipment can be housed and skilled healthcare professionals are readily available.

3. Cognitive decline: If the older person has advanced dementia with care challenges that require constant supervision and monitoring to prevent wandering, home care may not be sufficient to ensure their safety, manage their condition or effectively meet their needs and a memory care center may be a more suitable choice.

4. Social isolation: If the older person is experiencing significant social isolation and lacks opportunities for socialization and engagement at home, transitioning to the right senior living community has the potential to provide them with a more stimulating and socially active environment.

5. Caregiver burden: If family members or other caregivers are experiencing significant stress, burnout, or are unable to adequately meet the elder person’s needs due to their own health or other commitments, it may be necessary to consider alternative care options that can provide more comprehensive support.

Often, navigating these care issues, trying to choose which senior living community is appropriate and affordable and making these decisions can be confusing and stressful. Aging Life Care® Professionals can help by assessing the situation objectively and guiding families. Whether it is advising on optimizing the home care support so that aging loved ones can age more safely and comfortably in place or recommending a transition to a senior living community, expert help is available. For more information on Aging Life Care® and care management professionals go to

Anne C. Sansevero RN, MA, GNP, CCM
Aging Life Care ® Professional
Founder & CEO of HealthSense LLC
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