Deciding to move into an assisted living community in West Seattle is a big decision—not to mention a highly personal and often emotional one.
While it can vastly improve the quality of life for seniors, especially those who need a little extra care with day-to-day tasks, it can be at times difficult to discern when it’s the right time for you or your loved one to make the transition.
What is Assisted Living for Seniors?
In terms of the continuum of care for seniors, there are numerous types of housing available in West Seattle, including 55-plus communities, independent living, assisted living and nursing homes.
Assisted living communities are a good fit if you or your loved one want to be independent and pursue your choice of daily activities. Unlike independent living, however, assisted living involves accommodations and care programs to help with monitoring medications, bathing, dressing, getting to meals, and other activities of daily living (ADLs). You also have the convenience of being served three meals per day with no concerns about housekeeping or laundry.
Some residents choose to move to assisted living after a hospitalization or some kind of health crisis has made it impossible to live independently any longer. These types of communities cannot provide skilled nursing care, though that can be arranged with an outside provider.
According to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), the typical assisted living resident in Washington state is in their 80s and needs assistance with at least two to three activities of daily living (ADLs). It’s also common for residents to be dealing with two or more chronic conditions, such as dementia or high blood pressure. Most people who reside at an assisted living campus have moved from a private home or apartment (70%), though some do move to assisted living from a short stay in a skilled nursing facility, a family member’s home or another retirement facility.
However, these figures are just a reflection of averages, and they shouldn’t necessarily be evaluated during your decision-making process. Whether you are choosing the right type of living situation in West Seattle for yourself or trying to help an aging parent navigate the world of senior housing, it comes down to your individual lifestyle preferences and your financial, emotional, mental and physical needs.
When is it Time for Assisted Living?
Assisted living provides several key benefits to older adults. Not only do you have access to senior-friendly housing accommodations and helpful services like housekeeping and grounds maintenance, but there is also staff on hand to check up on you and provide help where needed.
There is no definitive age for when you or your aging parent should seriously consider moving into an assisted living community in West Seattle. How then do you know when is the right time to make that move? Typically you or family members begin to notice changes in the way you or your loved lives.
You or your loved one might start to miss appointments or forget to eat. It’s possible that you or your loved-one will begin to find that little things like taking a shower becomes more difficult. Perhaps you or your loved-one begins to feel listless and stuck at home. As the list of these small but critical needs grows, you will realize that it is time to have the conversation where you or your loved one must plan what steps to take for this next season of your life.
These questions below can help guide you in assessing your needs and making the right decision for your unique circumstances and figure out more specifically what needs you or your loved one have.
1. Do you or your loved one need help with Activities of Daily Living?
If you’re struggling to keep up with everyday tasks, such as bathing, dressing and mobility, that could be a sign that assisted living is a good fit. Medication management is another big concern, especially if you are dealing with chronic issues that require consistent treatment. You do not want to put your health and wellbeing at risk, and that can happen when your ability to care for yourself decreases.
2. Are you feeling lonely or isolated?
Loneliness and isolation are also major issues faced by seniors that can be mitigated through communal living. At an assisted living facility in West Seattle, you will be able to cultivate positive relationships with staff and other residents and engage in numerous life-enriching classes, events and activities. Some campuses also offer scheduled transportation to support your freedom and enable you to get out and about when you want to.
3. Would you enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle?
For many people, growing older is accompanied by a desire to simplify life and decrease time-consuming responsibilities that cause stress. Within a long-term care community, you can expect help with daily chores and upkeep, such as cleaning, vacuuming, laundry, maintenance and beautification. The grounds and facilities are well-kept, and you get to enjoy them without having to put in the work yourself.
4. Would you benefit from care coordination?
As your physical and emotional needs change, the staff at your assisted living campus can help you coordinate care and juggle appointments with various doctors and specialists. Sometimes you can receive treatments or services onsite, or you can get transportation to nearby appointments as needed. The staff also will communicate with your family members and caregivers to make sure everyone stays on the same page.
Benefits of Continuum of Care in West Seattle
Depending on your current needs, you may not feel quite ready for assisted living. But you never know what may happen in the future. That is why a continuum of care model may be the optimal solution for seniors in West Seattle.
Continuum of care retirement communities have several levels of senior housing and services offered at the same campus. You can start out on one end of the spectrum—in this case, independent living. Then, the level of non-medical care services you receive grows gradually in proportion to your future needs without you having to move to a whole new establishment.
For example, Daystar Retirement Village in West Seattle offers 55-plus, independent and assisted living, as well as respite care. You also have the choice to add on extra clinical care services, such as insulin-dependent diabetic management, Parkinson’s disease support, mild to moderate memory care management, pacemaker monitoring assistance, out-patient rehabilitation therapies, and coordination of home health and hospice. As a senior resident, you can remain in the same comfortable environment while having your needs met, whatever they might be now and in the future.
Finding Assisted Living in West Seattle
If you or your loved one believe it might be time to move to an assisted living community, it can be a simultaneously exciting and emotional journey. In addition to making that decision, you also have to search for the right senior living campus to call your new home. At Daystar Retirement Village, we see assisted living as another phase of life—a phase where our residents have a lot of living left to do.
We provide a wide array of services and amenities to ease your transition and keep you comfortable, safe and content during the next chapter of your life. We would love to welcome you home and give you the peace of mind that you or your loved one are safe, watched over and taken care of as if they were a member of the family.