The Right Age for Assisted Living: Thoughts and Considerations for Seniors
As the golden years set in, many seniors feel the need for extra support. That’s when their loved ones start looking into assisted living facilities. But what is the right age for assisted living?
The complex answer is there is no single right age for assisted living. This residential option is an excellent opportunity to live in a beautiful home with a great view without worrying about some aspects of day-to-day life that your loved one can no longer handle alone.
Assisted living opportunities solve many problems while giving seniors a comfortable place to live and socialize. The choice to change your older relative’s place of residence can depend on various factors, including age.
What Age Should Seniors Enter Assisted Living?
While there isn’t a specific age that warrants moving to an assisted living facility, the majority of people who make this choice are between 65 and 85 years old.
The age of assisted living facility residents is currently decreasing. One of the reasons behind this is awareness. More and more people understand that moving to an assisted living facility allows them to maintain independence and lead an active social life.
Age is hardly the main factor that drives the decision-making process. Seniors usually choose to live in an assisted living facility when they no longer can or want to live alone.
Reasons to Enter an Assisted Living Facility
Today, about 2% of U.S. seniors take advantage of assisted living facilities. That’s around 810,000 people. Regardless of the age, the reasons to move to one of these residences can be both physical and psychological, including:
Physical Health Issues
Cognitive impairment or certain physical conditions may not allow your loved one to perform such regular activities as:
- Medication management
- Meal preparation
An assisted living facility can offer the necessary support and ensure a safe and comfortable living environment. Health issues that usually drive the decision to choose assisted living are:
- Mobility Problems: Difficulty with mobility due to conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, or the consequences of a stroke can make it challenging to navigate a home safely.
- Cognitive Impairment: Conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia can progressively impair memory and judgment, making it difficult to live without assistance.
- Chronic Medical Conditions: Managing chronic medical conditions can become increasingly complex and require regular monitoring, medication management, and specialized care.
If your senior’s home environment poses safety risks due to hazards or lack of accessibility, an assisted living facility can offer a safer living environment. This is particularly relevant if your loved one’s condition puts them at risk of falls.
Loneliness and Social Isolation
Instead of focusing on the right age for assisted living, seniors might instead focus on community. Today, 24% of adults 65 and older feel lonely. Social isolation and loneliness can negatively impact mental and emotional well-being, particularly for seniors.
Moving to an assisted living facility can provide opportunities for socialization, engagement in activities, and interaction with peers. This can promote a sense of belonging that improves emotional, mental, and physical health.
Need for Continuous Healthcare Services
If your loved one’s physical condition requires regular monitoring, they may have trouble arranging care without help. Assisted living facilities often have healthcare professionals on staff to provide the required medical care.
Regular health assessments, medication management, and assistance with scheduling medical appointments are just some of the relevant healthcare services available in these facilities.
Making the Decision About Assisted Living
To answer the question about what age seniors should enter assisted living, you need to evaluate your particular case and consider a variety of physical and social factors.
If your older relatives can no longer care for themselves as they used to or if they feel lonely and want socialization opportunities, assisted living may be the right choice regardless of their age.