Seniors and Family Caregivers Benefit from Move to Assisted Living
On November 30, 2016 by Jodi Boyne
We hear it all the time: “I wish we had made this decision earlier.” A new survey now supports what many of us already knew -- seniors and their family caregivers experience measurable increases in quality of life after an older relative moves to assisted living.
The Family Quality of Life Survey, conducted by A Place for Mom in collaboration with Sage Productions, sheds light on an all too familiar issue: hesitancy of family members to move a loved one into assisted living.
Participants in the survey included family members of older adults who had moved to an assisted living community and family members who were still searching for housing for an older relative.
Most (85 percent) of the family members who responded to the survey reported that they delayed investigating assisted living primarily because an older relative wanted to stay at home, and be cared for by someone they knew, for as long as possible. Other reasons for delaying this decision included:
· Inability to find an affordable assisted living option (20 percent)
· Difficulty finding information about assisted living (19 percent)
· Inability of family members to agree on the best assisted living option (18 percent)
· Negative perceptions of assisted living (16 percent)
“These findings really underscore the importance of getting good information about assisted living into the hands of older adults and their families,” said Steve Maag, Director of Residential Communities, LeadingAge. “We have more work to do as we strive to correct the misconceptions that consumers have about assisted living and give families the tools they need to make informed decisions about care options.”
After a move to assisted living, family members in the survey reported noticing these improvements in an older relative's life:
· Quality of life (73 percent)
· Nutrition (73 percent)
· Social well-being (64 percent)
· Emotional well-being (47 percent)
· Physical health (44 percent)
In addition, family caregivers cited these personal benefits after moving an older relative to assisted living:
· Level of stress about the older relative (64 percent)
· Personal quality of life (60 percent)
· Relationship with the older relative (50 percent)
· Levels of health, diet and exercise (32 percent)
Almost three-quarters (70 percent) of family members whose relatives had moved to assisted living said their monetary well-being was largely unaffected after the move.
Data showing that assisted living can be good for health and well-being is a message worth repeating in marketing materials and during community tours.
“The data clearly show that staying at home may not always be appropriate or helpful for every older adult, especially those who need increasing care and support,” Maag said. “Making a decision to move is never easy, at any age. But the decision could become much easier once older adults and their relatives know about all the benefits that a move to assisted living can bring.”
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