Joan Barthe is the director of sales at EPOCH Assisted Living of Norton. She joined the EPOCH team in 2009 with more than 17 years experience in marketing and sales, previously working as the director of community relations for a senior living community in Mansfield. With a long history of working in the senior living environment, Joan has heard the same important questions bubble up in her conversations with families and their aging loved ones. Below Joan answers one of those essential questions.
“I’m not sure my parent is ready for this. What are the signs that my parent/loved one might need to consider assisted living?”
First, we should define assisted living. Assisted living communities provide care to individuals who are having a difficult time living independently, but don’t need the daily nursing services provided by a “nursing home” environment. It’s intended for adults who need some assistance with what are known as “activities of daily living,” like housekeeping, personal care, taking medication, and more. They also offer the security of having help available on a 24-hour basis in a home-like environment.
It can be tough to know if your parent or loved one might be in need of the services an assisted living community can provide. Some of the most telling signs are if they need the help of family, friends or neighbors to function day to day. This might mean they need a neighbor to take care of their meals for them, fill their medication planner, launder their clothing, and more. While these are not necessarily negative things, too much aid means the elderly individual is basically being set up to live a sedentary, solitary lifestyle without any outside interaction. When an older individual is no longer as social or active as they once were, they run the risk of becoming isolated and lonely, which can lead to depression and other issues. One big advantage of an assisted living environment is the regular social interaction and stimulation it provides, in addition to practical things like meals, medication management, and housekeeping.