You know the time has come. You need assistance, but leaning on your family members is tough on them and on your pride. What are your options? A caregiver could come to your home every day. You could sell your house and move in with your kids. Or you could make a move to assisted living.
In Austin, Residential Assisted Living (RAL) means receiving 24-hour certified care, 7 days a week in a comfortable house with 15 or fewer residents. The design of these properties is familiar, very much like your own home. You will find bedrooms, living rooms, perhaps a fireplace, and a kitchen that doesn't remind you of a cafeteria.
1) The best solution for your entire family
What if your daughter’s home is too small to have you move in with her? She could remodel or add on, but that’s expensive and takes time.
Or what if your daily needs are just too overwhelming for your loved ones? If your family caregivers can't get the sleep, sustenance, and downtime they need, their health could decline.
In this scenario, as the primary caregiver, your son or daughter probably has little physical or emotional energy left after work and family chores are done. And let's face it. With these kinds of pressures, resentment can often build up over time, for both of you.
That's where a RAL community can be a lifesaver for everyone. When your activities of daily living are addressed by a group of professional caregivers, the moments you share with your family can now ALL be counted as quality time.
2) Save everyone money in the long run
The costs of keeping up your family home can be erratic and ever-increasing, when you consider deferred maintenance and skyrocketing property taxes -- especially if you live in a fast-growing city like Austin! Are you due for a new roof or HVAC system? Consider trading in those fluctuating family home costs for predictable assisted living fees that cover care around the clock, all your meals cooked for you, fun activities, and family connection.
3) Get the best nutrition for individual needs
At the big corporate senior living sites, you might find a long list of amenities, but you also have scant possibility of asking for change. At a smaller place, you are much closer to the decision makers. If you have specific nutritional needs, or likes and dislikes, RAL caregivers can take note and cater to you. For example, if organic foods are important to your family, you’ll have higher hopes of finding a smaller home that balances the business bottom line with ways to heal the body through foods and natural supplements. Pharmaceuticals have their function, but if you want to follow the advice of Hippocrates and “let food be thy medicine”, a RAL will be more open to make a change that benefits everyone.
4) Be physically active and mentally engaged
Modern assisted living communities offer on-site activities that keep their seniors active and that foster strong social bonds. Visiting professionals teach gentle exercise routines such as elder yoga and tai chi. If you love the outdoors there might be gardening, hummingbird feeders, and butterfly-friendly blossoming bushes. A massage therapist could drop by to work away the pains of aging joints and muscles. Then there are dominoes and cards and coloring books for adults to keep your neural pathways firing. Some places even have live music, sing-alongs, and pet therapy. The key words are variety and togetherness. That sure beats having a TV as your best friend.
5) Location, location, location
There can be a lot of fear around making big life changes. A move can be daunting, especially for someone who has lived a good life in the same house for decades. For these elders, a RAL location can be a phenomenal solution. Imagine how comforting it would be for you to live in your same neighborhood, just a few streets away. It will also be easy to see your local doctors or even choose new ones who make house calls. No more forgotten appointments. And your adult children can stop taking time off from work to pick you up and shuttle you all over town.
There might even be a RAL community perfectly situated between your children’s work and home, to help them and your grandchildren visit as often as possible. Frequent connection with beloved relatives is one of the best ways to find meaning and joy in our later years.