Is It Time To Consider Assisted Living For Your Parent?

Two tips for helping your parent pick a retirement living facility

If your parent needs to pick a retirement living facility and has asked for your help with making this decision, you might find these tips helpful.

Think about their mental health and the things that influence it

Every retirement living facility that you consider using will be able to meet your parent's basic needs (such as shelter, food, medicine, etc.). However, if your parent's mental health can be unstable at times, then it's important to ensure that the retirement facility they end up choosing can also make it easy for them to maintain a stable mood most of the time.

For example, if your parent suffers from seasonal affective disorder (or SAD), then it would be sensible to choose a retirement living facility that is in a place where the winters are not very harsh and there is still plenty of sunlight. This will mean that your parent will be able to happily coast through the winter months in a positive state of mind without having to rely on a 'SAD' lamp to get enough light and stabilise their mood.

Similarly, if your parent is a highly extroverted social butterfly and gets very down if they don't get to socialise for a few days in a row, then the retirement living facility they end up moving to should be one which actively helps its residents to mingle by hosting lots of group activities and which makes it easy for the residents to spontaneously gather together, by providing plenty of comfortable communal spaces.

Ask them how they envision retirement living

Whilst some people have been dreaming about their retirement for most of their adult life and have a very clear vision of what retirement living will look like for them, others may not have given this as much thought. If your parent falls into the latter category, you should have a lengthy discussion and brainstorming session about how they want to spend their retirement.

If, for example, they are very creative but ended up in a career that did not allow them to explore this facet of their personality, then they might, after giving this matter some thought, realise that they would like the retirement facility they end up living in to be set up in a way that allows them to nurture their creativity. This might mean they need to find a facility that offers regular oil painting or life drawing classes and which provides its residents with art studio spaces that they can use whenever they want to.

Similarly, if your parent loves nature but had to spend the last few decades working long hours in a city, then they might like their retirement facility to have some beautiful gardens that its residents are allowed to tend or which is located on the coast by a beautiful beach that they can walk along anytime they want.