When Should I Transition from Independent to Assisted Living?

Happy retired couple in wilmington

Navigating decisions about your health and well-being as you age isn’t always a straight line. Each person’s needs are different, regardless of age—and there are a lot of options out there to explore.

If you have enjoyed living in one of the independent retirement communities in Wilmington, NC, you may wonder if or when to consider moving to assisted living. Or you may be wondering about a loved one. For residents of The Davis Community, the transition is seamless. We believe that you shouldn’t have to leave your community to get the care you need.

Independent vs. Assisted Living: What’s the Difference?

As you assess your options, it’s helpful to understand the difference between independent living and assisted living. Both offer some degree of care, but the care type and specific services vary.

Independent living is for older adults who do not need much, if any, help with daily tasks but want to be in an environment designed for seniors. Housing is typically a choice of one- or two-bedroom units with all the amenities one would expect in a private home.  Community members may join social activities, special events, group dining options, and more if they wish. They can also travel, pursue their interests, and enjoy privacy in a safe neighborhood. All maintenance—including security—is provided by the community, making it easy for members to come and go on their schedule without worry.

Assisted living is for people who are still healthy and active but need extra support to maintain their independence. Some examples of assistance include housekeeping, medication management, and help with daily tasks like bathing or grooming. Assisted living is also an ideal option for people with physical or cognitive health conditions that make it unsafe or difficult to live alone.

When Is It Time for Assisted Living?

If you or a loved one are currently living in one of the retirement communities in Wilmington, NC, don’t be surprised if a friend or family member is the first one to notice the need for more help. These people care and want you to have all the necessary support you need—but that doesn’t mean the conversation is always easy.

We don’t always realize that we need assistance until we become overwhelmed or our health condition worsens significantly. Some of the signs that indicate it’s time to move to assisted living include:

  • Difficulty managing finances
  • Inability to keep the house clean
  • Feeling depressed, lonely, or isolated
  • Neighbors who express concern about your welfare
  • Progression of a neurological disease like Parkinson’s
  • A medical condition that requires access to 24-hour care
  • Inability to attend to your grooming or personal care
  • Cognitive decline, including memory loss or symptoms of dementia
  • Falling, which could indicate an instability issue

You may also notice that you or a family member don’t have the energy to cook or are struggling to maintain an appetite. This feeling is relatively typical among seniors, and independent living communities provide several options that make it easy to follow a healthy diet. Still, sometimes additional support is needed to ensure a person gets adequate nutritious food daily, and that’s where the assisted living staff can help.

And finally, self-isolation is another sign you shouldn’t ignore that it’s time to switch to assisted living. No longer participating in social activities or on-campus group events can be a sign of cognitive or physical decline that requires a higher level of care. The loss of a spouse or loved one (and the isolation that comes with it) can also trigger the need to move from independent to assisted living if that person was responsible for most household upkeep.

Making the Move 

Assisted living at retirement communities in Wilmington, NC, provides a nice balance between independence and full-time care. Residents can enjoy privacy in apartment-style accommodations but get access to a full range of professional services to help them feel safe and secure. 

Assisted Living at the Davis Community

Residents at The Davis Community will appreciate the ease of moving from their fully independent homes to one of our assisted living suites. Contact The Davis Community today for more information about the living areas, amenities, and world-class personal care we provide.

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