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Seniors move to assisted living in aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

January 7, 2013

When Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast in late October, the destruction had a significant impact on the lives of millions. This was especially true for senior residents, many of whom saw the storm as a wake-up call and decided to make the transition to assisted living communities, reports The Associated Press.

There are currently no exact figures, but experts at retirement communities in the northeast say they have seen a slight uptick in the number of residents since the storm. Such a spike is not uncommon in the aftermath of severe weather, such as winter storms or extreme heat. These incidents often serve as a signal to some seniors that living alone may no longer be a feasible option.

"Very often you need that little push over the cliff to make you realize," Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein, director of geriatric education at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, told the AP. "When your home is leaking and flooding and you're sitting in the dark, you come to realize you no longer have the skills of survivorship."

Issues like prolonged loss of power or a damaged home can be a big signal to seniors that they might benefit from retirement communities. However, for older adults who don't have extreme weather to highlight the fact they need assistance, there are some other indicators that moving to an assisted living facility is the right choice.

Often it's up to family members to be on the lookout for signs. According to, if a senior's loved ones notice he or she is having difficulty walking, becomes increasingly forgetful or if there are extreme changes in mood, it may be time to broach the subject of moving.