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What to consider when moving parents to assisted living

June 6, 2012

For the children of aging parents, helping move mom and dad from their home to assisted living can be a difficult experience. There are a number of things to take into consideration when finding the most appropriate living situation, but focusing on a few key areas can help make the process a bit easier.

Above all else, families should be concerned about their loved ones' safety, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Falls are one of the most common health hazards facing older adults, with about one out of three adults over 65 experiencing a fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Look into how the community's homes are designed to see if they avoid any features that could cause a fall.

In a similar vein, the newspaper reports family members should consider the health services of the community, and there are a few questions they should ask. Does the assisted living facility have senior care on site? Will patients still be allowed to use their own doctors? How experienced are the medical professionals?

Outside of health concerns, family members should look at the social opportunities available to their older relatives. Staying socially engaged is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle for seniors. According to a recent study from Harvard University, remaining socially active can help stave off mental decline later in life, the Naples Daily News reports.

Assisted living has become a popular option for older adults. According to the National Center for Assisted Living, more than 900,000 people across the country, with an average age of 86.9, live in such a setting. About 70 percent of the residents have moved there from their private home or apartment.