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A Guide to Managing Assisted Living Transitions for Seniors and Caregivers

By: Lydia Chan

Watching loved ones grow older can be bittersweet, especially when you begin to realize that your loved one may not be able to care for themselves alone anymore. The decision to transition into assisted living or other senior care arrangements is never an easy or light one.

You may even need to seek out legal services and information from an organization like Washoe Legal Services, but the information and pointers below can take some of the guesswork and stress out of determining a senior’s need for care and then taking the proper steps to ensure they get the care they need and compassion they deserve.

ADLs and Assisted Living

A good way to assess a senior’s need for assisted living care is to think carefully about their ability to carry out ADLs. ADL stands for activities of daily living, and these are the tasks most of us take for granted in everyday life, such as feeding, bathing and dressing ourselves.

If it seems like your loved one is struggling with ADLs, transitioning to assisted living may be best, but you should explore all options. There are 8 various forms of senior care, including home care and respite care, both of which can be feasible solutions to get help with ADLs.

Assisted Living Costs

After assessing your loved one’s ADL abilities and taking other needs into consideration, you can decide whether assisted living is a good fit. If you do, it’s also helpful to start researching care costs and ways to pay early so you won’t be caught off guard by these expenses.

Average monthly rates are between $3K and $6K depending on location, amenities and facility, which can put a strain on the finances of seniors and their caregivers. One solution for covering care costs is to sell the senior’s home. You should research local housing information, including average selling price and time on the market, before deciding to go with this option.

Difficult Care Conversations

It may sound counterintuitive to research assisted living costs and ADLs prior to speaking with your loved one. In truth, however, arming yourself with concrete information and figures is a good way to keep the conversation running smoothly. Even so, your loved one may get emotional, so be prepared for this. Also be ready to have the talk over multiple sittings.

Being reluctant or upset about moving to assisted living is one thing, and as long as your loved one’s health or safety is not at risk you should respect their choice. However, if a senior or their caregiver is in danger, pursuing guardianship may be necessary. If you want to learn more about guardianships, connect with the Washoe Legal Services team.

The Transition to Assisted Living

Hopefully you and your loved one can come to an amicable and agreed upon decision for them to move into assisted living. If so, you can work with them to find a facility that provides the care they need with the amenities and features that will preserve their quality of life. Honestly, this is one of the best ways to soothe your loved one’s anxieties about moving and ease the transition.

Your loved one should have a lot of input as to which community is chosen, but managing this decision and the move itself can be overwhelming for many caregivers. If you have it in your budget, you can avoid much of the stress and strain by hiring a senior move manager.

There’s no magic wand to make this situation less painful for seniors and caregivers; however, there are real solutions and steps that make deciding on care options and pursuing them a little less taxing. If you’re faced with this choice and process for your loved one, keep this guide handy, bookmark the Washoe Legal Services website in case you need it, and then remember to have compassion, both for your loved one and yourself.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Public Awareness

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Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), is an immigration benefit for youth that is unique in the fact that it requires both special findings from a state juvenile court and the primary federal immigration benefit agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Given the benefit’s crux at the intersection of state and federal law, it is one that can be difficult to obtain, both for immigrant youth and for the legal advocates that assist them. Here at Washoe Legal Services, we work across multiple units, striving to help those qualified youth obtain this challenging benefit. Be sure to read this article to understand some of the challenges and complexities in obtaining SIJS, including a quote from our own WLS Immigration Specialist, Noah Montague.

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