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Ask Jenny: Tough call for kids to make Jenny Wallis | Fri, Apr 09 2010 02:42 PM

Dear Jenny, my sister and I cannot agree if it's time or not for our mother to move into an assisted living community yet.  We know she really can't continue much longer on her own, but she is reluctant to even look into senior housing options.  How will we really know if it's time for us to move  her from her home and place her in a community before it's too late?
Jenny answers:

It's important to explore available options early before needing to make a move rather than waiting until a crisis occurs.  All too often families are in denial and it isn't until an injury or other serious event occurs before a decision is reached to make a change in the living situation.  Looking at options early affords the senior a voice in their future home as opposed to during a crisis when they may be dependent on others to make those decisions for themÑand for those making the decisions, heightened emotions and additional time burdens amidst a crisis make it even more challenging.

Assisted living facilities offer a wide range of benefits to seniors,
including a sense of security knowing they are not alone if they need help in the middle of the night.  Meals are provided to ensure balanced nutrition and often local transportation is included in the services as well.  Finally, the increased socialization of living in a congregate community is of tremendous benefit to seniors that may have been isolated and lonely prior to relocating.  

Don't wait until it's too late and the senior is suddenly in crisis mode; delaying only leads to increasing unnecessary risks. Ask any assisted  living community and the staff will share that seniors are reluctant to
initially move, but once they have relocated into an assisted living setting, the most frequent comment from the senior is, "I wish I had done this sooner."

If you have questions about senior care or helping an elderly loved one,  contact Jenny Wallis, community marketing director at Villa Bonita Senior  Living at (619) 739-4400 or by e-mail at villabonitamkg2@islllc.com. Villa Bonita Senior Living is an assisted living community licensed by the  California Department of Social Services, located at 3434 Bonita Road,  Chula Vista.  You can also visit Villa Bonita online at  www.villabonitaseniorliving.com.

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