While many seniors move to assisted living communities permanently, others do so only temporarily. In fact, many seniors enter assisted living communities for short-term stays. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Recovery from surgery
Many seniors will undergo medical procedures that require extensive recovery periods. Whether you're recovering from ulcer surgery or undergoing an open heart procedure, recovery can be painful. It can also be difficult for your family members to provide the proper level of care you require. It's a decision that's different for every family, but if you're worried about being left alone during the day while family members are at work, you may want to consider a short-term stay in an assisted living community.
At these centers, trained professionals can provide you with a high level of care that you can rely on. You can recover in good hands, and after a short stay, you can return to your home in better physical shape.
2. Rehabilitation and physical therapy
Other surgeries, such as hip or knee replacement procedures, require physical therapy and extended rehabilitation plans. The aim of joint replacement surgeries should be to not only recover but to thrive with a better hip or knee than what you previously had. Rehabilitation exercises and physical therapy are key to your recovery.
"At these centers, trained professionals can provide you with a high level of care that you can rely on."
You can reduce risk of reinjury and improve your rehabilitation efforts by staying in an assisted living community. At these communities, you'll have access to trained individuals who can help you achieve greater mobility through physical therapy and support.
You also won't have to worry about cooking or cleaning during this time, reducing risk of injury or a fall. Your first priority during this recovery time should be regaining mobility in a safe environment in which you feel confident you will be cared for in a professional way.
3. Current home needs repairs
There are a dozen reasons or more why you may need a break from your current living situation. Maybe the plumbing system needs to be redone, or an inspector found black mold in your home. A major electrical project, renovations or making repairs to a home that has been hit by a natural disaster can create chaos in a home.
As a senior, this chaos creates its own set of risks – more tripping hazards as your possessions are moved around for work crews, dust in the air that may trigger an asthma attack and the general mental stress that accompanies having your space occupied with people working, creating loud bangs and leaving a mess in their wake.
Instead of suffering through this stressful time, you can stay in an assisted living community until the work is completed. This way you won't have to worry about cooking in a kitchen that's been ripped up, or worry about bathing while your plumbing undergoes work.
You can stay in a calm, clean environment where professionals take care of you. Once the work is completed, you can head home.
4. Trial stay
Not sure about moving permanently to an assisted living community? Many locations offer trial stays where they can evaluate your needs.
During this time you can also take stock of what you do and don't need. Maybe a higher level of care is what you need right now, if you need memory care or have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Or maybe you'll spend a few weeks in an assisted living community and decide you don't quite need such a dedicated level of care just yet and would like to live independently for a while longer.
Either way, you can test it out and, with the help of your family, decide what's best for you.
5. A winter escape
Particularly in regions like the Upper Midwest, where harsh winter conditions are the norm, short-term stays can be a matter of practicality. Even if you're not necessarily in need of immediate care, it's important to consider what an assisted living community can take off your plate. A short-term stay can alleviate stress – both mental and physical – related to snow shoveling, home maintenance and even the simple logistics related to getting out of the house for errands.
Consider a two- or three-month respite to put your mind and body at ease, allowing the assisted living community staff to do the heavy lifting (literally) amid treacherous winter conditions.