The ABC’s of Assisted Living

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Choosing Your Assisted Living Home with Care

How do you know when it might be time to consider Assisted Living for yourself or for your loved one? Nurse Alisa Green, author of The ABC’s of Assisted Living, says “It can be difficult to admit that you or your parents (or other loved one) might need to consider alternate living arrangements. There can be a lot of emotions that need to be addressed; but ultimately we all want what’s best.

“That being said, there are red flags that make it more obvious when it’s time to start thinking about the move to Assisted Living,” Alisa says. She recommends you look for:

  • Recent accidents. Did your loved one take a fall or have a medical scare? Accidents happen, but as people get older, the odds increase of them happening again.
  • Slow recovery from a recent illness (for example, a flu or bad cold). Were they able to seek medical care when needed, or did last winter’s cold develop into untreated bronchitis?
  • A chronic health condition that’s worsening. Progressive problems such as COPD, dementia, and congestive heart failure can decline gradually or quickly. Either way their presence means your loved one will need more help.
  • Increasing difficulty managing the activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs are the skills needed to live independently — dressing, shopping, cooking, doing laundry, managing medications, and so on.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. But if your loved one is showing signs that living alone is a strain, it may be time for a talk. Alisa suggests you approach the subject in a neutral way. “Avoid ‘talking down’ to them, or appearing that you are criticizing their choices and ability to choose what they feel is best for them,” she says. “But you may find that your loved one harbors the same fears for current and future safety and security that you do.”

Alisa went through her own journey when attempting to find her parents their new Assisted Living home. They moved in and out of several Assisted Living communities before finding the one that suited them best. “That experience is what prompted me to write The ABC’s of Assisted Living,” says Alisa. “This is the book I wish I’d had when helping my parents make the transition to Assisted Living. There was no guide to help us understand what to expect, what each person’s role was, and what our possible options might be in the world of Assisted Living. I hope this book will be a great resource for families or individuals who are considering Assisted Living.”

To learn more about The ABC’s of Assisted Living and choosing your new Assisted Living home, visit