In the aftermath and destruction of Hurricane Ida, many of us are considering what we can do to better prepare for natural disasters and unplanned emergencies. Add emergency planning together with senior care and aging, and we begin to have an entirely new set of questions. Have we ever thought about how aging impacts our preparedness for an emergency or a natural disaster? Tasks and other daily activities get more difficult on a monthly basis as we age. Now think about emergency preparedness from the perspective of someone elderly who is living on their own. From owning life saving medical alert devices to participating in a state-wide or even national emergency program, it is best to be prepared before an incident occurs rather than wishing that we had been prepared. And, what's more, if we are prepared and our loved ones are prepared, perhaps we'll be able to help someone who isn't when the time comes!
Medical Alert Devices
Seniors who are beginning to notice difficulty with walking or stairs should take some time to investigate medical alert devices. It doesn't necessarily mean that you'll have to wear a necklace with a button (although that is certainly an option). There are watches available, too. This way, at a very basic level, you are able to contact Emergency Services to come to your aid in the event of a fall or getting stuck while alone. Many people do not think about needing them until there is a serious problem where they've found themselves unable to get up when they've fallen outside. Consider Northern climates and whether or not you'd be able to survive for long if the temperatures drop to -20F. Or, in the South, if you're in an area that gets very hot and humid, if you'd survive without water for long. Cell phones can also serve as a mobile alert device, as long as it's in your pocket when you need it! Take 30 minutes to research the options you have available and make a decision about whether you should be getting a medical alert device and wearing one for peace of mind.
My grandmother lived for years with tripping hazards all around her house. She loved her old rag rugs. As she advanced in years, however, they became more of a nuisance and liability. She lived on her own, but because of extreme arthritis, the effort of lifting her feet to avoid turning up the corners of the rugs became too much for her. She finally got rid of the rugs in most places or had them replaced with options that were heavier and stayed down on the edges better. Door knobs that are easier to open, close and lock are other possible safety improvements. Replace rolling chairs with non-rollers and sturdier options. Unusually high or low bedsides can be replaced with easily maneuvered beds set at the right height. Showers and bathrooms can have tubs with doors, handles near the toilet and in the shower, etc. Take a little time assessing the potential household hazards that can be removed now and might allow our us to enjoy our aging years in comfort.
Before spending money on building an emergency preparedness kit, first spend some time thinking about what emergencies could occur in your area. In all areas of the country, power outages can occur. If those outages last for a number of days, how will this affect a senior living alone or even a group of seniors who rely on others for help? Water is the first and primary concern. We should have adequate water for at least three days time somewhere in our house. In Northern climates, that water must also be accompanied by a way to have heat should it go out. Water will do no good if it frozen solidly. Light via flashlights, candles or lanterns is another good idea to consider when facing a power outage. Shelter, heaters for warmth, fans to stay cool in warm climates, and food are also other considerations for these times. How will we eat and stay warm (or cool depending on circumstances)?
- For your safety and comfort, have a disaster supplies kit packed and ready in one place before a disaster hits.
- Assemble enough supplies to last for at least three days.
- Store your supplies in one or more easy-to-carry containers, such as a backpack or duffel bag.
- You may want to consider storing supplies in a container that has wheels.
- Be sure your bag has an ID tag.
- Label any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes or walkers, that you would need with your name, address and phone numbers.
Basic Needs and Supplies:
- Water — one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation and 2-week supply for home)
- Food — it is a good idea to include foods that do not need cooking (canned, dried, etc.) (3-day supply for evacuation and 2-week supply for home)
- Flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs (do not use candles)
- Battery-operated or hand-crank radio
- First aid kit and manual
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool (several tools that fold up into a pocket-sized unit)
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items (toilet paper, plastic garbage bags)
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with an extra battery and charger (s)
- Family and friends’ emergency contact information
- Cash and coins (ATMs may not be accessible)
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the local area
- Whistle (to attract the attention of emergency personnel)
- One change of clothing
- Manual can opener
- Pet supplies (including food and vaccination records)
- Extra set of keys (car, house, etc.)
- Pack of cards to provide entertainment and pass the time
Form a Plan
Forming a plan that family/neighbors/friends know about is an important step for being prepared. In all of the preparations that we make or that we help a loved one to make, please keep in mind that plans are most effective if they are shared with others. Many older people look out for one another. If that is the case with you or your loved one, share necessary emergency numbers, keys or papers with those you trust. Forming a chain of people to call is a great idea so that everyone knows when things are safe and that you're okay. Lack of communication can be the scariest part of an emergency, so find a way to combat that, if you can.
These are only a few suggestions to help start you on your preparedness journey. There are countless websites and books that can help you to prepare for specific emergencies in a more comprehensive way. This article takes aging into consideration in the process. Most of us do not think about the limitations that aging presents in these situations. Start with simple steps. Begin thinking and preparing today for these types of emergencies and rest easy knowing that you're as ready as you can be.
Sleeplessness In Older And Aging Adults
Have you noticed that as we age, genuine, deep sleep is more and more difficult to attain? Many people blame this sleeplessness on the aging process, but is it right to do so? There are certainly many older persons who can sleep well through the night.
Why Don't I Feel Rested?
Sleeplessness is caused in part by the aging process. As we age, our bodies produce lower amounts of growth hormone while we rest. This can result in making it harder to fall into a deep sleep. Our bodies end up requiring more sleep to get the same amount of "rest" when compared to our younger years. We will want to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier. We may also need to take a nap during the day to make up for the lost rest. So what steps can we take to try to get a good night's rest again?
A Hard Day's Work
First, we can ensure that we have been active during the day. As we age and go into retirement or stop working a regular job, it oftentimes gets harder to sleep at night, but not because of any health concerns. Rather it is because enough energy has not be expended during the day to make us sufficiently tired at night. Though our minds may refute this argument, the truth is, our bodies NEED certain levels of work or activity throughout the day in order to rest properly at night. If our bodies don't have a sufficient level of activity, they also do not recognize or trigger the need for rest. We need to try our best to raise our activity level during the day, finding work and exercise that's appropriate for our abilities at this stage of life. Work hard and later enjoy a more restful night's sleep.
Consistent Sleep Routine
Another helpful step that we can take is to establish a regular routine of waking and sleeping. Sometimes, as we age, our schedules can be thwarted by illness, aches, incontinence or even just out of boredom. We find ourselves dozing at various times during the day. Yet not able to sleep later, or staying up later watching television and sleeping in later in the morning. Whatever schedule we decide makes us feel best, we should stick with it on a daily basis in order to obtain the most restful night's sleep possible. Our sleep patterns are rhythmic and throwing off that rhythm can have an adverse effect on our sleep at night.
Turn off the T.V
Cutting off any screen time in the evenings a couple of hours before sleeping will help notify your body that it's time to begin winding down to rest. That means perhaps not texting or video chatting with your friends and family after a certain hour. Choose quieter activities that are not as stimulating, such as crossword puzzles, restful music, reading books, playing solitaire, etc. Help your body to be able to identify the cut off time from evening activities to sleeping time by establishing a nightly routine. Soon enough, you will find yourself longing to retire for the evening and looking forward to the rest that comes with it!
Finally, if you are still having problems sleeping after all of these steps, talk with your doctor. See if your doctor can suggest any other steps or changes you might make in your life. Your doctor may also be able to diagnosis if you have insomnia or other sleep depravation conditions. Supplementing melatonin is an option for some people. Others might need something a little stronger in order to help them set the rhythm of sleep again. Before you head to the doctor, however, be sure that you've tried everything in your power to re-gain sleep in a natural way. Older adults tend to take more medications than younger people and the combination of drugs can sometimes impair sleep. Natural sleep patterns will always trump medicated ones.
Time for Bed
Sleeplessness is frustrating and tiring by very definition! Even though we won't sleep like babies as we grow older, we can take many steps to improve the rest we are getting. Relax, don't stress and soon enough you'll be dreaming of the good old days again!
Incontinence in Older Adults
Incontinence is an issue of embarrassment among many older people. According to a report from 2014, about half the population of older Americans experience urinary leakage or accidental bowel leakage. And roughly 25% have moderate, severe or very severe urinary leakage. That's a lot of people! Perhaps because people are unwilling to talk openly about this condition, there tends to be a bit of misinformation floating around about the topic. This can easily be corrected for the benefit of the sufferer in order that they might have a much less complicated life.
There are many causes of incontinence in older adults. The causes can range from poor posture, to inflammation or other underlying conditions. Incontinence occurs when muscles are too weak or to active. Prostate problems (in men) or nerve damage can also contribute to incontinence issues. People often say is that it is normal to have urinary incontinence as you age. Although older women are about twice as likely as men, this is simply not true. Do not accept this as it is a common belief. Perhaps your incontinence is caused by something that could be easily fixed. Or it may be that you have a medical condition that needs to be addressed. Regardless, determining the cause will allow you to move forward and possibly even find a solution.
Poor posture is one of the least talked about but most common causes of a weak bladder. For a variety of reasons, we tend to slouch or slump forward as we age. It is somewhat natural, but what happens to your internal organs when you allow your body to slouch forward? Your organs are arranged inside of you atop of one another. And also supported by the spine in the back. If you slouch forward the organs push forward and rest fully on top of your other organs. Specifically atop your bladder. Apart from causing terrible back, neck and shoulder problems, slouching will often cause weak bladder. Or, if left for long enough, incontinence.
Another common cause is inflammation in the lining of the bladder. If you have an infection, it may be a simple matter of receiving a prescription for an antibiotic and you could be on your way to recovery! Sometimes it really is this simple, and yet people will suffer for months thinking that they are just getting older and that incontinence is a natural part of that process.
Another way to prevent or reverse incontinence might be exercise. Sometimes you may need to do exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor. And other times you may need to receive a treatment if the physician finds something more serious. The main concept to remember is that if this problem begins or persists, you need to listen to your body and try to solve the problem by discussing with your doctor.
Take Good Care of Yourself
If you need to wear adult incontinence pads or underwear, do your best to get the proper size and absorbency for your needs. Some folks that are on a limited budget try to economize by getting a smaller size (there are generally more pairs in the smaller sized packages). Or by getting some that are less absorbent (because they are cheaper). The result of this is that you can end up getting sores from ill-fitting underwear or end up in an embarrassing situation when the absorbency was not up to par.
Whatever your current situation with incontinence, if it IS an issue for you, do not be afraid to raise the question with your doctor. Start the conversation so that you can begin the process of healing and return to a more active and less stressful lifestyle!
How to Prepare for Vision Loss As We Age
Our vision naturally weakens as we age. This gradually degradation in our vision, especially for close objects, is a common occurrence as we enter late to middle-age. Do not be alarmed unless your ophthalmologist says that you have a more serious condition. There are many cases, however, where vision loss can be a very big challenge, especially if you know that you have a condition that is likely to worsen.
There are many types of issues that can cause your vision to get worse in aging adults. A changing prescription for eye lenses, cataracts, macular degeneration, and other conditions can occur along with a slow progression of difficulty in seeing what once came easily. Because there are so many different causes of vision loss, it is important to have a proper eye exam and diagnosis so that you know how to approach the problem, and correct it, if possible.
But, what if vision correction is not possible? It is a frightening prospect for even the bravest of souls to think about slowly losing our sight. If this is the reality in your life, however, taking some simple steps now could make your life much easier as your loss of vision progresses.
The first step in making our life better later on is to be assured that our home is safe. Be sure to get rid of rugs that can be tripping hazards. Make the edges of stairs easier to see with bright tape or lighting under the tread edges. Mark stove knobs well so that we can see them easily without bending over to check. Consider marking the handles of our sharp knives with a bright paint so that we can spot them easily in the sink and won’t cut our fingers and hands. A hard step is to be willing to admit when we can no longer drive ourselves safely. Considering the safety of others may help lessen the loss of this everyday freedom.
Try to keep a moderate amount of light in each room. Nothing too bright and glaring yet not too dim. If you have a favorite spot to sit and read or do a hobby, make sure that you have adequate light so that your eyes do not need to strain. If you’re finding newsprint sizes are difficult to see, order larger print books from the library. Or set up a free-standing magnifying glass that you can use comfortably while reading or doing needlework. Consider marking your clothing with the color on a tag. Hang them in your closet using a specific system so that you know which colors are where and which outfits go together.
If your vision prognosis is not good and you expect to fully lose your vision, consider learning braille now. There is a large amount of information available to those with complete vision impairment. This simple step can equip and empower you to meet your future with bravery and also a sense of control. Begin researching this avenue while you have time to research. Then, as the change in your vision occurs, you can adapt comfortably instead of it being overwhelmed from this devastating affair.
Finally, we can talk about the changes in our vision with family and friends. They will need to know some of the changes to be accommodating of our needs, but it’s also to reassure them that we are aware of the changes and doing our best to be ready. They may have invaluable input that can help to make our lives full and joyful despite the changes. Over all, we need to be sure that we do not isolate ourselves when the change begins to happen. Loneliness can be much more debilitating than any physical ailment, while true friendship and companionship can help maintain a light heart in spite of struggle.
Communication Across the Generations
How often have we heard someone who is younger comment about their difficulty in communicating with an older relative or friend? Has it been way too long since our last meaningful conversation with our younger friends and family members? This concern is becoming more common as technology progresses. Newer forms of staying connected through communication is also increasing. It appears there is an amount of push back from younger generations that are not able to understand why it might be difficult for those of us who are aging to be able to make the jump between two seemingly different worlds. So how do we bridge this communication gap that only seems to be widening?
Moving at the Speed of Life - Not Light
First, it's important to remember that our younger counterpart is most likely not trying to make us upset or ignore us. The speed of life has reached an all time high! Communication today is almost instantaneous and patience seems to be a lost virtue. It is not only common now, but also expected that everyone moves along at this fast pace. They juggle more than they ever have before. Calendars are jammed packed with Zoom (virtual) meetings and phone calls, interrupted by text messages, emails and snap chats.
It can be incredibly stressful to live under that pressure today. When we speak with those living in this high stress, fast-paced world, try inquiring about how they are feeling with this pressure. Express understanding about how stressful it must be for them. One approach that can help bring you closer is to let them know they always have you. They have a place and time where they can speak to you in person in a much calmer environment. That alone may be enough for them to look forward to visiting or calling more often.
Remain Calm - They Love Us
Second, it's important to remain calm when speaking about any difficulty we are having with anyone. Especially with someone coming from a very different perspective or life experience. Even if we have a good point to make, it comes across much better if we are calm when stating our opinion than if we are already angry. So, when we need to approach our friend and loved one, try to remember to stay calm as we say, “I've tried to call you a number of times, but I haven't heard from you in weeks.”
Change is the Only Constant
Third, recognize that they may not be used to communicating in some of the ways we are accustomed to communicating. Such as using the phone or visiting in person. Along with everything else in our world, means of communications have been changing at an alarming rate. These days people are far more used to communicating via text message, email or Facebook than through letters or even calls on the telephone. Staring at a screen is the new norm. Eye contact seems to be a lost art.
Whatever our opinion is of this change in communication and society, it is a reality, at least for now. So, if we're really wanting to stay in touch with someone, be sure to ask them about the best time to contact them and the best way to reach them. I've met many grandparents who started an Instagram account just so to be better connected to their grandchildrens' lives (as their parents post numerous pictures of them on Instagram).
Put Down the Phone - Connect by Disconnecting
Finally, if you have a younger friend who visits or calls regularly, be sure to let them know how much you appreciate them and their time. Encourage them to take time to disconnect from the hectic communication forms that are prevalent in today's world. Put the smart phone down and breath! As they learn how to engage more fully with the people they are with, they will be appreciative of you and you're helping them to connect by disconnecting.
Everyone can learn from previous generations! While we need to learn more about the technology of today's world and the forms of communication that comes with it, there are also a few things that we can teach others about the closeness that comes from older forms of communication. Communicating (and the building of meaningful relationships) is not, nor has it ever been, easy and requires our effort. It is, however, worth it for those that pursue genuine relationships.
Misplacing things and then not being able to retrace steps to locate
Overall decrease in judgement - trouble making decisions
Withdrawal from social activities
Change in mood or personality
What would a change in personality mean?
Personality is something that we rather take for granted. It is true that certain aspects of it are inborn, but there are other aspects of one's personality or at least of the persona that they portray, that are learned and practiced over time. We come to depend upon how well we know a person because their personality remains consistent over time. We know, for instance, whether they are generally polite or cranky. We know if they are honest or tend to lie. We know if they tend to be soft-spoken or loud. All of these things help us to feel as though we are on solid ground when describing who a person is. But once dementia or Alzheimer's enters the picture, the ground can begin to shift right under our feet.
Because different types of dementia affect different parts of the brain, the disease may affect personality and behaviors in different ways. If a person has dementia that affects the frontal areas of the brain, their personalities may seem to shift more drastically. It's an important thing to ask about at onset so that you can begin to prepare yourself mentally for how you will deal with the changes you may encounter in the coming months and years. Generally speaking, most individuals with dementia do not completely change their personality. For instance, a person who was nice and calm would not become violent, unless there were other issues such as hallucinations or drug interaction problems going on, but it can occur. Most often the changes that occur are an amplification of their former personality. A soft-spoken person may become even quieter. An angry person may become very overbearing and upset easily.
As the disease progresses into advanced stages, several of a person's learned behaviors begin to fade. If they were a voracious reader, they may lose the ability to read. If they wrote often, they will most likely lose that ability. If these were important things to them, and particularly if they were activities that you shared with them, it can seem as though you do not know who they are anymore. We often associate people and our relationships through hobbies and interests. This can also, understandingly, cause a great deal of frustration on their part. They are losing things that they consider to be important parts of themselves. During their lucid moments, if they recognize any of this, it will be frustrating and disappointing to them.
While there is not much that one can do to prevent this from occurring in the advanced stages of the disease, we can begin to prepare ourselves by knowing the likelihood that these changes may occur. We can also take time while we have it, to enjoy their true personality that we've grown to love over time. Take every opportunity to spend time with them and support them through this scary time, assuring them that whatever happens, you'll still remember their true nature. And as you speak of them to others, you'll emphasize who they are rather than the disease to others. This will do more to maintain their dignity than anything else you can do. Their life and personality is a gift to us while our love and care is our gift to them.
Gift Giving on a Limited Budget
As most of you reading this have discovered by now, growing older is not always cheap!Even with good financial planning, good insurance and a somewhat good bill of health, there are unexpected things that can come up and break the bank pretty quickly.Because of this, it can make birthdays and gift giving at other holidays all the more stressful.The bad news might be that you find yourself in the position of not being able to spend much, if anything, on gifts for those you love.The good news is that there are options other than buying expensive gifts that are open to you if you are able to take the time to look.
The Gift of Food
Food can be a very economical gift to give if you’re on a tight budget.You could bake sweets before a gathering and box them up.Or create your own baking mixes or spice mixes and put them into jars to be use.You might even go so far as to make a few freezer meals that would be of great benefit for other people with busy schedules so that they could just pull it out of the freezer, thaw and cook for a real meal.If you wanted to do something like this, you’d need to be sure that the person(s) in question do not have any particular food allergies.If you’re unsure, always provide an ingredient list to those who will be receiving the gift.
The Gift of Time
Many people do not realize how valuable the gift of time may be to another person.If you are older, but greatly enjoy cooking, perhaps you could offer to cook a few meals for a growing family that is busy.If you enjoy reading children’s stories, have someone help you start an account on YouTube where you can record yourself reading to your young family members so that you are able to read to the children even if you’re not able to be physically present at the time. Even better, set aside time each week to video call or Zoom call your younger family members.
Another avenue is to think through things that you’re good at, or things that you’ve done for work in the past and offer services in those areas.Perhaps someone could benefit from your tax knowledge and would love to not have to pay someone to do their taxes if you’re able to do it.Maybe someone could use help with mending clothes or framing a window.Do not think that just because you’re aging that you cannot offer your knowledge and skills to those that would appreciate it.
Personal History & Diaries
A very thoughtful and inexpensive gift for those close to you might include a small book of memories of them.You could begin writing in advance so that it would not become a chore, but rather a delightful walk down memory lane.Include some photographs if you have them.If you are quite elderly, perhaps a book of memories and stories of your childhood would be in order for those younger ones in your family.Include the struggles that you’ve gone through, things that have helped you remain positive in order to overcome defeat and maybe even some inspiring quotes or pictures.This gift is greatly appreciated by loved ones and could prove very helpful for them if you are related and you include a bit of anecdotal health history, as well.
Books are generally inexpensive and can be given with the recipient in mind.If you know hobbies or interests that they enjoy, they are sure to love books that you give them on the subject.If you do not know their interests well, you could always give them a book that you’ve found enjoyable, inspiring or helpful. E-books can also be very economical (sometimes less than $1.00) for those of your friends and family who enjoy reading on a digital device.
At the end of the day, all that people really want most is to know that you care. If you show love and care for them, there is no greater gift that you could give and there is no greater gift you could hope to receive.
Hydration for the Elderly
The summer months are upon us! And staying cool and well hydrated become top of mind especially for those in the Southwest. In recent years fitness gurus have been touting how important hydration is for our health. Water bottles are now common place. You’ve probably even seen water bottles for sale in stores or on the internet that have times of the day listed on the side so that you’re sure to drink a certain amount of water throughout the day. This helps to maintain proper fluid levels in your body for optimum health. Few people, however, realize that it is even more important for elderly people to remain well hydrated.
Why is it more important for the aging population? There are many factors that contribute to dehydration in the elderly, and we’ll just cover a few of the major ones. First, water levels in the human body decrease as we age. There is naturally less water in us as we grow older, and we need to be replenished with water more often. Secondly, certain medications may cause dehydration. While medications can help with a number of ailments, many of them also have dehydration as a side effect. Check with your doctor if this is something that you should be aware of so that you can be proactive in combatting a potential problem of dehydration. Finally, as we age, our kidneys are often not able to function as well as they did when we were younger. This is just a natural part of growing older, but it does contribute to dehydration. Staying well hydrated will help our kidneys function.
What can we do to stay hydrated sufficiently?
Find ways to increase water intake. Set goals for yourself to drink a bit more water several times a day. The average person needs between seven to thirteen cups of water a day. That is a lot of water to drink for many people. Large quantities on an empty stomach can cause nausea, but try taking it in smaller doses several times a day and you might find it easier on your body. If you do not like tap water, try filtered water. If you need to, add some fruit into it for flavoring. Lemon or lime sliced and steeped in water with a few mint leaves can make a refreshingly nice infusion. If you prefer hot drinks, try hot lemon water.
Herbal teas. If you prefer even more flavor, you can increase your water intake without the side effects of caffeine by making herbal teas. There are so many options to choose from you will for sure be able to find something that you enjoy. Replacing soda (pop) or other sugary drinks with an herbal tea or fruit infused water will help you stay hydrated and lower your sugar consumption.
Eat fruit and vegetables. Both fresh fruit and fresh veggies have good amounts of water in them that will help contribute to your hydration. They also have the added benefit of adding fiber to your diet. Pay attention, of course, if you are a diabetic as some fruits (due to high sugar content) may cause issues with your blood sugars.
Stay out of intense heat. Because it is so easy for an older individual to become dehydrated without noticing, it’s best to stay out of very hot environments whenever possible. If you do need to be outside in the heat, make sure that you wear hats that block the sun, stay in the shade and bring along a water bottle to drink. Force yourself to drink water even if you do not feel thirsty.
Eat soups and stews. Soups can be eaten hot or cold, depending on preference. Broths can be sipped throughout the hour in the same way that you would sip tea, and if can increase mineral intake if prepared properly. Soups and stews are a tasty way to increase our hydration levels - just be careful of adding too much salt!
You may be surprised as you maintain healthy hydration levels at how many ailments are alleviated! There can be corrections in blood pressure, headaches may go away, dizziness may cease, infections may be flushed out of your system and energy levels may improve. It is certainly not a “cure-all” remedy, but sometimes the small and overlooked simple things in life can have long reaching implications. So, start now! Go and drink a glass of water (or eight) for your health!
Fitness For Our Golden Years
Are you staying active as you age? Being physically fit is emphasized as important all throughout our formative years. Schools generally have Physical Education (PE) courses, colleges have gyms and sports teams, women and men of child-bearing age are encouraged to be active and have gym memberships. Much is said about how exercise will make one feel healthier, happier and improve the quality of life. But what about in later years of life? Not much is said about physical fitness in the golden years. Physical fitness has a positive impact on people both physically and mentally. Let's discuss the physical impact first. (more…)
Assisted Living 5 Reasons Your Loved One Might Consider
Watching our loved-ones age is never an easy process. As they go from being our caregivers, to the ones needing care, we sometimes find ourselves in situations that we were not quite prepared for. It can be a very emotional time, full of difficult decisions. Our desire of wanting to enable our loved ones to live with autonomy is weighed against their need for more assistance with their individual care. During this time of decision, you may find that an assisted living facility is the right fit for your family.