NY Times: The Right Time For Assisted Living

There may not be a “right time” when it makes sense to move into assisted living, but there are steps families can take in preparation as well as warning signs that may indicate a move is well timed for an aging relative or parent, writes New York Times columnist and elder care expert Debra Drelich. 

In the second of a three-part New York Times series, Drelich fields questions from readers on assisted living topics; namely when is the right time to consider moving. 

“What does a daughter do if her very aged mother does not want to have the “conversation” that is strongly and repeatedly mentioned by experts to have before a crisis occurs?” one reader asks of her aging mother. 

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“Emphasize that this is for you, the children, for the potential future planning, should change be needed, as way of ensuring that the person’s wishes are carried out,” Drelich writes in response. 

While each situation is different, readers comprising both adult parents of those who may need assisted living services soon as well as those who may need it themselves, raise questions from when dementia needs exceed what a family can provide and when “forgetful” shifts into something more serious. Readers also ask about CCRCs and when a resident should move through the continuum of care offered. 

“My mother-in-law lives in a for-profit continuing care retirement community (CCRC) and is living independently,” another reader writes. “Her mild cognitive impairment was diagnosed about seven years ago. How can we determine whether she should be receiving more care on a day-to-day basis and whether or when she needs to be moved into a more caregiving portion of the CCRC, if necessary?”

The decision may be helped by speaking with a primary care physician and a geriatric care manager, Drelich writes, along with advice on how to find that care manager, and the questions to ask of him or her. 

Read the full New York Times article.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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