Don’t Wait For An Emergency

Give yourself the gift of time when planning a move to senior living.

If you’re in the process of looking at senior living for yourself or a loved one, you’ve probably already heard this advice: don’t wait for an emergency. It’s one of the top pieces of advice experts offer.

Of course, this advice makes sense. When faced with all the big decisions that come with a move, having plenty of time to think it through and plan is helpful. And yet, emergency moves are still very common in senior living.

So, let’s look what is really meant by “don’t wait for an emergency,” and why even the best planners can still find themselves rushed into decisions about senior care. Plus, learn when it’s the best time to make a move to senior living.

What is an “Emergency Move?”

Moving to a senior living community is one of the most important decisions families make. Ideally, there is plenty of time to research, plan, and talk it over with your loved one and family members. But, sometimes the unpredictable nature of senior health means that families have to move very quickly.

Rushed moves happen when an unexpected change in health means a decision has to be made – and a move coordinated – in a matter of hours or days.

Being rushed into a move is, unfortunately, common. These are the scenarios that we see most often:

  • A loved one is well enough to leave the hospital after a health event, but new medications and risks of complications make being home alone unsafe.
  • A loved one is about to be discharged from a short-term rehabilitation center, after recovering from a major health event like a fall, stroke, or heart attack. They’ve made progress in rehab, but the physical layout of their home won’t accommodate the “new normal.”
  • One parent is the primary caregiver for the other, and that parent has a sudden change in their health.

Even though moves like these can be coordinated quickly and compassionately by experts who know the senior care landscape, the process can be more challenging when you’re rushed to make a lot of big decisions all at once.

Why Emergency Moves Happen (Even to Good Planners)

You might be surprised to hear that most emergency moves we coordinate are with families who started looking at senior living months or years prior.

So, why do people end up rushed into a move, even when they’ve been planning ahead?

It’s because seniors’ health needs can change extremely quickly.

“Don’t wait for an emergency,” might also be put:

The best time to move to senior living is when the situation is relatively stable.

Most families that find themselves making an emergency move have planned carefully to help their loved one stay at home for as long as possible. That often looks like a combination of home health care, family check-ins, and services like housecleaning and meal delivery.

The plan is to wait until it becomes clear that those measures aren’t working as well anymore, then start looking toward a move to a senior living community.

But, because senior health needs can change so quickly, those measures can stop working all at once. One emergency or unexpected health event can change the timeline from “someday” to “right away.”

The Gift of Time is the Gift of Choice

By planning a move while your loved one’s living situation is stable, you give yourself and your loved one the gift of time.

And, when it comes to making a move to a senior living community, the gift of time is the gift of choices.

  • With time to research and visit communities, you can find just the right match. When you already have a community in mind, more time gives you the option to get just the right apartment. (Communities may have waitlists for popular apartment styles.)
  • Your loved one can be as involved as they’d like to be, from visiting the community, to scheduling the move, to deciding which furniture to bring.
  • You and your loved one choose the timeline for the move, and can plan around holidays, celebrations, and having the right people in place to help.

The gift of time is also the gift of an easier transition to senior living for your loved one and your family.

  • When you control the timeline, you can have all the personal touches in place when your loved one moves in, like photos, favorite décor, and the little things that make a place feel like home.
  • More time means it’s easier to personalize a senior living apartment, with special touches like custom paint colors or extra shelving.
  • A move while your loved one is feeling well makes it easier for them to explore and get to know new friends as soon as they move in.

Making the decision to move before an emergency gives you the gift of time, and an easier move for your loved one and your family.

Get to know local experts who help make senior moves easier. Join us on Wednesday, May 15, for our Get Connected Meet & Greet.

Learn More About Why Families Rely On Sunnyside Manor

When you have questions about senior living, we are here to help. Sunnyside Manor offers assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Learn more about Sunnyside Manor’s resources for caregivers. Whether you’re looking for short-term support or a longer-term plan, begin with our “Getting Started” guide. Please call us at 888-696-2052 to speak with a senior living expert.

Sunnyside Manor, located in Wall NJ, is the area’s premier family-owned senior living community. The community features three distinctive neighborhoods: Independence ‘Plus’ Assisted Living, Recollections Memory Care, and Long Term Care & Sub-acute Rehabilitation. Respite stays and palliative care are available in all neighborhoods.

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