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What Happens When Assisted Living in Illinois is Not Enough?

April 1, 2024

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For families with aging loved ones, the decision to move into assisted living often comes after careful consideration and with the best of intentions. Assisted living communities provide a critical bridge for those who require some help with daily tasks while still aiming to maintain independence. 

However, as we come to understand more about the diverse needs of older adults, it is clear that sometimes, this level of senior living may not entirely meet a person’s needs. Our team at Franciscan Ministries is guiding you through the complex landscape that arises when assisted living in Illinois is not enough, outlining potential alternatives and providing a roadmap for helping your family member transition to the right level of care.

The Role of Assisted Living

Assisted living communities in Illinois offer a blend of housing, personalized support services, and healthcare for individuals who may need assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs) but do not require the comprehensive and skilled medical care provided in nursing homes. 

This care model is designed to foster independence while stepping in to provide the necessary support when needed. Respect for seniors’ autonomy and sense of community can make assisted living in Illinois a welcoming environment. However, it’s crucial to understand that assisted living is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Assisted living communities have limitations regarding the level of medical care they provide and may not be sufficient for individuals with advanced medical needs. The quality of care may be compromised due to stretched resources.

Exploring Alternatives to Assisted Living

Acknowledging the limitations of assisted living doesn’t mean abandoning the values it espouses — it’s about finding the right environment and level of care to meet the shifting needs of your family member. Here are some alternative options to consider:

In-Home Care Solutions

For those who prefer the comfort of home, in-home care can be a viable and flexible option. Skilled caregivers can provide a range of services from personal care to medication management, all within the familiar setting of an individual’s residence. These services can be adjusted as needed, offering a continuity of care that grows with the individual.

Memory Care Communities

Individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia often require specialized care. Memory care communities offer secure environments designed to reduce confusion and support residents with tailored programming to help manage their conditions. Transitioning to this level of care can ensure that a person’s emotional and cognitive needs are being prioritized.

Skilled Nursing Care

Skilled nursing provides comprehensive and compassionate care to individuals who require more complex support. This level of senior living offers a holistic approach to healing, providing 24-hour monitoring, nursing care, physical, occupational, and speech therapies, and physician oversight.

Considerations for Making the Transition

Recognizing that assisted living may not be the final stop in your loved one’s care journey is a critical first step. Here are some of the essential considerations when evaluating the need for a transition.

Identifying the Signs

It can be challenging for families to determine when a loved one may need more care than assisted living in Illinois can provide. Common signs include frequent medical emergencies or issues with medication management, declining physical health, and social withdrawal. Keeping a close eye on these and other behaviors can provide a nudge toward a more comprehensive care setting.

Navigating the Financial Picture

The cost of healthcare and senior services can be a significant barrier to accessing the right care. Understanding the financial implications of your decision early on and planning ahead with the help of financial advisors can alleviate some of the stress associated with the transition.

The Mental and Emotional Health of Seniors

One of the most crucial aspects of transition planning is considering your family member’s mental and emotional well-being. Communicating openly, listening to their fears and preferences, and involving them in the decision-making process can support a smoother transition to a more suitable care setting.

Finding the Right Fit

Assisted living is an important part of the continuum of care for seniors, but it’s not a catch-all solution. Understanding your family member’s unique needs and identifying all the available senior living options can lead to a care plan that ensures their well-being and quality of life. As you chart this path, remember that the goal is to find the kind of care that helps your family member thrive.

Our senior living communities stand out as a beacon of support for seniors and their families. With a commitment to providing compassionate care through a full spectrum of services designed to meet the evolving needs of seniors, we embody a philosophy that sees residents as individuals deserving of dignity and respect. Our person-centered approach ensures that care is tailored to the individual, offering an environment that’s supportive, engaging, and, most importantly, feels like home.

To learn more about what our communities have to offer, contact a member of the Franciscan Ministries team.