How to Determine if a Loved One Should Age in Place or be Transferred to Senior Living

7 Questions to Ask Before Making the Decision


Many people have powerful ties to their roots. We love the home we have come to know and spent our years in. We enjoy our town where everything is familiar. Roots keep us grounded.

Even as we age, we have the desire to keep our roots planted. We want to stay in the place we know rather than go somewhere entirely new and be surrounded by people we don't know. But sometimes, it is not realistic for people to stay in their homes as they progress into old age.

Though some think taking proactive steps such as obtaining life insurance after a heart attack takes a burden off their family, that may not always be enough. Some medical problems are too much for someone to handle on their own, even with family help.

So if you have a loved one who has reached this stage in their life, you may be concerned about precisely what you should do for them. It can be a tough choice to make. Here are some guidelines on how to determine if your loved one can age in place, or if they may need the full-time care of senior living.

Family with grandparents

Are you or other family members nearby?

One of the key points to consider when determining if your loved one can age in place is whether they have people around to come and assist them when needed. Though it may not be every day, your loved one might need help with certain things around the house at times. Or there may be times when your loved one needs to be checked on.

You will have to ask yourself if there is anyone close enough to do this. If the answer is no, you may have to choose assisted living. Having round the clock help and watchful eyes should anything happen may be the better option compared to aging in place without having anyone around to offer assistance when needed.

Elderly couple with transport wheelchair

How is Their Mobility?

Does it seem your family member struggles to get around their home? Do they have stairs that could pose a potential danger if they are already having mobility issues? These are questions to ask when choosing where your loved one will age.

If they seem to have minimal struggles moving around their home, sitting, or standing, they may be perfectly fine to continue aging in place.

However, if it seems your loved one has difficulty performing simple mobility movements, aging in place may not be their best option. If they have multiple sets of stairs in their home, this could cause an even bigger issue. Stairs pose a considerable risk to people struggling with mobility since there is a high chance of falling.

Mobility can be a significant factor in deciding where the best place is for your loved one to age. Decide if they'll be safe enough in their home or if their mobility struggles require extra assistance from a senior living facility.

Are they Able to Care for Themselves?

The ability to take care of yourself is a huge factor in determining whether your loved one can stay in their home or should move to assisted living. There are many different factors to being able to care for yourself that you should consider as well.

Elderly person cooking

Are they Able to Cook for Themselves?

Your loved one must be able to cook for themselves if they will be aging in place. Many accidents can occur within the kitchen due to the misuse of appliances. If you feel your loved one cannot successfully operate their appliances or cook for themselves, assisted living may be their safer option.

Woman bathing hersself with bath chair

Can They Properly Bathe Themselves?

Personal hygiene is an integral part of life. We all need to make sure we are taking the proper steps, so our body is clean and well maintained. If your loved one cannot shower or bathe safely or perform other personal hygiene care, they may not do very well aging in place. The best option for them may be assisted living where they can have help with their daily hygiene needs.

Pill Organizer

Can They Remember Their Medications if Needed?

If your loved one is elderly, they will have daily medication they must remember to take. These medications are vital to their health and well being. If your loved one is struggling to remember to take their medication, this could result in problems for their health.

If this is the case, assisted living may be their best option.

Elderly person driving

Can They Drive Themselves Safely?

Being able to safely and correctly operate a motor vehicle is an essential factor to consider about your loved one. There are many reasons a person may have to drive to pick up food or groceries, medications, doctor appointments; the list goes on.

If your loved one cannot safely drive themselves where they need to, there may be options to help them run their errands.

If someone they trust is nearby, that person may be able to drive them to the places they need to go. This person has to have a reasonably flexible schedule considering appointment times. If no one is available to drive your loved one and does not seem to be able to drive themselves safely, an assisted living facility may be the best choice.

Making the Choice is Never Easy

There are many determining factors to take into consideration when deciding how your loved one should spend their golden years. Your loved one may not be able to care for themselves properly but fight the idea of aging in assisted living, which can make your choice that much harder.

Remember to be kind when having the conversation with your loved one about what their future holds. It can be a sensitive subject for them if assisted living is their best option. They may feel as if their freedom is being taken away.

Be sure to approach the subject with kindness and genuine concern for their health. Give specific examples of why they would be safer in senior care.

No matter what choice you make, be extremely sure that it best suits your loved one's needs. Use this guide to determine what will work for their situation.

About the Author

Alexandra Arcand writes for the life insurance comparison site,, and is a huge fan of the outdoors. She enjoys getting in shape all while enjoying the beauty of nature. 

About Carex Health Brands

Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.

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