Thought Leaders: Assisted Living – Where You and Your Parents Wants to Be

By Yvonne Myers - Columbine Health Systems — 

Assisted Living – in between home and the nursing home; in between independent living and the nursing home; my final home.

Being in between sometimes means you get missed.  Ask any middle child.

When assisted living started in the mid 1990’s the client of an assisted living was; an 83-year-old woman with a walker, who lived on average of 3 ½ years in assisted living.

Today, those residing in assisted living are much older – in their upper 90’s, even 100.  They may require wheelchairs, oxygen, and intermittent medical oversight from a nurse.  Adapted diets, transportation to medical appointments, medication management, and the creation of routine and structure to the day – round out the needs of today’s client.

Families are the decision makers.  Even when everyone knows more support is needed to maintain a good quality of life, all hope the need for assisted living is not TODAY.

When the family finally calls the facility, takes the tour, has the family meeting to agree– they are often late to the table.

After the resident moves in, care is planned correctly, delivered appropriately and as negotiated with the resident, family, and the facility – many families have then said to me –


Seriously, no one has ever said, we should have made this move, 2 months ago, 2 weeks ago, or 2 days ago… is ALWAYS 2 years ago.

Wisdom is learning from those who have gone before you.  Look 2 years out and plan your parents move to the assisted living.  Those who move in at the “right time” – adapt, grow, and make a new home for themselves.  Thus, living longer in the environment both of you want.