Will Your Elderly Parent Be OK In Rural Assisted Living?

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Your elderly parent wants to move to an assisted living community. He or she has options in both an urban and a more rural setting but prefers the rural environment, especially because it's close to home. Is there anything you should take into account about rural assisted living communities before helping your parent make this move? 

Staying Close to Home

Even if you live in the city, your parent may be happier living closer to the place he or she is moving from. Perhaps there's a strong social network in place. You, as the adult child, are more likely to make the longer trek to the country on a regular basis. However, your parent's elderly friends may avoid traveling a distance to the city for a visit. Some of them may feel distinctly uncomfortable dealing with urban traffic. 

In addition, when your parent gets to go out and about, a familiar setting is likely to feel much more pleasant than a different environment would be. He or she may even be able to continue attending the home church and participating in other local activities. 

A Comfortable Environment

Since your parent is moving to assisted living and not a nursing home, he or she will still be living independently. Assisted living facilities don't prevent their residents from leaving the building the way that nursing homes must do. 

Will this individual feel comfortable going outside for a stroll in an urban setting if a rural environment is most familiar? Will he or she feel safe? What if the urban apartment is situated in a multi-story building on a busy street -- a type of setting that your parent has never lived in? All these factors may actually lead to greater isolation even while living among a large population.

Some Disadvantages of Rural Assisted Living

The disadvantages of rural assisted living facilities mainly involve the lack of availability and problems for the people who run them. Since your parent has already found a suitable available community, that is not an issue. 

Individuals who manage these facilities may have some trouble attracting workers, such as certified nursing assistants, nurses and dietitians, especially if the facility is truly rural. However, the people they do hire are fully qualified and provide excellent service for the residents. They may be from the area originally and feel quite satisfied working near a hometown and family. 

The Importance of Your Loved One's Happiness

You might have originally thought that an urban assisted living center is best, but that's not necessarily the case. If your loved one will feel happier and more comfortable outside of the city, this is an essential factor to consider. All the urban amenities aren't likely to be of benefit if your parent becomes depressed while longing for close friends and a view of woods and wildlife in a peaceful setting.