No one likes to realize that their parents or themselves are getting older and can no longer safely care for themselves at home. Decisions about the move to assisted living are often pushed back longer than is recommended because the conversation is so hard to start. Once the move is made, most people wonder why they didn’t make the transition earlier. Assisted living not only provides a safe and comfortable place for aging seniors, but it can also greatly improve their quality of life with good friends, activities, and socialization opportunities galore.
If you or your family member is getting older and slowing down, it may be time to consider the move to assisted living. Look for one or more of these ten signs:
- No longer being able to keep up with home repairs, maintenance or cleaning.
Downsizing from the family home or even an independent living situation in a 55+ community to an assisted living facility allows elderly individuals to enjoy their life without worrying about the lawn, shoveling snow, vacuuming rugs, or cleaning.
- Lack of personal hygiene and inability to keep up with laundry.
Employees at residential care facilities can take over laundry duties and help maintain appropriate personal hygiene so your relative stays clean, healthy, and comfortable.
- Mobility issues such as difficulty climbing stairs or getting into and out of bed
The family home that holds such good memories can become a danger when mobility gets worse. Assisted living facilities offer help with using a cane, walker, or wheelchair, and keep residents active to keep them up on their feet for longer.
- Problems keeping track of finances or understanding them.
Although power of attorney can be given to a trusted family member so they can handle finances, it is a clue to a decline in their mental ability and understanding. The elderly family member might be more comfortable in a controlled environment.
- Any diagnoses of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
These disorders are exceptionally hard to take care of without the medical and behavioral backup that a dedicated residential facility can provide.
- Wandering away from the house or no longer remembering directions.
Many assisted living homes have considerable security measures in place, including locked wards if necessary for memory care patients. In most cases, the only way out for residents is the front door by a manned desk, and everyone must sign out and in.
- Sudden or gradual changes in behavior such as increased fear, anger or depression.
Aging is often accompanied by behavioral changes that may be distressing to family and friends. They are also signs of dementia and cognitive impairment. Trained staff at assisted living facilities can help ease transitions and keep everyone on an even keel.
- Loneliness and a lack of regular and fulfilling social interactions.
After a spouse dies and family grows up and moves away, seniors with limited mobility who cannot drive anymore may have a hard time maintaining friendships with others. Assisted living encourages interaction and togetherness with various activities and events.
- Inability to keep up with medical care and failure to takes prescriptions properly.
When an elderly person fails to take their medications properly, there can be real health risks involved. Missing doctors’ appointments and failing to follow through with health recommendations can be good reasons to move to assisted living with a nursing staff and doctor on call.
- Requiring more time and energy than family members and friends are able to give.
People are busy with their own lives and often do not have the time or energy to begin full-time caregiving for a relative, no matter how much they love them. Assisted living exists to help those who need extra help without putting undue strain on the family.