Knowing when the time is right for assisted living isn’t always easy. As our parents and other senior loved ones get older, it can be difficult to make decisions regarding medical care, housing and other important areas.
Our emotions can cloud judgment, and a move to assisted living may not even be on your loved one’s radar. There’s just so much to consider, and as a family caregiver, you’re likely already feeling a pretty good amount of stress!
6 Signs the Time is Right for a Move to Assisted Living
If you’re wondering whether to consider a move to assisted living, or you’re not sure whether the time is right, run down this list and see whether more than a handful resonate with you.
1. Loneliness is affecting your senior loved one.
Although we tend to think of loneliness as a passing feeling, it can become a problem if it’s lasting a while, and lead to chronic illness in seniors. Chronic loneliness can lead to or exacerbate health issues like dementia, heart disease, stroke, anxiety and depression and more. Loneliness has even been shown to significantly increase risk of death.
2. You’ve noticed an increase in bumps and bruises, slips or falls in your loved one.
Of course, your loved one’s physical health is of the highest importance. Although the seniors in your life may dismiss extra bruises or brush off a “silly” slip or fall, NO fall is silly or to be dismissed when it comes to seniors. Falling once doubles the chance of falling again, and falls can lead to hospitalizations, brain injury, and more complications.
3. One or more chronic health conditions.
Four out of five seniors suffer from at least one chronic health condition, and those conditions often worsen as we get older. Combined with cognitive decline, especially forgetfulness, that can start or worsen due to aging, the need for extra help can be significant. Keeping track of medications is essential to prevent overdosing and ensure chronic conditions are properly treated.
4. The house is looking messy or your loved one isn’t as “put together” as he or she used to be.
If your loved one was once very particular about appearance and you’re noticing a lack of makeup, for example, or perhaps dirty clothes or unkempt hair, it could be a sign that Mom or Dad needs some extra help.
5. Your loved one is eating out a lot, or doesn’t seem to be eating properly.
Buying groceries, meal planning, cooking, and cleanup is a LOT for anyone. It can become especially overwhelming for seniors as they get older. If you notice that your senior loved one is eating out more, is losing a lot of weight (without an obvious need to do so), or otherwise does not seem to be eating properly, assisted living may be a fit.
6. Your loved one seems overwhelmed with everyday tasks
The tasks we accept in our youth as “part of life” might just become too much for seniors as they get older. They may not be able to handle them all anymore, or they may just not want to! You may observe noticeable differences in the upkeep of a home, or cleaning and other tasks that aren’t done as often as they used to be. All can be signs that keeping up with things is too much of a burden.
Is Your Senior Loved One Ready for Assisted Living?
First, be sure to talk to a doctor about any medical concerns you may have with your loved one. And in the meantime, the team at Winnwood Retirement Community is here to help. Our knowledgeable and friendly team can answer your questions and help you make the best decision for your loved one. Contact us here, or at (770) 691-1903.