When is it Time for Assisted Living?
It isn't always easy to pinpoint the exact moment when staying at home is no longer the best option. Here are a few factors to consider that might suggest it's time to look into a more supportive environment for yourself or a loved one.
Withdrawing from friends and regular activities because of declining health, embarrassment over memory or personal care issues, or lack of mobility, can lead to isolation, loneliness and even depression in seniors.
Problems with movement and balance can lead to a fall, which can have other health consequences. If your loved one expresses a fear of falling or has a history of physical issues, you may want to begin exploring assisted living options.
Difficulty or lack of interest in bathing, grooming or dressing can signal the need for personal care assistance. Seniors often have difficulty admitting this or asking for help, so talk to your loved one and watch out for any visible changes.
Difficulty caring for medical conditions and maintaining overall wellness-through poor nutrition, improper wound care or taking the wrong dose of medications—can turn a manageable condition into a critical one. Health risks can also arise when a loved one has recently suffered a crisis, such as a heart attack or stroke. Keep an eye out for signs of a gradual decline and talk to a health professional if you are unsure about the risks of leaving your loved one at home alone.
Leaving a burner on after cooking, not taking necessary medication or getting lost on a trip to the store can indicate cognitive decline. When a loved one's memory is affecting the ability to perform daily tasks, that could be a sign to start looking into memory care at an assisted living community.
Being the primary caregiver for a loved one can take its toll physically, psychologically and financially. Taking time away from work, hiring an elder-care sitter and transportation costs all add up. They can also create an unhealthy amount of stress. In the end, assisted living may not only be more cost effective but also healthier for everyone. For help drawing a realistic comparison, see Understanding the Costs.
Need More Help?
If you see these warning signs, it may be time to start the conversation. Let us help you determine how much your loved one needs by calling us at 888-252-5001 and scheduling a free home visit.