Is It Time for Assisted Living?
Sometimes you notice something small, like arthritis making it hard for your parent to get dressed or stand up from a chair. Or you may see a change in their health or happiness you can’t quite pin a reason on. How do you know when it’s nothing to worry about—and how do you know when it’s time for the professional support of assisted living?
Signs to Look For
While the reasons may differ from person to person, here are 10 common signs it may be time to consider the move to a senior assisted living community. For even more information, read our blog post on when it’s time for an assisted living community.
1. The yard and house aren’t being cared for.
Your parent may not be able to do the physical labor necessary, or poor vision may make it difficult to see the problems or do the work. Yard and home maintenance neglect can lead to unsafe living conditions.
2. The inside of the house becomes uncharacteristically cluttered, disorganized, or dirty.
Not only can this lead to unpleasant or unsanitary living conditions, but it can make the home harder to navigate, which increases the risk of falling.
3. There’s a stack of unpaid bills.
This could be due to forgetfulness, fatigue, depression, or trouble seeing. Whatever the cause, the consequences of not keeping up with finances are serious.
4. They seem disheveled, or their hygiene has suffered.
Conditions such as arthritis, illness, and injury can make it difficult for your loved one to get dressed, bathe, or groom themself.
5. There’s a lack of fresh, healthy food in the house.
When driving becomes difficult, it’s hard to get to the grocery store. Or your parent may find it harder to chop and prepare fresh ingredients. And sometimes medications can change how foods taste, so they lose interest in eating what’s better for them.
6. There’s been a change in their general mood, or they’ve lost interest in hobbies and activities.
Depression isn’t a normal part of aging, so it shouldn’t be dismissed. When social circles start to shrink, or it becomes hard to go out and socialize, isolation can lead to depression. Your parent may also have an underlying health condition or take medications that contribute to depression, apathy, or mood swings.
7. They’ve been forgetting to take their medications or get prescriptions filled.
This can be particularly dangerous if they’re taking medications for serious health conditions. If dated pillboxes or medication reminder devices aren’t helping, it may be time to consider professional help.
8. You notice unexplained bruising, which could indicate they’ve been falling.
Falls are a leading cause of serious injury and death for older adults. Many don’t like to admit they’ve been falling, so if you do see unexplained injuries, try to get to the real causes.
9. They’ve become more forgetful, perhaps missing important appointments.
Occasional forgetfulness isn’t necessarily a sign of cognitive decline, but if you see a pattern developing, pay attention to it.
10. They’ve noticeably gained or lost weight.
This is often a sign of an unhealthy diet. If preparing healthy meals has become difficult, they may be resorting to less-healthy prepackaged meals, convenient fast food, or junk foods. Older adults need fewer calories than they did when they were younger, so some weight loss may be normal. But more dramatic or ongoing weight loss may mean they’re not eating enough of the right nutrients.
How Can Assisted Living Help?
Many families find assisted living is the just-right solution they’ve been looking for. Why?
- Assisted living services provide professional help with the activities of daily living, such as dressing, grooming, bathing, transferring, toileting, and medication management. Dedicated aides give the right help at the right time so your loved one can remain as independent as possible.
- Maintenance-free living means your parent doesn’t have to deal with interior or exterior upkeep. They get to live in an environment that’s designed for safety, mobility, and independence.
- A robust selection of educational, creative, and social activities is available for your loved one every day. They’ll be encouraged to do things they enjoy—and to make new friends so they won’t feel lonely or isolated.
- Delicious, nutritious meals are included in monthly fees. They’ll have plenty of choices and flexible dining options, so they’ll always have something nourishing that tastes good.
- You get to let go of the burdens of being a caregiver. Taking care of an aging parent is a generous, loving thing to do. And it’s hard. It can be physically, mentally, and emotionally overwhelming. A move to an assisted living community can help you or other family members focus on being a loving child to your parent without the burden of caregiving responsibilities.
Once you and your parent(s) decide the move to an assisted living community will help improve their lifestyle, you may be asking, “What are the next steps?” At Springpoint Living at Manalapan, we’re here for you and your family and ready to assist where needed. Take a look at our checklist for moving into an assisted living community.
Scheduling a personal appointment is a great opportunity to talk through your specific needs and goals. Every resident is unique and deserves to be treated as such, so we’ll work with you to customize the best option for your family. We’ll cover:
- The costs associated with becoming a resident
- Available care and programming
- How we help you and your family with the move
- Any additional questions you have!