Maybe It’s Time: When to Consider Assisted Living

When to Consider Assisted Living

Aging can bring a host of changes and challenges to everyone, and when it’s someone you love, it can be hard to admit they might need some extra assistance. Still, you want the best possible living environment for them where they feel safe, comfortable, and cared for. Assessing how they are doing—what is working, what is not working—can help you consider if a supportive care environment is the right answer.

When to consider assisted living: signs to look for.

Skipped meals.

If you notice that your parent doesn’t seem that interested in regular mealtimes, has had a significant weight loss, or the refrigerator and pantry seem bare or have spoiled food, this could be a sign that their appetite is not being triggered as it should be. It’s also possible physically preparing a meal has become too difficult. Poor nutrition can lead to other health problems and also rob the person of the energy they need to take care of daily tasks.

Driving incidents.

It could be a few fender benders. Or one too many parking tickets. Suggesting that a loved one surrender their keys is not easy and can take time. Try letting them know your concern is for their safety. Maybe suggest how nice it would be if someone else did the driving for them so they wouldn’t have to sit in traffic. Consider speaking with their physician to see if he or she might bring up the topic with your parent. As a resident of an assisted living community, your loved one will have access to scheduled transportation to physician appointments, grocery stores and other destinations. 

Staying isolated. 

There’s nothing wrong with a person who enjoys solitude. But if a previously socially active senior seems to be avoiding contact and is not interested in interacting with family and friends the way they once did, it can be a warning sign. Social isolation can be very harmful to a senior’s health. Changes like these could be a sign you want to consider assisted living.

Personal care.

Having a few health issues is not unusual for an older adult, but when your parent does not seem able to handle their medications properly, or schedule and keep physician appointments, that’s when you should consider the supportive environment of assisted living. Not only is there a helping hand available on site 24 hours a day in a community setting, there are also wellness resources that can benefit your mom or dad.  

A messy home.

A loose gutter is relatively harmless. Finding stacks of newspapers or magazines lying about, unopened mail, dishes piled in the sink or other unusual clutter is more than just an eyesore. It can be a physical and medical hazard, and most likely does not reflect the habits of the person you’ve known all your life. In assisted living, he or she will no longer have to worry about home upkeep and can enjoy a clean, organized living environment.

Changes in hygiene.

Dropping by unannounced to visit a senior adult can often tell you quite a bit and help you know when to consider assisted living. Do they seem to be neglecting combing their hair, brushing their teeth or bathing? It could be for physical reasons, or because they are simply forgetting. It can also be an indicator of depression. One of the biggest benefits of assisted living in a senior living community is the personal assistance with daily activities, such as grooming, bathing, dressing, and more. A beauty salon is usually just down the hall and being around their peers often encourages a resident to keep up their appearance.

It might be time…now what?

Once it seems as though assisted living might be a good option for your mom or dad, talk with other members of your family to get their thoughts. Are they coming to the same conclusion? Have they noted other changes in your loved one’s behavior? Talk about how you wish to proceed as a family and make a plan for doing the research you need to find an assisted living setting that fits your loved one’s needs—and has demonstrated a sound plan for keeping residents, family members, and visitors protected during the pandemic.

The good news.

When you approach your older adult about moving to assisted living, be sure to ask them how they feel about it. Listen to their concerns and encourage any questions they might have. You want to find out what matters to them. Then, when the time is right, you can point out the positives of making a move: no more worries of home upkeep, more free time to pursue hobbies and learn new things, a secure environment with a helping hand nearby if needed, new friends to enjoy, delicious meals prepared for them and so on. Together, you can reach a decision that benefits you both.   

Onsite Care for Everything Small and Large:  A Senior Star Assisted Living Community could be just right for your family. Schedule a virtual or in-person tour. 

Questions about Senior Star and its senior living communities? Contact us.

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