How Do I Know It’s Time for Assisted Living?
Figuring out whether to move into Assisted Living can be challenging. Look for these signs to determine if it's time to take that next step.
Moving out of your home and into an Assisted Living Community can be a momentous and challenging choice. If you or your loved one are at a crossroads, you may find comfort in discovering all the exciting benefits of living in a vibrant, safe, and supportive senior care community.
It’s not always easy to know if it is the right time to choose a community for support, and you may want to read and consider the signs mentioned in this article to help determine what is best for you or your loved one. We will also discuss the best way to approach a conversation with loved ones about moving into Assisted Living.
Signs That It Might Be Time for Assisted Living
Some difficulty with day-to-day activities or Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) is a sign that moving into an Assisted Living Community might improve your or your loved one's quality of life. These daily activities can include bathing, dressing, using the restroom, eating, or moving about by yourself. Assisted Living Communities specialize in this care and can help you or your loved one thrive.
There are also more subtle signs that it is time to transition from living independently at home to an Assisted Living Community, so you or your loved one may receive the care and support needed. Subtle signs include chronic health problems, aggressive behavior, frequent falls, poor medication management, poor hygiene and eating habits, and more.
If you or your loved one can relate to any of the following signs, it may be time to find other care options:
Chronic Health Problems – Chronic medical conditions will require an increased level of care (i.e., medication management) and supervision in case of an emergency.
Becoming Aggressive – Seniors with dementia can experience aggressive behaviors as the disease progresses. If this happens, you or your loved one will want to be in a secure environment with trained professionals who know how to help.
Recent Falls – It is common to become more fragile as we age. However, if you or your loved one has fallen or has difficulty standing up, this can indicate the likelihood of another fall.
Forgetting to Take Medicine – Forgetting to take medicine, refusing to take medications, or being unable to manage a medication routine can be extremely dangerous, especially for the elderly with chronic health conditions.
Isolation and Sadness – A lack of social interaction with friends, family, and the community can lead to sadness and cause seniors to become depressed.
Weight Loss and/or Poor Eating Habits – If you or your loved one is experiencing extreme weight loss and is not eating full, healthy meals, this can be a sign of malnutrition, dehydration, or inability to feed oneself.
Poor Hygiene – Poor hygiene such as not bathing, combing hair, or brushing teeth can lead to a decline in emotional and physical well-being.
Wandering Off – Forgetting one’s address or feeling a need to escape (i.e., fight or flight mode) may be signs of memory issues and should be addressed with your medical care provider.
How to Talk to Aging Parents about Moving to an Assisted Living Community
Knowing the best way to navigate a discussion with a loved one about the need for them to move into Assisted Living can be complicated. Research ahead of time to describe why you think it is essential for them and the fun, exciting things about a community that your loved one might enjoy. Once you have collected this information and processed it, calmly sit with your loved one and have a discussion. Below are some tips to keep in mind while having this life-changing conversation:
- Keep it conversational, do not lecture your loved one.
- It’s preferrable to talk in person in a calm, safe place.
- Listen to them; it is a discussion, not a one-way conversation.
- Talk about the benefits and excellent amenities in the community to intrigue your loved one.
- Talk about arranging a visit to a community to move the process to the next stage.
If your loved one doesn’t want or need to move now but you foresee it coming soon, you may also wish to have a “what if” conversation to prepare them for when they can no longer stay at home. Looking at senior living options now will help them choose the right community when the need becomes urgent.
Another profoundly beneficial and essential conversation to have with your loved one is about financing future care needs. If you arrive at this point, you may be interested in reading our next article, "When Should I Get Long-Term Care Insurance?" to be better prepared.
Find a Senior Care Community Near You
An Assisted Living Community can offer an incredibly positive change for you or a loved one. Finding the best-suited community may take some time and research, but it will be well worth your effort. Assisted Living Communities offer residents a nurturing, supportive, and exciting environment to enjoy life.
When making this important choice for yourself and your loved ones, it's important to have the right support to consider the best senior care options.
Let Referah's Family Connection Agents find the right community for you or your loved one’s needs. We work closely with seniors and their families in communities across the country to help you find professional senior care and support near you.