Mary John

11 Clear Signs It Might Be Time for Assisted Living

life, Signs

One very difficult conversation and decision to make is that of moving yourself from the home you’re familiar with into an assisted living home. It is even harder when you have to decide on behalf of a loved one. When a senior has lived on his/her own for a long time, gained familiarity, and built relationships and memories in that environment, it might be hard to let it go. This might bring feelings of guilt on the part of the caregiver and feelings of inadequacy or abandonment on the part of the senior or loved ones.

Assisted living offers access to 24-hour care for seniors who only require daily assistance with their life activities, and ideally, 87 is the age for assisted living. However, people in their 60s might require assisted living, depending on the condition of their health.

Identifying the signs that you or your loved ones need assisted living can help you make the decision and provide a choice of better care and longevity for the senior.

This article will help you identify 11 signs it might be time for assisted living so that you can make the right choice for yourself or your loved ones.

The 11 signs it might be time for assisted living

Let’s dive in…

Sign 1: Negligence of Household Chores

It is common to put off household chores for a day or two, but when your house begins to have piles of dust, used dishes and pans, heaps of dirty clothes, or gets really untidy, it might be a sign you or your loved one needs assisted living.

As you progress in age, you might find it hard to do or continue simple tasks like preparing meals, tidying the house, washing plates, or doing laundry. Check if you or your loved ones are having trouble keeping up with home repairs, using ladders, painting, sweeping, cleaning, mowing lawns, or trimming flowers. When you notice this happening frequently, do not ignore it. It is the most visible of the 11 signs it might be time for assisted living.

Sign 2: Frequent Bruises or Injuries Due to Difficulty in Navigating Around the House

When you or your loved ones have too many falls, frequent bruises, or injuries in a day or week, it shows that you are having difficulties navigating around your home.

As you get older, you struggle with balance and might find it hard to be as mobile as you used to be. It is wise to consider assisted living if you show this sign.

Assisted living homes have infrastructure that helps you overcome this challenge. It is better to be in a place where you can have your independence while being cared for than to have fatal accidents from falls in your home because you’re scared to move.

Sign 3: Wrong Handling of Medications

Becoming forgetful about the time for medications and the dosage or completely forgetting you have drugs to take is one of the 11 signs it might be time for assisted living.

Sometimes it might be noticed when going for refills before the due date or stockpiling prescription bottles. Whichever way it manifests, it is best to nip it in the bud before it leads to serious health consequences such as an overdose or side effects.

Next time, when you go to visit your elderly grandma or parent in their homes, check their medicine cabinet. Don’t just accept they are taking their drugs correctly at face value; inspect and double-check. ‘It is better to be safe than sorry’.

Sign 4: Struggle with Personal Hygiene

Aunt Pat is 60 years old and can never be caught on the streets without wearing lipstick or combing her hair. She lives alone with her three cats in a house at the corner of the street. Everybody knows Aunt Pat because she always has sweets for children. The children run out, screaming her name and goodies. For the past two weeks, Sir E has seen Aunt Pat walking in the streets with disheveled hair and horrendous body odor, which is totally out of character. He immediately calls her children to inform them of the situation, and they use that opportunity to finally convince her to move into an assisted living home.

When a loved one is no longer able to brush his/her teeth, shave, apply makeup, or take care of their hair anymore, it is a sign it might be time for assisted living. Other signs of this include difficulty getting dressed, using the toilet, picking out comfortable clothes, or using the bathroom.

Sign 5: Poor Eating Habits

When you or your loved one begin to eat less than you used to, are experiencing serious weight loss or gain, your refrigerator has stayed empty for months on end, or there are expired food products on the shelf, do not ignore or downplay it.

If you notice they can no longer make their own food because it is challenging for them, can no longer make the trip to the market to buy food items, miss important nutrients in their food, or lose interest in meals, identify it as one of the 11 signs it might be time to consider assisted living.

Assisted living facilities have staff members who can help you or your loved one prepare whole and fresh meals two to three times daily. They will also ensure you or your loved one follows the dietary needs of your age and body.

Sign 6: Inability to Provide Adequate Care as a Caregiver

This sign is directed to the caregivers. Most times, caregivers bear the brunt of the difficulties associated with the lives of their loved ones. When you’ve given your time and years to taking care of a loved one, it might become too strenuous for you, mentally and physically.

You might experience weakness, fall sick, or even feel depressed and suffocated. It might also affect your social life, as you may be stuck in the house or in the same environment as your loved ones for years. It might cause you to burn out or miss out on opportunities that might be beneficial to your career and your family.

Other times, the financial burden of transporting your loved ones to their appointments or getting the proper care for them might be overwhelming. You might also be experiencing some form of anger or suppressed resentment for the condition of the seniors you take care of and want to quit.

If this is you, don’t feel ashamed or guilty. It is normal to feel this way after working for so long. Remove the high expectations you placed on yourself and consider this one of the 11 signs it might be time for assisted living.

Sign 7: Recommendation from a Physician

If the doctor in charge of you or your loved one counsels you to consider assisted living, heed their advice. They may have noticed things you have not paid attention to, which might be one of the signs mentioned in this article.

You might also consider that your loved one is more likely to trust the counsel of their doctor than yours. So consider the doctor’s counsel as one of the 11 signs it might be time for assisted living.

Sign 8: Breakdown in Physical Health

Are you or your loved one falling ill frequently, or have family and friends noticed a decline in your health? This is a sign to consider assisted living and is important to note as you or your loved one might often be the last to notice worsening health conditions.

In cases when you or your loved one might require round-the-clock care for a sickness that lasts longer than usual, it is best to consider assisted living, as it always has a medical professional available.

Sign 9: Changes in Behavior

Noticing changes in the behavior of you or your loved one is one of the 11 signs it might be time for assisted living.

This sign shows up as being unthankful and ungrateful, bitter, verbal, or physically abusive to family members, friends, and other people. It might also be seen in tantrums, such as those that a child exhibits.

This new behavioral change might make it hard for your loved one to continue caring for you, as they may not have the patience or training to deal with these changes. Assisted living facilities, however, are well-equipped to handle this kind of situation.

Sign 10: Isolation and Loneliness

Are you or your loved one becoming less social than you used to be? Do you or they no longer feel confident in your ability to interact with people? Do you want to be left out of social gatherings or don’t want to be seen in public?

These are huge red flags that should be taken note of, especially if you or your loved ones are not introverted. Isolation can be harmful to the health of a senior and cause them to decline more quickly than they should have.

What if you no longer enjoy the hobbies and activities you do at church, home, social clubs, or bands? What if you no longer enjoy the painting, reading, or craft work you so much love? There are many more ways this sign can show up.

Sign 11: Poor Road Use and Safety

To identify this sign, you might have to check for scratches or dents on their cars or bashes on the driveway or sides of the building of the house they live in. You might also consider asking the neighbors if they’ve witnessed you or your loved ones encounter road use issues.

Check if they have traffic citations or ask if you can take a ride with them. When you go out with them, check how well they can understand and obey road signs when they drive or walk on busy streets.

It is the joy and hope of every parent that they are well taken care of in their old age, and most of them want to do so independently. However, this might not be possible due to a lot of factors that involve their age and health. The care and health of your loved one are very important and should be treated as such.

There are several signs that may indicate it is time to consider moving yourself or your loved ones to assisted living, and this article has explained 11 of them in detail. It is best to carefully consider these signs and use them to make informed decisions to improve the quality of life for you and your loved ones. They may protest at first but will be grateful when they discover the benefits to their lives.

It is also important to note that every senior is different and that the appearance of any of these signs might not mean they are ready for assisted living. It is up to you to decide when and how to do so.

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