Are you among the 15 million Americans who devote their time, energy, and money to caring for an elderly loved one? You love your parent or other family member with all your heart, but there may come a time when transitioning to assisted living is best for both of you. Here are the signs to watch for that may indicate it’s time for the transition.
You do dozens of small things every day that you take for granted, from cooking and eating to cleaning the house and paying bills. If your loved one needs help doing all of these things—whether due to physical or mental limitations—a full-time caregiver may be required. This means it’s time to consider assisted living.
Loss of coordination, balance, and strength leads to more frequent slips and falls among seniors. In fact, 3 million senior citizens are treated for fall-related injuries each year. Minor bruises or head bumps may not be a big deal when you’re young, but they become more dangerous the older you get. If you constantly fear for your elderly parent’s safety because of recurring injuries and close calls that occur at home, they may need more assistance with everyday tasks than they’re willing to admit.
Progressive conditions such as congestive heart failure, COPD, and Alzheimer’s disease may cause your loved one’s health to deteriorate gradually. As this happens, they will continue to require more and more help with daily tasks. Relocating to an assisted living facility will ease the stress on both of you.
Dementia may cause some disturbing symptoms to appear, including agitation and physical aggression. These behaviors quickly take their toll on caregivers and could make the current living situation unmanageable.
Noticeable weight loss could be a sign that your loved one is struggling to prepare meals or remember to eat. Depression and cancer can also lead to weight loss. On the other hand, some seniors gain weight because an injury or illness is slowing them down. Dementia may also cause older adults to forget they already ate, resulting in snacking all day long.
When older adults can no longer drive, they often resort to isolating themselves at home, especially if public transportation is limited in their area or they’re afraid to try it out with no one to come along. While some seniors fear that moving to an assisted living facility will make them feel “locked away,” these communities often provide outings and transportation to help seniors be more active and mobile, not less.
Living in isolation with only the occasional visit from family members can be harmful to a person’s mental health. You probably feel obliged to visit your loved one as much as possible, but with your busy work schedule and kids of your own, it’s difficult to make it happen. Don’t feel guilty—you can get your loved one the social interaction they need by suggesting a move to an assisted living community.
Senior Placement is a division of Senior Planning Services. We’ll help you connect to an assisted living facility, nursing home, or retirement community that meets your loved one’s needs. The expected level of everyday help and memory care determines the sort of living situation your loved one requires. We’ll ensure a smooth, effortless transition for you and your loved one by serving as an advocate on your behalf.
To learn more about our senior placement services, please contact us today. We have offices in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and we can assist across the U.S.