Transitioning a loved one to assisted living is a complex, difficult, and often heart-wrenching decision for caregivers. Guilt, obligation and a whirlwind of other emotions make that decision one of life’s biggest challenges. But sometimes, caring for someone at home becomes unsafe or nearly impossible to sustain.
When should a senior move to assisted living? Here are some things to consider when making the decision to move your loved one to move into assisted living.
Increasing Care Needs
Difficulty bathing without assistance
Is your loved one wearing clothes that aren’t clean, skipping baths or neglecting personal hygiene? These issues could be due to their inability to do laundry or that they feel unsafe in the shower or tub, which are sure signs that some type of care assistance is needed.
Forget to take medications
Is your loved one taking all their prescribed medications as instructed? If they miss taking medication because they forget, the staff at an assisted living facility can make sure they take the right dosage of medicine at the right time.
Increasing physical limitations
Perhaps your loved one’s mobility is limited, making it difficult to get out of bed independently, for example. Maybe you’re afraid of what might happen if your loved one fell and couldn’t get up, or experience another problem and couldn’t get help. An alternate to independent living can alleviate the stress of managing the limited mobility of your loved one.
Signs of memory loss
Sometimes our elderly loved ones start to be forgetful or confused and their minds are no longer what they once were. As signs of certain cognitive impairments related to age manifest, considering assisted living becomes important.
If your vulnerable loved one is taking significantly longer to recover from ailments, whether it is a bruised knee or the flu, you should take that as a major warning sign. Does your loved one need the extra care that’s required to properly rehab and rebound from an ailment or surgery?
Signs of depression, loneliness
Has your loved one stopped participating in social activities they used to enjoy? Does your loved one go days without leaving their house? Perhaps they are scared to drive or uncomfortable participating in social events that used to make them happy.
According to Ron Bucci, Senior Executive Director of The Greens at Cannondale, “Loneliness and isolation can be as bad for a senior’s health as an illness. If they’re not engaged in meaningful activities or interacting with others, cognition, mood and even physical health suffer. We simply need to be around others particularly as we age and being exposed to meaningful or fun programs can open up a new and joyous chapter in a senior’s life.”
Increased risk of falling
Falls represent one of the most frequent and serious types of accidents that disproportionately impact older adults. In fact, according to data provided by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), fall accidents are the single leading cause of fatal injuries in older adults.
Need to eliminate stairs/live on one level
Does your loved one have trouble walking? Can they get up and down stairs without help? As they age, many people find stairs difficult to manage, which may lead to falls or daily chores going left undone. They may need to renovate their home for aging in place or alternatively, move to one level residence to ensure their safety.
Emotional and physical stress of caring for a senior
Thinking about care options for your loved one can be stressful. Although at times, you might be able to manage it, more often than not caring for a senior can leave you feeling overwhelmed in the responsibility and the weight of the caregiver role. Keep in mind that if your health or emotional well-being suffers, you won’t be of much assistance to your loved one. If your loved one’s need for care is wearing you out, or if a spouse or children are feeling the collective strain of your care giving activities, these are major signs that it’s time to start looking at other options.
For more information about the assisted living community at The Greens at Cannondale, call us today at 203.761.1191.