Even though medical advances allow many people to live longer, healthier lives, there are times when living alone is not an option. Moving a loved one into assisted living is difficult for everyone involved because no elderly wants to leave their homestead to live in a senior citizen’s home. However, sometimes the most challenging part is answering the question, when is assisted living needed?
Obvious red flags, such as a broken hip or a drastic decline in health, may hasten the decision-making procedure, but there isn’t always a clear sign. Nevertheless, hints along the way will alert you that a lifestyle adjustment may be required.
When Their Care Requirements Have Grown Too Great for Safe Home Care
Most older adults’ health and ability will deteriorate over time. But when is assisted living needed? Apparently, no matter how good the care, aging, and diseases will continue to progress, one day, your elderly relative’s care needs may exceed what you can properly handle at home. Moving to assisted living may be necessary if the patient requires constant care and supervision, including waking up frequently at night. It is extremely difficult to maintain that level of care over time. Alternatively, if your elderly relative grows significantly heavier and develops physical limitations, it will become extremely difficult or dangerous to assist them in moving around.
According to the AARP, more than 70 million adults aged 50 and older have had at least one chronic condition, such as Alzheimer’s or heart disease. As seniors with such conditions age, they require more medical attention and may become less capable of caring for themselves. If your loved one falls and struggles to get up several times, it is not safe for them to live independently. Each year, nearly one-third of seniors fall, and the death rate from falls has steadily increased over the last decade.
When the Elderly Are Unable to Handle Their Finances
Many older adults are losing their capacity to cope with their financial obligations. Bank and insurance bills can accumulate because seniors either lack the motivation or cannot pay them. Dementia, for example, impairs seniors’ ability to think reflectively and handle numbers on a detailed level hence the need for family lawyers. This can cause problems when doing taxes or paying multiple bills at once. When is assisted living needed? Seniors are especially vulnerable to financial fraud, whether from cold callers or family members. These scams can put seniors in crippling financial situations, preventing them from caring for themselves.
The rising health insurance and healthcare costs can significantly impact a senior’s financial situation. If a senior citizen does not have a family attorney to guide them on the insurance policy, they are likely to fall into the hands of fraudsters. According to statistics, up to 31% of senior citizens do not have a pension or cash reserves to use as assets. Some seniors may not have given retirement savings much consideration, while others could have made poor investment decisions that did not produce the expected results. These situations may therefore necessitate assisted care for the elderly.
If a Loved One Stays in a Messy Living Area
An odorous and untidy living environment may indicate that an elderly person is no longer capable of living on their own. These are frequently explained by their physical capacity to tidy up after themselves, as it can reach a point where they cannot vacuum or clean the dishes. It’s also critical to examine the food your loved one consumes. Look around the refrigerator. Is spoiled food piled on top of spoiled food? Is it evident that many foods have passed their expiration date? Is there a bunch of the same food, such as leftovers from the same eatery? Answering these questions will help you determine when is assisted living needed.
When You Notice Signs of Frailty and Poor Hygiene
While a loved one may be able to care for themselves, a lack of motivation is a strong indicator that it is time for assisted living. Messy grooming practices and a bad odor may be signs of poor hygiene, suggesting they aren’t showering or doing laundry as frequently as they should. This can also indicate that they are losing their ability to care for themselves. Seniors may also become weak as they age, appearing skinnier than usual. This can be due to a lack of eating or something more substantial, such as an untreated medical problem.
They Are Constantly Attempting to Leave Their Houses and Are at High Risk of Becoming Lost or Injured
Many people who have dementia want to stroll around or have the desire to visit specific places unknowingly. Unfortunately, because of the impairment to their brain, they usually don’t know how to get around, how to get home, or how to prevent accidents or injuries. People suffering from dementia can frequently leave their homes in the blink of an eye. Even when you’ve secured your household to the best of your ability, they can still be able to escape. This shows that it may be time to relocate them to a highly secure memory care facility for their protection.
When Their Doctor Recommends Assisted Living
While the opinions of family and friends are important, some seniors and caregivers may prefer a medical assessment. As you consider when is assisted living needed, keep in mind that seeking advice from your elderly loved one’s doctor can provide valuable insight. Just as a doctor’s advice can reassure a caregiver, it can increase a senior’s confidence and excitement about moving to assisted living. According to a 2019 Pew Research Center survey, older adults are more likely than other age groups to trust their physicians and follow medical advice.
When Your Family or Friends Notice Changes in You or a Loved One
Have family members and friends expressed concern that your loved one’s health is deteriorating or that they require more mental stimulation? While this is not an automatic indication that you should seek assisted living program, it may provide an opportunity to investigate your options. It’s also important to assess how caregiving affects you. Unfortunately, caregivers are frequently the last to recognize their exhaustion and fatigue. Family members, as well as friends, can serve as accountability collaborators in safeguarding your emotional and mental well-being in these situations.
When They Become Increasingly Aggressive
It is a sad reality that some senior patients become more hostile as their disease advances. This is not an indication of how they are being treated but rather a result of the disease’s devastating effects. Most people find caring for a physically or verbally abusive individual difficult. This can be a clear indication if you are pondering when is assisted living needed. Aggressive people require a secure environment to live in with trained experts who know how to handle these situations.
If the Care Coordination Will Be Beneficial to Your Loved One
You should only choose assisted care giving if it benefits you and your loved one. The patient may become ill frequently, indicating that they are not receiving the care they require from you. Aside from the physical and emotional toll of these hospital admissions, regular appointments with numerous doctors and specialists may become daunting, especially if you get hospitalized frequently.
In modern medicine development, assisted living groups work collaboratively for their residents to make caregiving easier. A family therapist, a doctor, and other healthcare providers frequently provide community services. Transportation to neighboring appointments is offered for community members who wish to continue seeing their care providers and doctors. Furthermore, assisted living staff share information from these consultations with family members and caregivers, enabling them to remain updated and involved.
When They Self Isolate
Social isolation, like self-neglect, might be a risk factor for premature death. Because of their circumstances, older patients with few social relations who live independently may be hearing impaired, or have mobility problems, hence becoming isolated. When seniors choose to detach themselves, this can be a clear indication of when is assisted living needed.
Isolation has been associated with cognitive decline, and chronic diseases. It has been linked to health problems such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. Isolation symptoms include poor nutrition, withdrawal, poor living conditions, loss of interest in basic hygiene, and hoarding.
When They Experience Changes in Mental Health
Is your patient frequently confused or misplacing belongings, such as placing glasses in the fridge? If this is the case, it may be time to talk about the value of care and how it can enhance their quality of life, as well as answer the question, when is assisted living needed? These signs may indicate that your aging loved one can move from their residence to a senior living facility or that a caregiver should make frequent home visits.
When You Recognize Poor Eating Habits
Malnutrition and poor nutritional status among the elderly are major sources of concern. Malnourishment and unintended weight loss result in decreased cognitive and physical functional status, premature institutionalization, increased use of healthcare services, and increased mortality. Despite this, many healthcare providers fail to address the multifaceted issues that lead to nutritional risk. A common misconception is that poor nutrition is unavoidable due to aging and illness and that treatment for these deficiencies is only marginally effective.
Nutritional evaluation and therapy should be a regular part of all aged care, whether provided in an acute care hospital, an outpatient setting, or a long-term institutional care facility. If a person is unable to prepare food, their eating habits are likely to suffer as well. Nutrition is one of the most basic ways of thinking about when is assisted living needed. Good nutrition is essential for maintaining physical and mental well-being. Relocating to a long-term care center will offer them regular and healthy meals for their needs.
When a Residence Becomes Unsafe
Some of the things that make a parent’s home uninhabitable include Stairways, tall shelving in closets, slippery tile, large lawns with uneven terrain, cluttered rooms, and poorly lit rooms. Home accidents are a significant cause of injury and, all too often, death. Seniors, whose bones become less dense and brittle, are more susceptible to severe injuries in their homes. A simple fall that leads to a broken bone can quickly escalate into a severe, disabling injury that restricts one’s freedom hence the need for orthopedic services.
When Assisted Living Provides Emotional Support
Moving into a senior citizen’s facility requires some modifications, but the good thing about being a member of an assisted living center is that you are not alone. Aside from the care providers, other elderly care residents are present to assist your loved one. Many seniors are going through the same things, and elderly individuals can be companions within an assisted living center. This significant benefit should not be overlooked when contemplating long-term medical services for a loved one.
When Driving Becomes a Safety Concern
Driving is an important part of maintaining our liberty as we age. You may be able to drive safely well into your senior years if you reduce risk factors and incorporate safe driving habits. Even if you have to minimize your driving or give up your keys, this does not mean the end of your freedom.
Because everyone ages diversely, there is no specific age at which someone should stop driving. Nevertheless, older motorists are more inclined than younger drivers to get traffic citations and be involved in accidents. The cause of this includes Reduced vision due to poor eye care, slower motor reflexes, impaired hearing, and rapidly deteriorating health conditions.
Caregivers and families often wait until things have reached a tipping point before looking into assisted living alternatives. But when is assisted living needed? If you start noticing any of the above developments, schedule a visit with your medical practitioner or that of a loved one, as the causes of some of them may be reversible. Begin with a thorough physical examination and diagnostic procedures to rule out any reversible causes. Ensure you notice these typical signs and seek help for your loved one as soon as you recognize them.