Common Signs That It’s Time to Discuss Senior Care
The signs that indicate it’s time for your loved one to move to a memory care or assisted living facility are never easy to accept. In some cases, your loved one may not require consistent medical assistance, but may need more support than what is available at home.
If you are a family member concerned about the well-being of your loved one living alone or a caregiver overwhelmed by the declining condition of your senior, your feelings are valid. Here are several common signs that indicate it may be time to consider transitioning to an assisted living facility.
Chronic Health Complications
As people get older, their chronic health conditions will likely worsen. Seniors tend to have weakened immune systems, which increases their risk of getting sick. Re-occurring illness requires specialized attention to prevent suffering and to preserve a senior’s quality of life.
Change in Personality
A drastic change in your loved one’s personality may be evidence of progressive dementia. Seniors who require memory care may display aggressive tendencies, a devastating effect of the disease. Verbal or physical abuse from a loved one can be dangerous and traumatizing for at-home caregivers. An assisted living facility is safer for seniors with these memory care needs, as they can be looked after by a trained professional with the knowledge to deescalate the anger or frustration that may accompany dementia.
Frequent falls, slips, and worsening mobility among older adults often indicate declining mental or physical health, and must be taken seriously. Mobility issues pose the added risk of your loved one falling and being unable to get up or call for help. An assisted living facility reduces the risk of accidents, serious injuries, and lack of supervision, as residents are monitored by compassionate care staff.
Inability to Handle Personal Care
You may notice your loved one is falling short on personal hygiene or wearing the same clothes each time you see them. It is important not to attribute this to laziness. One of the first functions a person with dementia may lose is the ability to handle their hygiene. Assisted living facilities are equipped with an expert care staff that prioritizes the well-being of seniors, ensuring their hygiene and personal needs are met.
Difficulty With Daily Activities
Housework, cooking, and other daily activities become strenuous for seniors with worsening physical or mental health. They may feel overwhelmed by laundry, forget to cook for themselves, or lack the energy or strength to maintain their home. If you recognize your loved one struggling, it may be time to find a relaxing assisted living facility where they can benefit from a supportive care team that handles these tasks for them.
Loneliness, Sadness, or Lack of Socialization
There are several reasons a senior may experience isolation and sadness. Seniors may avoid driving as their vision and reflexes are not what they once were. Without the ability to drive, they may not get the socialization they need to feel fulfilled or loved, causing them to exhibit symptoms of depression. An assisted living facility combats these feelings of loneliness by providing residents with engaging activities and plenty of opportunities for social interaction.
Lack of Access to Proper Nutrition
Good nutrition is vital in preserving mental and physical health. When someone begins forgetting to eat or loses their motivation to prepare meals, they may start losing weight and experiencing a severe decline in wellness. A senior may also lack the energy or resources to get fresh groceries. If you notice this happening to your loved one, it may be time to discuss an assisted living arrangement where they can get the meals and assistance they need to maintain their health.
Memory issues can be displayed in many ways, such as forgetting to turn off electrical devices, food left untouched, doors left open, and other mishaps that can lead to significant safety hazards. If your loved one’s memory begins deteriorating, they may also forget to take their medication. Assisted living facilities ensure that seniors who require memory care receive around-the-clock support.
Seniors with declining mental awareness may wander off during episodes of confusion. Sometimes, they start with a destination in mind and get lost. Other times they may become disoriented and forget where they are. If you fear for the safety of your loved one due to their habit of wandering off, it is time to discuss assisted living.
Sundowner’s syndrome, or sundowning, describes the condition of increased irritability, confusion, stress, or aggression that individuals with dementia experience later in the day. When their social or mental energy has been drained, they may act out of character and become a danger to themselves or others, which is a critical indicator that they need the services offered by an assisted living facility.
In-Home Care Cannot Be Sustained
There may come a time when in-home care is no longer a sustainable option for your loved one. Perhaps a family member took on the responsibility with love and good intentions, but can no longer handle the challenges associated with their loved one’s declining health. In other cases, families may opt for in-home care and have their plans halted by financial strain. In both instances, an assisted living facility can ease the stress of the situation while maintaining your loved one’s well-being as the main priority.
Discussing Assisted Living
Many people are reluctant to accept that they can no longer live independently, and the thought of leaving home can be frightening. No one wants to admit that everyday activities are taxing on their mind and body. This conversation may feel like they are being stripped of their dignity, but it is imperative that your loved one gets the support they need to preserve their quality of life.
While this is a challenging realization to come to terms with, the well-being of your loved one is most important. A reputable assisted living facility will work to ensure your loved one gets the care, respect, and monitoring they need to live safely and with dignity.
For more information on senior care and assisted living, don’t hesitate to contact our compassionate team of care specialists at Placita In Home Care.