As a caregiver, you recognize that the decision to move your aging loved one out of their home is not an easy one. Every situation is different and complex, but there are some telltale, similar circumstances that should prove a move into an assisted living facility will provide your loved one with the best quality of life.
The Top 5 Signs it’s the Right Time for a Move into an Assisted Living Facility
If you are wondering whether it’s time to consider whether an assisted living facility would offer a better living situation for your loved one, take a step back to recognize the following signs:
1) Physical appearance and mobility. Does your loved one seem thinner and frailer than the last time you visited? Are their teeth brushed and is their hair clean? If your loved one is having issues properly eating and grooming, this could be a sign that they are having problems managing activities of daily living. If they’ve gained weight, perhaps they sustained an injury due to a fall or accident that affected their mobility. Or, maybe they are spending all their time on one floor of the home because they are unable to manage going up and down the stairs. Any changes in physical appearance can be a red flag that your loved one may need a different living situation.
2) The state of the home and finances. When you begin to notice things within your loved one’s home like stains that are not being cleaned up, dirty dishes everywhere, garbage piling up and stacks of unopened mail and bills, this is a sure sign that they can no longer properly maintain the household. This is especially true if your loved one was previously a bit of a “neat freak” and always proud of their home and yard, or if they were always very responsible about paying their bills on time. Be on the lookout for things like broken appliances, excessive amounts of clutter and grime, and late notices from utility companies.
3) Social isolation and issues with transportation. If your loved one seems to be withdrawing from society, the risk for depression rises. Perhaps they aren’t able to socialize as much as they’d like to simply because they no longer feel safe driving alone, and public transportation isn’t readily available. You can talk about all the ways they’ll be socially engaged if they were to move into an assisted living facility, especially one that provides transportation to events and destinations.
4) Memory issues. Your loved one may start exhibiting signs of memory loss more significant than what we call “having senior moments.” If you start to find objects in strange places around the home, or if they are wandering and exhibiting personality changes, these are all signs of dementia that should not be ignored.
5) Caregiver stress. Perhaps you are starting to feel resentful of your loved one or that you aren’t doing enough. The mental and physical exhaustion you feel should be used as a gauge of how well your loved one is taking care of themselves. Caregiver guilt and grief are common reactions to the realization that you need to move your loved one out of their home, but you should realize that an assisted living facility is the best option for the care they need.
Start the conversation about moving to an assisted living facility with your loved one while they are still of sound mind and can make their own decisions. Assisted living facilities offer so many benefits to seniors, and will ensure they are in the proper place for the care they need.
For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ascseniorcare.com.