For many people, knowing when it is time for assisted living is a extremely difficult decision. Leaving one’s home and familiar surroundings is traumatic. It is, after all, human nature for all of us to want to stay in our own homes as long as possible.
Often, the elder’s families are the ones to facilitate the move. Families need to look for signs that an elder is no longer being able to live alone. Keep in mind that many of these issues are hard to discuss with a loved one. But it is very often the right solution for the elder and the family.
Here, from Assisted Living Nationwide (ALN), are tips to help you evaluate whether a senior should no longer live alone and, as a result, when it is time for assisted living.
Falls and Injuries
Typically, there are a series of falls or “incidents” that occur before loved ones realize that the elder in question should not live alone. Broken hips, broken knees and bruises are quite common. If the senior lives in another city/state, he or she may not mention these incidents on the phone. Holiday get-togethers such as Thanksgiving or Christmas are when families begin to realize that assistance in the day-to- day living are necessary and that it’s time for assisted living.
Loss of Appetite/Weight Loss
Proper nutrition and eating a balanced diet is a major concern for families of seniors who live alone. Assisted living provides three meals daily, in addition to the option of stocking the apartment with one’s favorite snacks and beverages. Many assisted living facilities have made a tremendous strides in offering healthy meals made with fresh, seasonal ingredients as well as a variety of menu options available.
Everyday activities such as cooking or gardening can cause fires and falls. Burns on the kitchen counters or table can be an early indication.
Memory loss is a tell tale sign that it is time for an assisted living facility. Forgetting to take one’s medication, go to a medical appointment, or even forgetting how to drive home are all common signs that the memory loss is occurring in an elder. If one were living in an assisted living facility, there will be medication reminders and a trained staff to help with the activities of daily living.
Living alone can be lonely. The socialization and meal time interaction in an assisted living is an important advantage for seniors. Many residents don’t realize how much they have missed the day-to-day contact of others until they move into an assisted living residence. All assisted living facilities have a full schedule of activities available.
Cleaning, cooking, laundry, bed-making, grocery shopping and other daily chores takes its toll as one grows older. An assisted living facility takes care of all of these responsibilities, while still enabling an individual to live in the privacy of his or her apartment.
Assisted living has become the number one care option for seniors who can no longer take care of themselves according to the United States of Aging survey by the National Council on Aging.