Assisted Living 7 Signs To Know When It’s Needed

Assisted Living: 7 Signs To Know When It’s Needed

Even when medical advancements allow many to live a longer, more healthy life, sometimes, living alone is not a good option. It’s sad for seniors to think of leaving their family home, so they may not want to mention it.

No family likes facing the question of when assisted living is needed. However, some signs will help make the decision clear.

If you’re worried about your loved ones living alone, or if you’re a caregiver who believes it’s time to change, here’s some information to help. Read on for seven signs it might be time for assisted living.

7 Signs To Know When Assisted Living Is Needed

1. Difficulty With Household Upkeep

Household upkeep can be challenging, especially when we age. Household chores, such as working on hands and knees, going up and down stairs, and other tasks, can be tiring and risky for seniors to do on their own.

If staying on top of chores is challenging for your loved one, assisted living might be an ideal move.

When your loved one transitions to an assisted living community, you can rest easy knowing that chores are being taken care of, from laundry services to dusting, vacuuming, and more.

2. Poor Hygiene and Eating Habits

Has your loved one stopped taking care of themselves like they used to? Have you noticed a new body odor?

If yes, these can be signs that someone has difficulty bathing, putting them at risk of infection and increasing the likelihood of mental and emotional decline. Problems with self-care or other daily activities indicate that someone may not be okay living alone.

Besides, is your loved one mostly eating takeout food or frozen meals? Has their weight significantly changed during recent months?

Observable weight gain or loss can be a sign of medical problems or a sign that they are having trouble preparing food. You should talk to your aging loved one and doctor about possible reasons for their weight change.

3. Chronic or Worsening Health Issues

A chronic health condition deteriorating by the day is a red flag. The National Council on Aging reveals that 80 percent of seniors suffer from at least one chronic disease, while 70 percent have two or more conditions. These numbers are troubling, especially when most deaths in the US are due to chronic illnesses.

Having full-time care in an assisted living community might improve their health. If your loved ones are still well enough, they should be involved in the decision.

4. Increased Injuries or Accidents

If injuries or accidents at home appear more frequently, this is another sign it might be time for assisted living. The lack of proper safety features at home, such as wheelchair accessibility, well-lit walkways, or walk-in showers, could be indicators a move into assisted living is the right next step.

In assisted living communities, it’s a top priority to keep your loved one safe. You’ll find well-trained on-site staff for emergency situations and many enhanced safety features.

5. Changes in Mood

It’s a sad truth that some individuals with dementia become more aggressive as the disease progresses. However, it’s not a reflection of how they’re being cared for; instead, simply a devastating effect of the disease.

Caring for someone physically or verbally abusive is more than most people handle. Seniors suffering from aggression need a safe place to live with trained professionals who know how to deal with these situations.

6. Memory Lapses

Forgetfulness is a common side effect as people age. But, if you’re noticing some behaviors, such as forgetting everyday details, wandering, or getting lost, it may be time to consider assisted living.

Many senior living communities offer memory care, so your loved ones can transition smoothly to the level of support they need. Your loved one can enjoy different social activities, such as book clubs, gardening, and art therapy. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, maintaining an active social life helps slow down the memory decline rate.

7. Caregiver Burnout

Being a caregiver is a difficult task, both physically and emotionally. Burnout can happen from being stressed about added responsibilities, which can significantly affect your health and well-being.

If that’s the case, your loved ones may benefit from an assisted living community.

Is It Time for Assisted Living?

If you answered “yes” to most of the signs above, it might be time to talk about assisted living with your aging loved one.

Remember that you’re not alone as you process these changes. Many supports are in place to help you and your loved one. Some communities provide aging adults with an environment where they can enhance their lifestyle, live with dignity, and remain as independent as possible.

John Norwood
John Norwood is best known as a technology journalist, currently at Ziddu where he focuses on tech startups, companies, and products.