When is it time for assisted living? Here are 7 signs you need to recognize so that you can give your loved one the care that they deserve.
When you think of assisted care or senior centers, you may think of frail, feeble elders who need assistance with everything in their daily lives. But that image can't be farther from the truth.
The typical assisted living resident is actually 87 years old, female, and still mobile. In fact, many say 80 is the new 65.
So with this shift in what the typical assisted living resident looks like, how can you answer the question: when is it time for assisted living?
Well, keep reading. We'll discuss 7 signs you should recognize so you can get your loved ones the care they need and deserve.
1. You Can't Handle Care All on Your Own Anymore
Many adult children feel they own it to their parents to take care of them in their old age. Their parents took care of them ever since they were born, after all. It's only fair they reciprocate.
While this is an excellent attitude to have, there comes a point where it's wiser to leave elderly care in the hands of professional hands rather than your own. Either their medical needs are outside of your knowledge, or you find yourself worn down from your duties.
In either case, you shouldn't feel too proud to transfer care from yourself to an assisted care facility. Not only will your loved one get proper care, but you'll also get much-needed relief so you can focus on your own life.
2. They're Having More Accidents
Accidents are inevitable, even if you're young and fit. And, of course, as you age and your body becomes more worn down, you're bound to have more accidents as you get older.
Because of this, it's vital your elderly loved one gets round-the-clock care. If they currently live on their own, and you don't check up on them for long periods of time, this can be dangerous. They may have a serious fall and not have any help for hours.
3. They Can't Keep Up With Personal Care
While your parents may look and act fine, there may be small tell-tale signs they could benefit from assisted living. For example, they may gain or lose a significant amount of weight (due to lack of cooking or reliance on junk/fast food) or have faint traces of body odor (from lack of bathing or washing of clothes).
They may be too proud to ask for help, so they may try to pass off the illusion of perfect health. If you have the time, you can certainly offer to do some chores for them, but in most cases, assisted care would be better for them.
4. Their House Is in Disarray
Just like with personal hygiene, upkeep for the home may fall by the wayside too. Your parents may not have the physical capabilities or energy to do simple chores like mopping and sweeping.
Not only can this lead to an unclean house, but it can also lead to piles of junk everywhere. If their physical condition is really poor, they may avoid climbing the stairs. This can cause the entire second floor to become extremely filthy.
Uncleaned homes can cause or exacerbate many health issues, such as allergies or asthma. Not to mention they can also create hazardous obstacles that cause even more accidents and falls.
5. They Have Many Ailments and Medications to Take
Chronic health issues can be tough to deal with at any age. Add an assortment of medications to the mix, and it can be difficult for your loved ones to manage all on their own.
While you can check up on your parents and make sure they're taking their medications as directed, this may not always be possible. And if it is, it can take its toll on you.
When your loved ones are in assisted living, you won't have to worry about them missing vital medications. The staff will make sure everything's on track so your parents stay in the best health possible.
6. They're Lonely
Humans are social creatures, which means we will crave interactions all throughout our lives. While we may have a good friend group while we're young, we may lose these friends as we age, either through natural causes or from them moving away.
As a result, many seniors feel lonely and don't really have the means to make new friends. But if you put your loved ones in residential senior care, they'll blossom in no time. They'll be surrounded by like-minded people who are the same age, which means they'll be in good company.
7. They've Become Aggressive
Normally, your parents may be sweet, loving, and patient. But have you noticed them becoming more aggressive, either physically or sexually? These may be signs of dementia, especially if it's out of character for them.
Unless you're trained in the medical field, you most likely don't have the skills to deal with this disease. Both you and your loved ones can benefit from putting them in assisted care, as trained professionals can help everyone navigate this devastating condition, including you.
When Is It Time for Assisted Living? It Depends
As each person ages at their own pace and have their unique sets of ailments, the answer to "when is it time for assisted living?" is "it depends." But a good starting point is our list of signs, since many indicate your loved one may need around-the-clock professional care.
It never hurts to sit down and have a talk with your parents, especially if you're concerned about their health. Together, you can discuss what they need and figure out if assisted living is right for them.
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