Whether your elderly loved one lives at home or in an Independent Living community, there may come a time when their care needs will increase. This might be an opportunity to consider a transition into Assisted Living.
Assisted Living provides comprehensive support for older adults who need assistance with the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. It also provides services such as medication management and nursing care. It's important to remember that within assisted living communities, the care levels supported vary quite a lot. This is an area where your Senior Living Advisor is really helpful.
The question for many families is how do they know when it's time to move their older relative into Assisted Living. Here are 12 signs to watch out for that may suggest that placement might be necessary for their loved one's health and well-being:
1. Their care needs exceed what you're able to provide
Taking care of an older relative is a noble act. However, it might be too difficult for you to handle the increased care duties if there's a decline in health, mobility, and mental acuity. Assisted Living facilities are staffed with trained professionals who can provide optimal care 24/7, ensuring that your loved one is comfortable and well looked after.
2. Your older relative is in and out of the hospital
Repeated hospitalizations can take a physical and emotional toll on your entire family. Assisted Living can take that stress away by providing required 24-hour care to a frequently ill older family member, removing the need for repeated trips to the hospital.
3. Your loved one seems overwhelmed by daily tasks
Vacuuming, dusting, laundry, cleaning the bathroom, making the bed, and other everyday activities get more complicated and stressful as adults age or become ill. Neglecting these tasks can lead to an unsanitary, unhealthy, and unsafe living environment. All of these services are available in Assisted Living, taking the stress away from your older relative and helping them live in comfort.
4. The older person begins to wander
Wandering away is a common occurrence with people with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Sneaking out of the house unaccompanied puts them in danger of becoming lost or injured. The risk gets worse if they attempt to drive. When wandering becomes a concern, Assisted Living/Memory Care communities with enhanced security features can keep your loved one safe and accounted for at all times.
5. They make mistakes taking medications
Errors in properly taking medication can be very dangerous. Assisted Living communities offer medication management services for prescription and non-prescription drugs to bring your family peace of mind.
6. Your loved-one becomes aggressive or agitated easily
Some older adults, often those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, can exhibit aggressive behavior. This situation is emotionally taxing and can place you, your loved one, or anyone else in the vicinity at risk of injury. As the behavior progresses, it may be time to consider Assisted Living, where staff is trained to de-escalate situations with empathy and support.
7. They're having difficulty maintaining proper hygiene
Some older adults, due to physical limitations or forgetfulness, may neglect to bathe, brush their teeth, wash their hair, or shave. Many families find assisting with these habits uncomfortable, so it might be time to consider Assisted Living. Your loved one will get help with these tasks by trained staff who can provide support while maintaining the older adult's dignity and self-respect.
8. Your loved one has become increasingly isolated
People can become isolated due to illness or mobility issues. If they live alone, they may become bored and disinterested in social activities. Both of these situations can lead to mental health issues such as depression. In Assisted Living, your loved one will have access to ample socialization opportunities with staff and fellow residents, such as movie nights, fitness classes, game nights, and more.
9. Your relative lacks access to proper nutrition
When older people lack the transportation means or physical energy to go grocery shopping, they might not be getting adequate nutrition. They might also not be motivated to prepare two or three healthy meals per day. Placing them in Assisted Living will give them access to a diverse menu of fresh, healthy meals prepared by professional chefs and customizable to conform to your loved one's personal needs, tastes, or health requirements.
10. In-home care has become too expensive
As your loved one ages, the demand for in-home care increases, which will increase your costs. Assisted Living centers bring families excellent value by bundling all living expenses, including rent, electricity, 24-hour health care needs, meals, housekeeping, home maintenance, and more, into one monthly fee. You might be surprised at how affordable Assisted Living can be compared to living independently with in-home care.
11. Your loved one's doctor recommends Assisted Living
Your loved one's primary care physician takes a detached view of their situation, providing insight and advice that will bring comfort and peace of mind if you're unsure about Assisted Living. Your loved one might also feel more secure and welcoming about the decision if their healthcare professional thinks placement is a good idea.
12. Caregiving impacts your mental and physical health
As healthcare needs progress, there will be more demand on you as a caregiver. It can become a 24-hour job with few breaks. If caregiving starts to leave you feeling exhausted, depressed, and disconnected from your family, friends, and activities you enjoy, it's time to consider placing your relative in Assisted Living.
It's important not to feel guilty about placing a loved one into Assisted Living. Keep in mind that you won't be able to provide them with adequate care if your health is being negatively affected. You can still visit and participate in their care plan while they're in assisted living, which helps take care of your own well-being at the same time.
If you're faced with one or more of the above scenarios, placing a loved one into Assisted Living might be the wisest move for the whole family.
Help with finding Assisted Living in the Greater Cincinnati Area
When it's time to search for Independent Living, Assisted Living, Alzheimer's/Memory Care, and Continuing Care Retirement Community living options in the Greater Cincinnati area, call David Flautt of Assisted Living Locators of Greater Cincinnati.
David takes the time to get to know your loved one's situation and answer all of your questions. He'll present a list of the best-matched Senior Living Communities in the Greater Cincinnati Area based on your relative's requirements and give you everything you need to make the most informed choice possible.
Contact David at 513-914-1980 or firstname.lastname@example.org to start finding the best senior living services for your elderly loved one today.