It isn’t always easy to pinpoint when staying at home is no longer the best option. Here are a few factors to consider that it’s time for a more supportive environment for yourself or a loved one:
- Social Isolation – Withdrawing from friends and regular activities because of declining health, embarrassment over memory or personal care issues, or lack of mobility can lead to isolation, loneliness, and even depression in seniors.
- Physical Limitations – Problems with movement and balance can lead to a fall, which can have additional health consequences. If your loved one expresses a fear of falling or has a history of physical issues, you may want to begin exploring assisted living options.
- Personal Care – Difficulty or lack of interest in bathing, grooming, or dressing can signal the need for personal care assistance. Seniors often have difficulty admitting this or asking for help, so talk to your loved one and watch out for any visible changes.
- Health Risks – Difficulty caring for medical conditions and maintaining overall wellness—including poor nutrition, taking the wrong dose of medications, or improper wound care—can turn a manageable condition into a critical one. Health risks can also arise when a loved one has recently suffered a crisis, such as a heart attack or stroke. Keep an eye out for signs of a gradual decline and talk to a health professional about risks of leaving your loved one at home alone.
- Memory Loss – Leaving a burner on after cooking, not taking necessary medication, or getting lost on a trip to the store can indicate cognitive decline. When a loved one’s memory is affecting the ability to perform daily tasks, you may want to explore memory care at an assisted living community.
- Caregiving Issues – Being the primary caregiver for a loved one can take its toll physically, psychologically, and financially. Taking time away from work, hiring an elder-care sitter, and transportation costs all add up. They can also create an unhealthy amount of stress. In the end, assisted living may not only be more cost effective but also healthier for everyone.
If you see any of these warning signs, it may be time to start the conversation. Assisted living can provide a robust social life and activity calendar, increased physical activity, improved nutrition, and daily living assistance like housekeeping, laundry, medication management, and more, resulting in less stress and more peace of mind.