The thought of moving a loved one to an assisted living center can be tough. Usually, we are talking about a parent – a person that used to take care of you – and it can be hard to see them as a person that is losing the ability to live in complete independence.
The complex emotions that come with such a decision will often lead families to avoid considering what might be a necessary step in the life of the individual. It is important to try to objectively evaluate the needs of the individual and come to a decision based on their ability to maintain a good lifestyle while still being in a home where they are still responsible for most of their daily needs.
You might think that they get along fine most of the time, and that you and other family members can help them out from time to time. At times assisted living is thought of as a place where the loved one will be secluded and part of less activities, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, when assisted living becomes needed, placing a loved one in a good facility allows them to enjoy life to the fullest. The goal is to provide enough assistance to make the individual not burdened by actions they have difficulty performing while encouraging all the activities they can do.
If you are unsure about the right decision for your loved one, you are not alone. This is a decision that thousands of families struggle with every year. In this post, we are going to share some insights that could help in determining whether moving your loved one to an assisted living facility is the right choice.
Meals and Nutrition
One of the first signs to consider is whether they are eating well. Is your loved one still capable of getting and preparing all of their meals? You might be able to help them with their grocery shopping, but you still need to consider whether they can prepare meals and if they are eating healthy.
If your loved one seems to have experienced a significant loss or gain in weight, that could be a sign of trouble. Finding a lot of expired food in the refrigerator could be another sign. If you notice that they are only eating instant meals, it might be another sign that they are having trouble keeping up with their nutrition.
The cleanliness of the individual or the home could be a sign that they need to move to assisted living. When it seems that they are not keeping up on their grooming and bathing as well as they used to, it could be a sign that your loved one is having trouble taking care of their daily personal care needs.
As another point, you should keep an eye on the cleanliness of the home. Seniors can start to have trouble maintaining the order and cleanliness of a home. You might also find things in the home that are in a state of disrepair. A lack of cleanliness can be danger to the health of the individual, and it might be time to consider moving your loved one to an assisted living facility.
As a person ages, their healthcare needs become more complicated, and it can become difficult for the individual to manage on their own. Are they able to make and manage things like doctors visits on their own? Do they have the ability to manage their medications and take them as prescribed?
Included in the consideration of healthcare, you also need to think about what would happen in the event of an emergency. If your loved one were to fall or suffer some type of health complication, would they be able to get help in a timely manner?
Getting out on their own
You also have to consider whether your loved one can still drive, and if they can’t, you have to think about whether they have access to other forms of transportation. You also need to remember that just because they do still drive, that does not necessarily mean that it is safe for them to drive. If you start noticing things like dings, scratches and broken lenses on the car, it might be time for your loved one to give up driving.
Social signs and staying active
In some cases, an older person might start to give up on relationships and activities that they always enjoyed. You have to consider whether they are still meeting up with friends and family members for social activities. You also need to look into whether they are still doing things to stay physically active.
In some cases, a lack of social engagement and a loss of desire to participate in hobbies or activities can be a sign of depression or some other mental health issue. For other people, they might just stop doing these things because they can no longer get around as well as they used to.
This is actually one of the best advantages to living in a senior care facility. A good assisted living center will offer a wide range of activities to exercise both the mind and the body. They often have social events where the residents can make new friends, and it can really expand the possibilities for social activity and a more fulfilling life.
If a move to an assisted living center might be in the future of your loved one, it is a big decision and it is not one that you should make on your own. You need to consult with other family members, and most importantly, you need to talk to the person that is going to be making the move. You may even want to get the advice of the loved one’s doctor or contact a geriatric care manager.
Angels on Tracy is a residential care facility for seniors in Simi Valley. We not only pride ourselves on providing excellent care, but we also go to great lengths to ensure that our residents are comfortable and that they have everything they need to live a healthy and fulfilling life.