None of us are ever really prepared to accept that a senior who we love just might be at the point that they can no longer live in a place without assistance. This is because it is an indication that they are aging and that can be something that is extremely hard to face. Yet, just because they may forget a conversation that you recently had with them a few times, or the kitchen is not as clean as it used to be when you stop by, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to move them just yet.
If you’re looking for some clear signs of when you should consider moving an elderly person that you care about into an assisted living space, here are five to seriously consider:
When they can’t do basic things on their own anymore
As people age, they tire and so a house not being as tidy as it once was isn’t necessarily an indication that an elderly person is no longer (totally) self-sufficient. Signs that prove otherwise include if they are wearing the same outfit for days at a time; if they are pretty much confining themselves to one or two rooms in the house; if laundry or dishes are piled up (days or weeks’ worth); if they’re skipping meals or if they are no longer practicing good and consistent hygiene.
When their memory is severely suffering
We all forget things from time to time, but if the elderly person in your life is constantly repeating themselves, cannot remember pertinent information (like their birthdate, phone number and address) or overlooks simple things like turning off the stove or locking the front door at night, you first should have them thoroughly checked out by a doctor. If it is confirmed that they are suffering from memory loss, putting them into an assisted living facility should definitely be seen as a viable option.
When they can’t get around comfortably
Some seniors are still very mentally sharp, but do to a physical issue, they are unable to live alone without some kind of around the clock assistance. If s/he lives in a split-level home, but can no longer easily get up the stairs or if s/he experienced a health condition that requires them calling someone regularly for help to move throughout the house, this is another indicator that it may be time to make a transition.
When they need to be monitored (due to medication)
As people get older, they sometimes have more health concerns than they used to. Sometimes this requires them to be one, or several, prescriptions. Not all seniors are very happy about this fact and so they may express their disdain by refusing to take their medication on a regular basis. This definitely has the potential to cause some other problems later down the road, so take this as a huge red flag that they need some additional support.
When they are in a constant state of fear
If you’re always making “see here” runs for them—”Do you see this here? I think someone tried to break in” or “Do you see this here? I think someone has been in over here when I’m not around”—you may want to consider assisted living just so that they can have the company of other people. This does not just include the reassurance of full-time staff and security, but other seniors who also can empathize with what they are going through.
Seeing the changes within an elderly loved one can be hard, but a senior can extend the years of their life if they feel healthy, happy and safe. Choosing the right kind of assisted living environment can provide them with all three.