How Do You Know If You or Your Loved One Is Ready For Assisted Care?
The thought of leaving the family home can be very difficult for many aging adults as well as their adult children. Many times we see our parents as much more competent then they really are, overlooking signs of decline. The responsibility of maintaining a home can become overwhelming: shoveling, lawn care, paying bills, cleaning, minor repairs. Taking proper care of yourself including cooking, managing medications, personal hygiene, laundry, transportation to the doctor or grocery store, etc. can become very overwhelming for many aging adults. The Assisted Living Federation of America offers some great suggestions:
Some signs to look for that may indicate you are ready for assisted care include:
Weight Loss or Gain
- Is your parent telling you he/she is eating, but food is going bad and he/she has had some recent weight loss?
- Memory loss may cause someone to forget to eat or eat too often because they forget that they have already eaten.
- Dietary changes due to an inability to eat, cook or shop for groceries may cause a change in weight.
- Your parent may be falling a lot in the home and trying to cover up any bruises or injuries from a fall.
- The accessibility of the house may become an issue as your parent ages.
- Your parent may be losing mobility or a sense of balance.
- Has your parent been wearing the same clothes or are the clothes unwashed or falling apart? Do you notice body odor, incontinence, bad breath or un-styled hair?
- The loss of motor skills makes it difficult to change clothes and thoroughly clean oneself. Memory loss also leads to poor hygiene in some cases because your parent simply forgets to take a bath or brush his/her teeth.
- Does your parent’s attitude and demeanor change as the day comes to an end or does he/she hear noises at night?
- Change in behavior and isolation may be a sign of Alzheimer’s, dementia or other disorders.
- A lack of interest in activities your parent used to enjoy may be a sign of depression. Depression is common in seniors and can be caused or exacerbated by many factors, including social isolation / loneliness, not taking medications properly, or poor nutrition/hydration.
Declining Care of the Home
- Is your parent’s yard overgrown, whereas in the past it was well kept-up or has the kitty litter box not been cleaned in some time?
- Are bills being paid twice or not at all?
- A decline in mobility and motor skills make it difficult to keep up with the many responsibilities of home ownership.
- Does your parent forget to take his/her medications or take the medication more than prescribed in one day because he/she forgot if they had been taken earlier? Are they forgetting to refill prescriptions?
- Does your parent forget to take medication, go to a scheduled doctor’s appointment, or fail to remember important dates or where he/she lives?
If you answered yes to all or a few of these questions, your parent may be ready for Assisted / Residential Care or senior Independent Living.
“We first want to let you know that we are amazed and grateful for the staff at Allenwood. Every single person we have met including nursing, cleaning, dining room and administrative staff has been friendly, warm and caring. My parents feel very welcome and comfortable and that has made the transition from their previous apartment go very well. - Iris Bloom, daughter”Read more testimonials