According to the National Center for Assisted Living, over 735,000 people nationwide now live in assisted living care facilities. The Alzheimer’s Association states in its 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease facts and figures report that one in three seniors now dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia that requires extra assistance. As people live longer, more care is required.
It’s always tough to decide when the right moment is to talk to your parents or grandparents about moving to assisted living. The best thing to do is to look at your situation logically and evaluate the signs that assisted living might be right for your loved one.
Look for the Obvious Problems First in Activities of Daily Living
How are the self-care tasks going? Health care workers call these the Basic Activities of Daily Living (ADLs):
- Bathing and showering
- Personal hygiene and grooming
- Toilet hygiene
These items are essential for the health of your loved one and may require extra help from the family, a caretaker, or assisted living arrangements.
If You’re Still Unsure, Consider These Red Flags and Tell-Tale Signs
In order for your family member to live alone, they need to be able to perform daily living tasks. A few hours a week to help an aging family member is to be expected, but if they need frequent daily help with independent living tasks, you should talk with them about assisted living arrangements now. Consider these signs when making your decision:
Noticeable Change in Appearance.
Commonly, loved ones appear more frail, have noticeably lost or gained weight or start to appear disheveled or unkempt. This is due to many issues including but not limited to dementia (either forgetting to eat altogether or forgetting that they have already eaten and then overeating), loss of mobility (trouble dressing), loss of energy (unable to move and exercise), etc.
Declining Health or Recent “Scares”.
Was your loved one self-sufficient but due to declining health now takes considerable more time and energy to care for? Have you experienced a recent accident or health scare that makes you feel your loved one is unsafe without supervision?
Wandering or Sundowning.
The risk of falls due to increased wandering is a risk during the later stages of dementia. Sundowning is when those with Alzheimer’s Syndrome become increasingly agitated later in the day and quickly becomes a heavy load for family to handle.
Trouble With Financial Management.
Are there piles of unopened mail and bills at your loved ones home? Have you noticed letters from banks or creditors? This may be a sign that your loved one is unable to handle their finances on their own.
A Cluttered or Messy Home.
Was your loved ones home previously neat and tidy but now dirty and unclean? Often times physical limitations can keep your loved one from caring for their home as they previously could.
The health of the caregiver is just as important as the health of your aging family members. If your anxiety and stress levels are negatively effecting your daily life due to care for your loved ones, it may be a sign that assisted living should be pursued.
Still feeling unsure if assisted living care is right for your loved one? Contact The Inn at Belden Village with any questions you may have about the timing for your loved one’s transition. Tour our facility and stay for a free chef-prepared lunch. Our trained staff will be glad to consult with you.