If you have been caring for someone you love, it is difficult to face the prospect that it may be time for them to move to an assisted living facility. Everyone loves their house and their pets and their routines. But there comes a time when the most loving thing to do would be to help your parents or relatives find a more stable environment where they can get the care they need on a daily basis. Plus, a new environment that’s specifically for seniors would allow your loved one to be surrounded by other people and activities.
Reasons for Making the Change to Assisted Living
Reasons to move to assisted living are certainly not one-size-fits all, but each case must be weighed carefully based on need, help available and finances. Rather than having to make a knee-jerk decision, having this conversation over a period of time, although difficult, will help everyone in the family work together for the most loving, life-giving decision for your loved one.
What does an assisted living facility offer? An assisted living facility will help with activities of daily living, such as dressing, remembering medicines, bathing and making meals. The facility will also counteract isolation and offer companionship for your loved ones who are living alone. There are several reasons that precipitate a move to an assisted living facility.
1. An Increase in Medical Problems Or Falls
One of the most pressing reasons for a move to an assisted living are worsening medical conditions and/or falling. Often this seems to happen all at once and families must quickly weigh their options. This is no easy task. Since it is nearly impossible to be with your loved one 24/7, you need to consider the best way to get them the help they need.
As medical conditions worsen, often a person becomes weaker and less mobile. Medical conditions go hand-in-hand with falls. According to the CDC, three million older people are treated in emergency rooms for falls each year. Additionally, falling once doubles your chance of falling again. Once a person experiences the fear of falling, they often become less active because they do not want to fall again.
2. Confusion Or Trouble with Medicine Or Bills
Another telltale sign is if your loved one has trouble with timely things, such as paying bills or taking daily medicines. Often older people become confused, and have difficulty keeping things straight. Sure, pill reminders are great tools, but there may come a time when you go to visit and all the week’s pills are still in the box.
Bills are another concern. Although you might choose to take over the finances yourself, even things as seemingly simple as keeping the pile of mail organized can be challenging.
3. Problems Caring for Self Or Home
One of the important reasons people consider assisted living is when older people have trouble taking care of themselves. This may include difficulty showering or fear of doing so because of falling.
It could also involve daily hygiene or toileting. This lack of interest or lack of ability can leak over to care for the home. If your loved one’s house is not tidied up regularly, or the stove is left on or the garbage piles up, these are signs that they may need to consider assisted living.
4. Experiencing Loneliness in Isolation
Many older people can become lonely, as spouses die or friends can no longer visit. The isolation can take a toll on mental health and also cause depression. One important thing to consider is your loved one’s socialization. Instead of watching television all day, assisted living offers activities, dining companions and other people around with whom they can interact.
Initiating the Conversation About Assisted Living
The most important thing you can do for your loved one is to start talking. Although a difficult conversation, if you can make decisions before the situation is an emergency, everyone will be better off. Dr. Susann Varano, a geriatrician, said, “That’s the worst when you make impulsive decisions. Guilt takes over, and some families fall apart. Typically, the senior is hospitalized and when they’re discharged, they’re not safe to go home.”
The Inn at Belden Village understands how difficult the conversation can be, but will walk through the process with you step by step. Please contact us to arrange a free lunch and tour of our facility! There are many amenities offered to your loved ones, such as a beauty shop, a chapel and library, as well as laundry and medical or personal care.
Although the conversation is not always easy, you need to make a life-giving decision for your loved one, and for the entire family. When increased medical problems or personal problems start creeping in, assisted living can be the answer that everyone is looking for.