One of the hardest decisions a caregiver will ever have to make is determining the time has come to move a loved one from their home to a senior living community. But, as your loved one ages or experiences the challenges of dementia or other health issues, trying to keep them safe, and mentally and physical healthy on your own may one day become too difficult.
Often, caregivers wait too long before investigating best options for their loved one, making the move even harder on everyone. So, when is it the right time to consider senior living? Timing the transition is highly personalized and depends on how well your loved one is functioning in their current home, their current health status, and their future medical and personal needs. Here are key considerations that will help you determine when it’s the time for assisted living.
Self-care needs. Does your loved one have problems with activities of daily living, such as cooking, doing laundry, shopping, maintaining their hygiene or a clean home? Have they stopped taking care of themselves like they used to? Are they having mobility issues? Have they been involved in minor fender benders or gotten lost and confused? Problems with self-care or other activities of daily living (ADLs) are signs they should not be living by themselves.
Worsening Medical Conditions. As your loved one ages, the likelihood increases they will develop a chronic medical condition or that they will suffer a medical emergency. Has your loved one fallen recently? Are they taking longer to recover after being sick? Do they take all prescribed medications as instructed? Are their existing conditions progressing more rapidly? Full-time, need-appropriate care in an assisted living facility or possibly a skilled nursing facility might improve their health and greatly enhance their and your quality of life.
Mental health and dementia. Have you noticed your loved one venturing out without a clear purpose? Have they become unusually angry or violent? Are they frequently confused? Do they repeat questions you have just answered? These all can be signs of dementia and may require skilled nursing or a memory care facility.
Or perhaps your loved one has stopped participating in activities they used to enjoy or do they go for days without leaving their home. Even if your loved one is still capable of caring for themselves, they may be too scared to drive or uncomfortable leaving the house. A move to a senior living community could improve things and provide greater sense of security, socialization and stimulation.
Support system. Is there someone who can regularly check in on your loved one and visit them at home? Has an aging spouse become overwhelmed attempting to be caregiver? Have friends or neighbors expressed concerns? Most important, can you or another family member continue doing everything necessary? Being a caregiver is challenging, physically and emotionally. Depending on your loved one’s mental and physical condition, it may become impossible for you to provide adequate care. If that’s the case, your loved one may benefit from an assisted living facility.
Acknowledging that your loved one needs full-time care is difficult. Recognizing that you can’t provide them the needed care yourself is even harder. But if you are worried about your aging loved one’s safety, health or happiness, as well as the well-being of others, it’s time to consider senior living options that best suit their needs.
If you would like to tour The Medallion or Seven Acres or speak to someone about your loved one’s needs, contact LaTonya Autrey for Long Term Care and Skilled Living Information – 713-778-5712, email@example.com or Loren Gordon for Medallion Assisted Living information – 713-778-5702, firstname.lastname@example.org.