It's can be difficult to acknowledge that our bodies become slower and less agile as we age. It can be even more difficult to watch the transformation of aging happen to members of our family. In some cases, aging can lead the affected person to neglect once loved hobbies, interests or activities. For others, it can mean noticeable changes in health and behavior.
Some of these changes may be minor, such as diminished eyesight or hearing, or as major as a loss of mobility, or even loss of cognitive functions due to dementia conditions such as alzheimer's. This can take its toll on the caretaker and the family of the affected loved one as well. Sometimes the cost of caregiving becomes too high, and caregivers often find themselves unable to handle the responsibility of providing home health care to their loved one without suffering from illness themselves.
This may be the time when it is necessary to work with senior placement agencies to find an assisted living facility for the aging parent or loved one. Moving a family member is never an easy decision to make. Keep reading to learn about some of the telltale signs to help recognize when it’s the right time for assisted living.
If your parents have started to develop poor personal hygiene, or has stopped taking care of their appearance, they may be having trouble maintaining cleanliness through proper bathing.
Dirty clothes may be a sign that they cannot keep up with their laundry, and a dirty home is likely a sign that it may be time for them to move into assisted living.
It is fairly common knowledge that it can take longer to recover from the toll that injuries and illnesses can take on us as we age, and it is hard to mend quickly when different parts of the body are aging. If your parent or loved one is taking significantly longer to recover from ailments, whether it is a minor wound or a common cold, you should take that as a major warning sign.
Medical scientists do not know exactly why physical recovery slows down as people age. However, it is clear that a slow recovery is a surefire sign that help is needed. A person in a weakened state is at high risk of contracting another condition from which they will not be able to recover. It is for this reason that slow recovery is a strong indicator that it is time to consider assisted living.
If your aging parent or loved one has lost a considerable amount of weight in a short period of time, you need to have a conversation with them immediately. Losing weight is not inherently unhealthy. In fact, it is often quite the contrary; in many cases losing weight is simply following the doctor’s orders. However, if the weight loss is unexplained, or it seems that the affected individual is having trouble caring for their dietary needs, this can be another red flag that assisted care is needed.
If your parent or loved one keeps any pets or plants, the condition of these can be an indication of their own personal condition. Someone who has diligently cared for a living thing, even just a houseplant, suddenly neglects the thing, this may be a sign that that they are struggling to care for themselves.If you notice a pet or plant that's not doing well, open up communication and ask your parent why. It could be as simple as a plant not getting enough sun or a pet not liking their new food. However, this may sometimes be a sign that they need assisted living care.
Stacks of unopened mail and unpaid bills or key financial and legal documents that haven't been dealt with may be a sign that your parent or loved one may be cognitively, physically or emotionally unable to handle them.
Unpaid or unexplained bills, as well as things like missing checks are also red flags for financial abuse. A solution may be as simple as help sorting the mail and prioritizing. If however, they seem unable to tend to these matters, it could be a fair sign that other aspects of their lives are also affected by their mental or physical state.
Loneliness can be as bad for a senior’s health as an illness. If they’re not remaining active and staying social in their current conditions, moving into a community of other seniors could be a good decision to make. An assisted living home does mean less independence, but the other side of that coin is access to a whole new social community.
Moving to an assisted living facility or nursing home can be a major change for a senior who is set in their ways, but the the experience can be a positive one. Take time to find the home that best meets the needs of your loved one. When it is all said and done, the move is about their safety and your peace of mind.