According to some statistics, as many as
70% of Americans will need some form of assisted living at some
point toward the end of their lives. Some assisted living
facilities provide the lightest level of care; these facilities are
for people who are still independent, vital, and fairly healthy, but
who need some assistance with activities of daily living. These
facilities may also provide services and measures for aging in
place, with more advanced skilled nursing care available for those
who need it.
Moving an elderly parent to an assisted living community
isn't alway an easy decision. So recognizing the signs it's time may include the following:
Difficulty with some tasks
If it's harder
than it used to be to keep up with the yard work, keep the house
tidy, cook dinners, shop for groceries, and perform other
housekeeping activities without help, it may be time to think about
assisted living. Many facilities provide help with these tasks as
well as with more intimate hygiene activities such as showering,
dressing, and using the bathroom.
- If you or a loved
one has had a sudden health scare such as slipping at home and
sustaining a moderate to serious injury it may be a good idea to
consider assisted living. Less serious signs can be important too
such as sudden weight loss, difficulty getting up from a chair,
difficulty navigating stairs and maneuvering around furniture, and
problems with balance.
Most facilities are monitored on a
regular basis to make sure that residents who fall or experiences
other health issues on a sudden basis get the help they need
immediately, and are not isolated.
- Have you or a
loved one gotten lost on the way home, suffered a car accident due
to a lapse in attention while driving, or gotten disoriented in a
familiar neighborhood? All of these could be a sign of approaching
dementia, and it's worth getting a diagnosis. Many assisted living
facilities provide help with transport for those who need it.
As people age,
sometimes they get more isolated especially with the deaths of
family members and close friends who were around the same age. If
you notice a loved one stepping back from social activities that
once gave them joy, skipping dates with friends, or dropping out of
groups or organizations they used to be involved with, it may be a
sign of other challenges as well.
assisted living provides residents with opportunities to interact and to be social;
just be what your loved one needs. In addition, if there is no one in
your loved one's life who stops by or checks on them on a regular
basis in conjunction with increased fragility and other issues an
assisted living facility may be a safer place to live than the home.
It's never easy to decide to move to an assisted living facility
or to recommend that a loved one move. But sometimes, the move can
be lifesaving, increasing your loved one's safety and improve their daily quality of life.