When is the Right Time to Consider Assisted Living? Here are Four Signs

| May 4, 2018 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

The conversation about assisted living might be among the most difficult a family will ever have. So many questions arise.

Right Time to Consider Assisted Living

How do you know when it’s the right time to suggest your loved one give up their independence and move into assisted living? For many families, this topic is among the most difficult they’ll ever have. Many don’t want to start this discussion because it imparts a sense of guilt—“How do we take away freedom and move our loved one from a home to assisted living?” But in fact, when it’s time, the benefits of assisted living can far outweigh any perceived losses or negatives.

And intuitively if there’s any question, any conversation needed, you’ve likely seen some of the signs.

There are different signs and reasons when considering a move to assisted living, independent living or even a memory care community. Some of the common signs that it’s time to consider assisted living fall into four main categories: Health, Social, Personal Emergency, and Isolation.

Health:

Often, people begin looking into assisted living after their loved one has had a major medical or personal emergency—most commonly, a fall. Previous falls, the inability to walk safely on ones’ own, and a high risk of falls are major signs that should be taken seriously—things can get worse and not better when it comes to strength and balance unless there’s special attention paid to the individual. No one wants his or her loved one to get stuck after a fall without help nearby. Other health risks, like a weak heart or a past stroke, for example, pose risks. While it’s impossible to prevent falls from happening, there’s a lot of benefit to the fact that assisted living communities to have care plans to address all fall-related issues to keep your loved one safe.

Social:

Seniors who live alone can get very lonely and depressed. There are a few social signs that indicate it might be time for assisted living. Look for signs of active friendships: Does your loved one still get together for lunches or outings with friends or visits with neighbors, or participate in religious activities or other group events? Does he or she talk about others or keep a calendar of appointments? If your loved one is rarely leaving the house, showing signs of depression or becoming retreating in their social life, it may be time to consider moving to an assisted living community. Seniors can benefit from organized programs and activities of an assisted care community, creating a stimulating social atmosphere where friendships develop and thrive.

Personal Security:

Safety and security issues are common reasons people choose to check out assisted living. A fire or major accident can result from mindlessly leaving the stove on or a door unlocked—and that can be terrifying for an individual or their family. Forgetfulness may make it hard for your loved one to carry on their normal routines. Inability to drive can limit a senior’s ability to care for them, as well. Frequent forgetfulness could signal signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and should be taken into consideration. Senior living facilities can offer a warm and familiar atmosphere where residents can maintain an independent and active lifestyle.

Isolation:

The passing of a spouse can leave your loved one depressed and lonely, as mentioned above. Depression and loneliness, common amongst seniors, can cause loss of sleep, weight loss, mood swings and thoughts of suicide and is, unfortunately, one of the most common mental illnesses among the elderly. Assisted living communities to help provide a social support system to help engage your loved one but also offer a well-trained staff who can help recognize these symptoms. They can step in to help seniors get their needs met. If friends have died or have moved away, moving to a place where other people are around could be lifesaving.

Starting the assisted living conversation is never easy. But when you start to notice some of these common signs, it’s time to have a frank discussion with your loved ones about their ability to care for themselves. Often, a visit to an assisted living community can ease some of their fears and uncertainties and can be a good place to start.

Stephen ZimmermanStephen Zimmerman, M.A. Gerontology and COO of AEC Living. Stephen is a licensed RCFE Administrator with over 10 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry. Stephen obtained his Masters in Gerontology from the University of Southern California where he graduated with a 4.0-grade point average. The knowledge gained from his time at USC has led him to research and pursue innovative solutions to issues surrounding seniors and aging communities in his role as COO at AEC Living. For more information or to schedule a visit, contact http://www.AECliving.com. With over forty years of experience in the senior care industry, AEC Living has successfully built and operated some of the most innovative and well regarded skilled nursing and assisted living communities in the Bay Area. These include Waters Edge Nursing Home, The Lodge and Elders Inn.

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