7 Signs You or Your Loved One Is Ready to Move to Assisted Living
Keeping an eye on the changes that indicate it is time for a move to a senior living community
This may be the first time you’ve had the thought: the time has come for a move. Or maybe you or your loved one has already moved into independent living in a senior living community, but small things are starting to change and the idea of increased care is crossing your mind. When to move is an issue many seniors and their families wrestle with. We’ve created a list of signs that will help point you in the right direction.
1. Home Safety
If you are considering expensive home renovations for accessibility modifications, have experienced a fall or even fall scares, or are struggling with the stairs at home, a move to assisted living will save you and your loved ones a world of stress. Assisted living communities are built for accessibility. This will not only save you money on the renovations, but it will ensure you have a home you can move safely in and a community nearby should anything go wrong.
2. Decreased Mobility
Sure, practical mobility is important, but so is a range of physical activity. A multi-level home or a neighborhood gym may have you feeling like you can’t trust your body, but senior-focused exercise has the potential to help you exceed your current mobility restrictions. An environment created for seniors to thrive and appropriate gym equipment and exercise classes are also great for healing from injury, meeting friends, and that great post-exercise feeling.
3. Difficulty with housekeeping and errands
This one may sometimes need an outside eye to detect, especially if you still have a decent amount of mobility. Common signs that assistance is needed is difficulty with larger physical tasks like gardening and vacuuming. Mail stacking up, neglected money management, and general home disarray can also be indicators that an extra set of hands are required, especially if this is a change in behavior. Many seniors find their eyesight and reaction times when driving becomes a bit faded as well. There are many elements involved in running a home, and allowing an assisted living community to help manage these things removes stress and potential danger.
4. Struggling with daily tasks
There are so many things that fall under this category, and as we all age differently you may find that some apply to you and some don’t. However, struggling with dressing, bathing, and remembering to take medication are a few indicators that you may need an extra hand. There are many assisted living facilities that offer these services and more. Take an honest look at how you complete daily tasks and if a little assistance is warranted.
5. Fading memory
Forgetting little details like where the keys are, turning off the stove, or remembering to lock the door can sometimes be small things but open the potential for anything from frustration to outright danger. Outside of being in a safe environment, many assisted living communities have programs that help maintain and improve cognitive function. It is important to keep the brain worked out too, developing new pathways to help keep cognitive function sharp all throughout your senior years.
6. Poor diet
This one can be a hard one to diagnose, especially if diet hasn’t always been a strong suit for you or your loved one. However, many seniors aren’t motivated to cook for one or give in to the physical difficulty of maintaining a stocked kitchen and allow the quality of their diets to decline. Assisted living not only makes sure that there are meals prepared, but that they are suitable for any range of dietary requirements or diseases that need to be addressed. A good diet is important for maintaining health as we age, and can also be an enjoyable experience. You may even seek out a property that features gourmet food options!
7. Social isolation or depression
This is very common in seniors as many of the activities that built social activity into daily life are part of the past. Jobs, clubs, sports, and sometimes spouses are no longer in the picture, and life can turn a bit grey when feeling isolated at home. Add the difficulty of decreased mobility and difficulty driving, and social lives can feel downright impossible. A community comes with a move to assisted living care, as well as social groups, activities, and counselors. Emotional needs are just as important to meet as physical needs, and this sort of move can seriously help in this area.
Remember, not all assisted living communities are created equal. Some just offer meal support while others allow you to add on a whole range of services that fit your specific needs. If you have assessed that you or your loved one are ready for a move, take some tours and ask questions about amenities and services that you are counting on having. Your move to an assisted living community should be an opportunity to remove stress from your family’s life and improve the daily quality of your life. Choosing the right place for you is an important key for success with your decision.