Signs Your Loved One Could Benefit from Assisted Living
If you’re like most people, the recent holiday season served as a great time to catch up with friends and family you may not see as often as you like, including aging loved ones. For many, this can spark a serious conversation as to whether an aging loved one’s current living situation is best for them.
This conversation is understandably difficult and therefore often easy to put off. For loved ones of an aging senior, it can be hard to admit that your loved one needs assistance. And for seniors, accepting help may leave them feeling as though they are losing their independence. However, it’s important to understand the benefits moving to an assisted living community can bring, including help with daily tasks such as cooking, housekeeping, dressing and bathing, all of which can contribute to leading a more active, healthy, independent life.
Here are five common signs your loved one could benefit from assisted living:
- They struggle moving around the house. Mobility issues, including a decrease in muscle tone, flexibility and balance are more common as we age and can increase a senior’s risk for falls, which can be potentially deadly for those who live alone. If your loved one struggles using the stairs, uses the wall to maintain their balance while they walk, or has recently been hospitalized for a fall, their current living situation may no longer be the safest option. Even minor falls or fractures can take months of recovery, holding your loved one back from living life to the fullest.
- They’ve noticeably lost weight. Cooking becomes less and less desirable to seniors as they age. And for seniors living alone, cooking for one often feels isolating. This leads many to seek “simple” meal options such as a can of soup or a frozen prepared meal that can be prepared in a microwave. These options are often unhealthy, packed with sodium and lack the nutrition balance seniors need to stay healthy. Additionally, due to a natural decrease in appetite as we age, many seniors are prone to occasionally skip meals. This only leads to a greater decrease in appetite and as a result, many seniors become noticeably thin and frail. This, paired with an increase in the number of stale or expired foods, is often a clear signal your loved one is no longer eating as they should.
- Their home shows signs of neglect. Maintaining a home or even a small apartment can become more difficult with age. This can often lead seniors to live in conditions that are dusty, unsanitary and cluttered. An unkempt home can also be a signal that they are struggling to maintain other daily activities such as bathing or dressing.
- They mention feeling lonely or show signs of depression. Particularly for seniors living alone, getting older often means experiencing more feelings of isolation, which in turn can increase their risk for depression. Staying social is part of healthy aging. Make sure you understand your loved one’s weekly routine. Does it include leaving the house each day? Do they mention friends or relatives they regularly visit with? Or activities they enjoy doing? If not, it may be time to reconsider whether it’s best for them to continue living on their own.
- They have issues remembering to take daily medications. Medications work best when taken as prescribed. If your loved one is having a difficult remembering to take their medications, i.e. they are behind on filling refills or running out of medications more quickly than they should, they likely need more help managing them.
Moving to an assisted living community is a big change for everyone. However, many seniors say that they feel more healthy, happy and independent after moving to a community. If you think your loved shows signs that they could benefit from assisted living, it’s important to start having the conversation as soon as possible.
Additionally, be sure to include them in the decision process by allowing them to tour communities with you. This can give you confidence that they choose a community that not only fits their needs, but their lifestyle.
Embrace Life at Franciscan Ministries
Could your loved one benefit from a little assistance? At Franciscan Ministries, we ensure residents have access to the support they need to maintain their independence and lead happier, more fulfilled lives. From dressing, bathing, medication management, dining and more, residents receive the daily assistance they need, along with a variety of programs and activities designed to stretch their body and minds. Contact us today to learn more about our assisted living communities and schedule a tour.