May 17, 2018
One of the biggest concerns seniors have as they age is losing their independence. But as we age, it can become more difficult to the do the daily tasks we need to stay happy and active. Things like cooking, maintaining a home or keeping up with personal hygiene often begin to slip as health declines. As the child or loved one of an aging senior, knowing how to help often becomes a struggle.
Moving a parent or loved one to an assisted living community isn’t always an easy choice. But in many cases, it’s the best option to keep an aging parent safe and healthy. Here are five signs a loved one may benefit from assisted living:
1. They live alone. For seniors, living alone can cause feelings of isolation, which over time increases their risk for developing depression, cognitive decline and dementia. Staying social becomes even more important as we age. If your loved one goes multiple days in a row without leaving the house, has lost interest in activities and social engagements they once enjoyed, and doesn’t show signs of active friendships, it may be time to reconsider whether it’s best for them to continue living on their own.
2. They have trouble remembering to take daily medications. In order to be effective, medications need to be taken as prescribed. Signs a loved one may need help managing their medications include missing dosages, mistakenly taking multiple doses in the same day, and having trouble remembering to have prescriptions refilled at the proper time.
3. They aren’t eating as well as they should. Many seniors seek “simpler” meal options, i.e. anything that can be prepared in a microwave such as a can of soup or a frozen prepared meal, which are often high in sodium and not very healthy. Soon, even this can be too much work, leading to seniors skipping meals. This, paired with sudden weight loss and an increasing number of stale or expired foods in the kitchen, often signal your loved one is not eating as they should.
4. They struggle with everyday activities. Getting older can sometimes make it difficult to complete even the most basic tasks. If you notice your loved one is no longer keeping up with their home, or are struggling to maintain personal hygiene, it may be because doing these seemingly simple activities have become difficult for them. This is especially true for seniors with chronic conditions or mobility issues.
5. They have trouble keeping their balance or have recently had a fall. For seniors, a fall can be life threatening. And, at the very least, a fractured hip or broken bone can take months to recover from and keep seniors from leading a happy, full life. Struggling to use steps, using the wall to steady themselves as they walk, or recent hospitalization following a fall are all signs that their current home environment may no longer be a safe option.
An additional sign it may be time to move your loved one to an assisted living community is when caring for them has become overly stressful and difficult for you to manage. Taking on the role of caregiver to an aging senior is never easy, and you may be finding yourself facing a decline in your own health and wellness due to the toll your caregiving duties are taking on you. It’s important to recognize when it’s time to make a change that will benefit you both.
An assisted living community can help your loved one regain their independence by providing assistance with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, medication management and dining. Those with mobility issues can receive assistance getting safely to and from the various social engagements and activities they enjoy. Additionally, the community style living makes it easy for seniors to remain social and active as they age.
If your loved one shows any of the signs above, consider assisted living at Episcopal SeniorLife Communities. We work with families and their loved ones to ensure they have the assistance they need to maintain happy, healthy, meaningful lives. Contact us today to learn more about senior living options and to schedule a tour.