When to Consider Assisted Living

There are many legitimate reasons to consider assisted living. Assisted living communities provide a broad range of services and the decision to consider making a move will depend on both the present and future needs, as well as the timeline in which those needs must be met. It is never an easy decision to make the move into assisted residential care. Here are some revealing signs that can help make it easier to recognize when it’s time for assisted living:

Consider assisted living if driving to appointments or managing the responsibilities of the home have become overwhelming. Sometimes families can suffer from what is known as caregiver stress. In these cases it is better to choose an assisted living community rather than having to rely on family members to find the time or hire an in-home caregiver. It will lessen anxieties and afford more time to do other enjoyable things.

Consider assisted living if safety and well-being are at risk. If there is a predisposition to falls, a habit of leaving hazardous appliances on, or difficulty climbing the stairs, these are safety issues that often require formal interventions. Accidents do happen, but as people get older, the odds rise of them happening again.

Consider assisted living if there are any health related issues that require supervision, such as Alzheimer’s, failing eyesight, or arthritis. Dementia can cause physical, verbal and even sexual aggression, which can lead to resentful family members and caregivers. Assisted living facilities offer regular assistance with healthcare needs, including specialized dementia care services.

Consider assisted living if without a spouse, there are feelings of loneliness, depression and a need for companionship. Emotional wellbeing can be just as crucial as safety. If someone living alone becomes increasingly lonely or is riddled with anxieties, then it may be time for a move not solely based on health and safety reasons. Living alone and losing some independence can cause isolation and depression. Being able to socialize with others and participate in a variety of activities that there is an interest in are some of the invaluable benefits of living in assisted living communities.

Consider assisted living if at times there is a forgetfulness to take one's medication, or forget if it had been taken or not. Seniors can have serious health complications if they are hypertensive or diabetic and mismanage their medication. If monitoring medication from home is not possible, consider the senior health services of assisted living.

Consider assisted living if there is a noticeable weight loss. Many conditions, from cancer to depression, can cause a loss in weight. A person who is having trouble cooking, getting out to shop, or forgetting to eat all together can lose weight; check the fridge and watch meal-prep skills. Meal preparation can become more difficult causing a lack in receiving the proper nutrition. If having a daily caregiver in the home is not feasible, and preparing meals and going to the grocery store have become too much of a burden, consider a senior care facility.

Consider assisted living if there is a change in hygiene such as body odor, unkempt hair, dirty clothes, or forgetting to shave. Sometimes living alone requires a need for assistance with everyday activities, like housekeeping, personal care, getting dressed, and showering. Needing help with general household care or personal care are a few of the top reasons seniors consider assisted living.

Consider assisted living if there are days spent without leaving the house. This can happen if the person is afraid to take public transportation alone, can no longer drive or lacks a companion to come along. There is that fear among seniors of being "locked away" in a retirement home. Many care facilities offer regular outings that may keep them more active and mobile, not less. Managing the responsibilities of home and driving to appointments can become overwhelming. If family members are not reliable, nor have the time, or means to hire someone, an assisted living community will lessen anxieties and afford more time to do other enjoyable things.