Knowing when to move a loved one into an assisted living community leaves most families feeling unsure and might even cause some feelings of guilt or anxiety. Adult children may even feel like it is their responsibility to take care of their parents in their own home. Although this may be a temporary solution, many family members in this situation begin to feel the weight of balancing the role of caretaker with the demands of their own everyday life. If this is not the case and your loved one is still living in their own home, perhaps you are beginning to see them struggle to complete day-to-day tasks and you may even have started to worry about their safety. For many seniors, the change is not instant, it comes slowly and may be imperceptible at first. However, there are certain signs to look for that will let you and your loved one know it is time to explore assisted living in Delray, Florida for a more comfortable and safe retirement.
Before we dive into these warning signs, it must be noted that, occasionally, there are situations that happen suddenly and/or require an immediate move into an assisted living community. If your loved one has suffered a severe illness or injury that you are not able to care for, a sudden hospitalization or even their current caregiver is unexpectedly unable to care for them anymore, an immediate move is necessary. Having to make a last minute decision because of an acute change to your loved one’s situation may leave you with very few options and unhappy with your decision.
This is why it is important and helpful to begin researching and exploiting senior living well in advance. Planning ahead can arm your whole family with helpful information needed to make the best decision possible for the safety and comfort of your loved one.
If you or your loved one has started to notice a few of these signs, it is time to look into assisted living options and talk about it with your family. The more you know the easier it will be to feel good about the decisions you will need to make. When the time comes to make the move into an assisted living community in Delray Beach, everyone will be on the same page, have had time to process the change and be ready for this new chapter.
Knowing and looking for these 10 signs may help clue you in that a change in living arrangements may be necessary:
- Progression of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease that has caused your loved one to wander, become lost or has started other challenging behaviors such as anger or paranoia.
- A recent fall or history of falling down is a major sign because there is no guarantee that your loved one will be able to get up the next time or reach the phone to call for help.
- Difficulty managing medications may be forgetting to take certain medications every day or not being able to refill the weekly pillbox.
- Activities of daily life are becoming more challenging or difficult such as cooking, cleaning, or personal hygiene care.
- Poor diet or difficulty eating well are also signs it may be time to consider assisted living because it is imperative your loved one has access to healthy meals prepared specifically for them.
- Trouble getting around may be obvious like not driving anymore, but it also may look like difficulty getting up and down the stairs, moving throughout a large home or even accessing closets or small spaces.
- Home maintenance and yard work is being neglected. For aging seniors regular home repairs and seasonal clean up can become dangerous as there is an increased chance of accidents and falls, and therefore you may notice your loved one is unable to keep up with these outdoor chores.
- An overall sense of unhappiness may be a sign that your loved one needs a change. Even if they are able to care for themselves, many seniors report feelings of isolation and loneliness and are unsure how to change their situation. If you notice they are spending a lot of time at home alone, it may be time to look for other options.
- Friends and family do not live close by and your loved one does not really have access to a supportive community of people. It can be challenging if adult children or family live far away and are unable to stop by to visit or check on them regularly.
- Caregiver burnout is real and is linked to increased health risks of depression and anxiety. Being a caregiver is demanding work, both physically and emotionally. Eventually it may become impossible for a caregiver to provide all of the support necessary. If this is the case, your loved one may benefit from an assisted living community to allow your relationship to return to a better place.
Although more often than not, there’s no one clear sign, if you are reading this list and feel as though some of these sound familiar, it may be time to begin planning for a move to an assisted living community. It can be stressful to start thinking about care and may be difficult to start the conversation. However, beginning as soon as you see some of these warning signs may help keep your loved one safe and also relieve some of the pressures and responsibilities of being a long-term caregiver. If your health or well-being suffers, you won’t be able to help your loved one for very long. Knowing these signs and talking about a plan for assisted living offers you the option to continue to be there for your loved one and provide the support he or she needs while maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for all.
Download The Complete Checklist for Moving into a Senior Living Community to help you make a smooth plan for transitioning to assisted living in Delray, Florida.