As your parent or loved one ages, you might find yourself taking a more active role in their healthcare plans. Many family caregivers feel overwhelmed as they become responsible for coordinating care, scheduling follow-up physician appointments, or refilling prescriptions at the pharmacy on behalf of their loved one. Fortunately, senior living communities can provide the additional assistance your loved one needs, giving you the opportunity to put down some of those caregiving responsibilities and once again focus on your relationship.
Everyone’s senior living journey is unique. However, there are a few signs that could point to senior living being the best option for your loved one’s safety, well-being, and happiness. Here are a few things to look for.
Medication Errors or Mistakes
The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that more than half of seniors over the age of 65 take at least four prescription medications per day. It is not uncommon for seniors to feel overwhelmed or confused by their medication schedule, and missing a dose or doubling one can quickly lead to unanticipated consequences.
If your loved one is overwhelmed by their medication regimen or if they have had to visit the doctor or emergency room because of an error, senior living can help.
Decreased Personal Hygiene
Daily tasks of living, such as showering, shaving, or dressing, are a good indicator of how your loved one is faring at home alone. If you notice a general decline in their appearance or hygiene, it could be because of a variety of reasons. Sometimes, decreased endurance or increased pain simply make it too exhausting to get up and take a shower safely. Other times, hygiene takes a backseat in the daily routine thanks to memory loss or other cognitive impairment.
Senior living allows residents to maintain their independence while having access to personalized assistance from trained caregivers who are there to lend a helping hand.
Recent Weight Loss or Gain
Planning for, preparing, and eating three nutritional meals per day can feel unrealistic to some older adults living at home alone. Without access to healthy meals, older adults are more likely to choose a processed option instead — or even skip meals altogether.
If you notice a significant weight loss or gain, senior living can help. Residents enjoy three chef-prepared meals per day with their neighbors and friends in a social dining room.
Loneliness or Disconnection
Older adults need friendship and socialization just as much as their younger counterparts. However, it can be difficult for your loved one to meet up with friends or foster new relationships if they no longer drive or if they don’t have a regular group of friends to meet up with.
If your loved one expresses feelings of loneliness, they are at an increased risk for negative health outcomes that include rapid cognitive decline, depression, and even premature death. Senior living communities are hubs of social activity, with events and trips to enjoy daily with new friends.
Falls or Other Medical Emergencies
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in four seniors falls annually in America, making senior falls a public health concern. Falling and other medical emergencies can send seniors to emergency rooms at a higher rate than their younger peers and can lead to extended hospital stays or unanticipated procedures.
If your loved one has a history of falls or emergency room visits, senior living is an excellent option. Residents and family members enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing a caregiver is right down the hall.
Senior living communities offer personalized care for each of the residents they serve. Begin your research by downloading our free guide, Finding a Safe and Comfortable Senior Living Community. You’ll learn more about the types of communities available, as well as how to make the most of your tours so you can make your most confident decision.