What do you do when you realize it’s time for that talk? When you finally know the next step is assisted living for your mom and dad? How do you know when it’s time at all?
It’s not lost on us that one of the most difficult moments in our lives is the moment we realize the next step for our beloved elder is to move them to an assisted living community. Some of these moments come celebrated, a new form of relief for all parties involved, other moments come hesitantly and bitterly, not yet ready for such a change. On one hand, it’s emotionally taxing to see someone you love not able to take care of themselves when they used to be the one taking care of you. Yet, on the other hand, there’s only so much you can do to take care of a senior in your family until it becomes clear there is a better way to do this.
So, what are some signs that may indicate it’s time to seek this professional help regarding your loved one’s living situation?
Some symptoms include worsening medical conditions, isolation, anxiety, depression, financial matters, a messy living space, frailty, poor hygiene, and even mortality concerns.
Worsening medication conditions such as sarcopenia, or loss of muscle mass and strength, and common areas like inflammation, infections, toxins or genetic factors could all be telltale factors that it’s time to discuss possible next steps for your loved one. If they are also experiencing isolation, loneliness and depression as a direct result, are no longer able to calculate their financial matters, live in a suddenly dirty space with improper hygiene or are starting to worry about their mortality, the next step should be the discussion of moving into an assisted living community.
So how does assisted living serve as a solution?
These communities feature round-the-clock assistance for patients who need highly attentive, long-term care. According to Aging.com, the average senior who enters a senior living community is there for around two and a half years. Those who enter assisted living facilities can often do many activities on their own, but not enough to where they can comfortably and safely live alone anymore. These residents usually have their own living space and are still able to socialize with other residents freely. Meals are provided to residents, and they can also have assistance with bathing, take field trips to various places around town, including going to the store and other entertainment activities like the theater and shopping mall.
Additionally, their newfound lifestyle can be relatively similar, if not better, than before because of the amount of people similar in age and the overall sense of community. These communities are particularly advantageous to seniors who are isolated. The sense of community given in those circumstances can help combat that.
Lastly, being given a diagnosis of a certain memory loss disease, whether that is Alzheimer’s or dementia can be very intimidating. Yet, these communities consist of memory care units that serve as a reprieve to all the complications that have come from the symptoms of memory loss, such as driving incidents, loss of facial recognition and misplacing important items. When it comes to memory care, this type of care is specifically tailored for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. For example, there is greater security, routine round-the-clock care, activities utilized to cope and at times, recharge the memory. That way, every senior has the care and attention they need and deserve.