If you’re thinking about whether or not it’s time to transition your parent or senior loved one to an assisted living community, we understand how difficult it can be for everyone involved to know what’s best. What factors should be taken into account? Are there any signs you should be looking for? Here are some indicators that it may be time to initiate this conversation.
Worsening health problems.
If your aging loved one’s health is deteriorating due to a chronic condition, they are not alone. According to the National Council on Aging, 80 percent of older adults suffer from at least one chronic disease and 77 percent have two or more conditions. Rather than trying to handle your loved one’s declining health on your own, it may be beneficial for them if you partner with a team of professionals who are dedicated to their wellbeing.
Changes in hygiene.
Noticeable differences in your loved one’s personal hygiene — like unwashed or greasy hair, unkempt fingernails and facial hair or unclean teeth or dentures — are a cause for concern. Poor hygiene could be due to self-neglect, which is a risk factor for early mortality among the elderly. Other warning signs of self-neglect include:
- Refusal to take medications or poor management of medication regimen
- Signs of weight loss, malnutrition or dehydration
- No food, inadequate food or rotten food in the house
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Signs of unopened mail and notices
- Non-functioning utilities or utilities that are shut off
Increase in isolation.
Similarly to self-neglect, social isolation is a risk factor for early mortality. Older adults who live alone often have fewer social ties – and may be more isolated due to memory loss, hearing impairment or mobility issues. Isolation is not healthy for seniors, as it is associated with cognitive decline, depression, chronic diseases and dementia. According to AARP, seniors exhibiting withdrawal, loss of interest in personal hygiene, poor nutrition or hoarding could be suffering from social isolation.
Consider whether your loved one would be confident in responding appropriately to emergencies like taking a fall, having a medical scare or getting in a fender bender. If your loved one is having trouble navigating the stairs in their home or had instances of forgetfulness or wandering, they may no longer be safe on their own.
Difficulty in managing daily tasks.
There are many parts of daily life that may become difficult for seniors to keep up with on their own. If mental or physical limitations are hampering their ability to take care of themselves properly, they might need some help. Nearly 18 million older adults have reported needing help with daily activities, so they are definitely not alone in this. Assisted living at Longleaf Liberty Park helps ensure your loved one has fresh, healthy meals, help with bathing and grooming, medication management, scheduled transportation for appointments and much more.
Every situation is different, but if your loved one is showing several of the above signs, it may be time to start a conversation about transitioning to an assisted living community. At Longleaf, we recognize each individual’s unique needs and work with families to create a personalized care plan. We’re here to help in any way we can as you navigate this stage in you or your loved one’s health journey.