There Are Many Kinds Of Senior Living To Consider For Your Loved One
You have probably heard the words Assisted Living. Perhaps you wondered “what is it”? “Are there different types?” The answer is that there is no commonly accepted definition of Assisted Living, and there are many types of Senior Living outside a seniors own home. The fact is most if not every state in the U.S. has its own definitions, descriptions and usually licensing requirements for senior living options. Assisted Living is generally like apartment living with the aid of services provided by staff if needed. Things like meals, personal care, cleaning and transportation may all be a part of what is offered by a business offering Assisted Living to seniors. Also there are Adult Foster Care Homes, Board and Care Homes, Residential Care Homes and Nursing Homes offering similar services to name just a few.
Signs That It May be Time for Your Loved One to Consider Senior Living Options
Deciding on whether it is the right time to move a loved one into assisted living or a senior care home can be one of the hardest and most heart-wrenching decisions you and your family may have to make. When we were deciding if it was time to move mom, it took us several weeks, maybe even a month to finally make the decision. But if the intent is to keep your senior parent happy, safe and healthy, then it is probably a decision you must undertake, because in truth it is the best for your loved one and for the family as a whole to know they are safe and well cared for.
At Senior Home Search, we have read hundreds of articles with titles stating 3 reasons, 5 reasons, 8 reasons, 11 reasons and more why it is time for your senior parent to move. However there is no form to fill out that says Yes/No it is time for Mom to move into a Senior Care Home. There are not 3, 4 or 11 checkboxes that will decide for you.
How Do We Decide it is Time For A Move Into a Senior Home?
Each person’s individual situation and circumstances alone will determine if a move to Assisted Living or to a Senior Care Home should be considered. Sometimes there may be only a few things to consider, sometimes many. So, what can help us to evaluate our loved ones circumstances? You will need answers to important questions to help you decide about senior home living.
Health And Memory Questions:
- Is your parent telling you that he is eating, but you're seeing food go bad in the refrigerator?
- If your loved one isn’t maintaining a healthy weight, it could be because they’re having a hard time cooking their meals or they have a loss of appetite symptomatic of some larger problem. Either way, if they need assistance with as basic a task as eating often enough, they should have regular care.
- Are there signs that your parent is not changing their clothes on a regular basis? Do they seem to always have the same thing on when you visit? Are there very few clothes in the laundry basket? What about their appearance, does it appear they have not been bathing and grooming themselves as before?
- Is your aging parent remembering to take medications correctly, with the right dosages and at the right time? Are medications expired? Take a look at the last refill date on prescriptions, are there more pills in the bottle than there should be given the last refill, this should be a big red flag.
- Are there stacks of papers and unpaid bills lying around? This may be a sign that they are not remembering to care for daily and monthly tasks and need assistance to keep up.
Are you noticing injuries? Minor injuries become a much bigger deal the older you get and if your loved one is suffering from them, then they likely need more day-to-day help than they’re willing to admit.
- Are they able to operate appliances safely? Do they remember to turn appliances off when they are finished cooking?
- Is the home your parent is currently living in equipped with safety features such as grab bars and perhaps an emergency response system with fall detection?
- Do they have a plan in place to contact help in case of an emergency?
- Seeming more frail. Do you feel anything "different" about the person's strength and stature when you hug? Can your loved one rise easily from a chair? Does she or he seem unsteady or unable to balance? Compare these observations to the last time you were together.
- Do you notice any bruising on their arms, legs or other parts of the body that would indicate they may be falling? Many times seniors will try and hide this from you.
- What about an emergency such as a fire, flood or other natural disaster? Would your loved one know how to be safe in those situations, if not they should not be alone.
- When you really look at your parent, do you see the bright and vibrant person from years ago, or do you see a more limited person who needs help one or more hours a day, or even around the clock?
Family Situation Questions:
- Do they have friends, or are they isolated from others most of the time?
- Is there someone who checks in on them on a regular basis? If not you or another family member, who does this? Is your loved one willing to consider a home safety system or a personal alarm system, or even a daily calling service?
- Are you able to change your schedule to spend more time helping your loved one? If not then it may be time to consider senior housing options
These are just a few things to help you begin to consider whether or not it is time for a change. Change is never easy and especially for seniors. So in the next article we will consider ways to approach the subject with your loved one.