Amanda Pennington, MD
Signs That You May Need to Consider Assisted Living for a Loved One
When someone you love begins to show signs that they are unable to care for themselves, it can be an extremely stressful time for all involved. You may not have a plan for starting a conversation about long-term care, or you might be worried about how you or your loved one will cover the financial end of things should they require a move to assisted living or a nursing facility. You might also be thinking about their healthcare coverage and how it applies to their current and future needs. It’s not always easy to recognize the signs that a senior loved one needs help with daily care, but fortunately, there are some things you can be on the lookout for.
It’s important to keep an eye on your loved one’s behavior and to talk to their friends and family members so that everyone stays on the same page. Having people who can watch for signs of aggressiveness, wandering, or health changes will help determine your loved one’s needs.
With that in mind, below are a few tips on how to keep an eye out for signs that your senior loved one needs help with daily care.
Create a Plan
If your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, they may require daily care, so it’s a good idea to have a plan in place now. Know the signs of both disorders, such as memory issues, repeating the same questions, wandering, a decline in personal hygiene, and changes in mood or behavior. Keep in mind that just because a senior becomes forgetful doesn’t mean they have dementia. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about a diagnosis and possible treatment options.
Watch for Falls
Falls are one of the leading causes of injury for seniors, and they most often occur around the house. If your loved one has suffered more than one fall over the last year, they may need to consider assisted living or daily care options. If they would like to stay in their home and age in place, look for ways you can help them make their home safer, such as by adding grab bars in the bathroom, removing trip hazards like throw rugs, and adding lighting to dim areas.
When Cleaning Becomes Overwhelming
One major sign that a senior can no longer care for themselves the way they used to is a cluttered, dirty, or disorganized home that used to be neat. Keeping up with chores can become overwhelming for many seniors, especially if they have health or mobility issues or if their home has stairs. You can help by offering to take care of certain tasks, or by helping them look for a cleaning service that will assist with things like laundry, dishes, and vacuuming.
Multiple Health Issues
If your senior loved one has multiple health issues or has to spend time in the hospital more than once in a year, it could be a sign that they won’t be able to take care of themselves at home. Start a conversation about their health needs, or talk to their doctor if possible to find out what their treatment and recovery will entail. It may be possible to hire a care provider who can come to your loved one’s home temporarily and take over their wellness needs.
Guest article by Lydia Chan