It can be difficult to assess whether your loved one is receiving the level of care they need, especially when changes are gradual or you are a witness to their day-to-day life. Add to this the resistance that older adults often have to assisted living care, and it can be quite a challenge to determine what to do.
The following five questions can help you to organize your thoughts and observations in order to make a sound decision about your loved one’s care.
Is my loved one able to accomplish essential tasks?
One of the more obvious signs that assisted living is necessary is the decline in your loved one’s ability to do the essential tasks related to personal care. Experts refer to these as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), and there are even checklists that you can use to assess someone’s capacity for independent living.
Two red flags that you can look for include:
You may notice a deterioration of self-care skills such as bathing, grooming, toileting, and dressing. When these necessary tasks are not able to be done by your loved one, it is only a matter of time that it begins to affect their health and well-being. If your loved one is beginning to appear unkempt, moving to assisted living will offer them the personal care they need.
- Upkeep of One’s Home
A decline in the cleanliness of your loved one’s home could be a warning that their skills in this area are slipping. If it is possible to hire some help in this area, moving to an assisted living facility may not be necessary. A transition to assisted living means embracing a maintenance-free life where they will not have to be responsible for tasks they are unable to perform.
Is my loved one safe in their environment?
Perhaps your greatest fear is that your loved one is unsafe. It is important to assess the environment they are living in for possible hazards and risk factors. Maybe it is necessary to hire some home care, or maybe it is time for assisted living.
Consider these as you make this determination:
Do you anticipate getting a call telling you that your loved one has fallen? Are falls or close calls becoming increasingly more common? This could be cause for alarm and reconsideration of your loved one’s living arrangement. Assisted living communities offer residents access to 24/7 call lines in case of an emergency.
- Home Is Dangerous
If untidiness or inaccessibility at your loved one’s home is creating hazards as they go about their daily lives, this is a valid cause for concern. A residence at an assisted living facility will be set up with the individual in mind and maintained with safety in mind.
Is my loved one receiving quality care?
A basic question to ask yourself is if the medical needs of your loved one are being met. If the answer is no, senior care from skilled nurses might be the next step.
During this evaluation, you should think about:
- Chronic Illnesses and Worsening Health Conditions
The diagnosis of a neurological or progressive disease like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease may not necessitate an immediate move, but their degenerative nature calls for long-term care. An assisted living care facility can keep tabs on the health of your loved one and determine when they may need Memory Care or another increased level of care.
- Unsustainable Care
In some cases, the stress is not felt by the person being cared for as much as the caretaker. When needs persist or increase in a way that is not in line with the capacity of a caregiver, this is an untenable situation for both parties. Assisted living can unburden you from some of the responsibilities you’ve had to take on so that you can have a more familial relationship with your family member.
Is my loved one feeling isolated?
Well-being is as physical as it is emotional, and there is a strong connection between aging and depression. Charter Senior Living CEO, Keven Bennema, summarized it best in his recent interview with Senior Housing News.
“We hear it all the time that, ‘Mom’s at home alone, she’s got 24-hour caregiving.’ That’s fine, but socialization, dining, those are other key elements. Isolation is something we learned a lot about with this pandemic. A lot of the isolation really impacted residents and families. It could be the worst part.”
The following could be hints you need assisted living care:
- Feelings of Sadness
Think about the weight that your family member might be carrying: living alone, distanced from social opportunities, dealing with chronic illness, and perhaps grieving the loss of friends or family who have recently died. Any one of these could be cause for concern. With assisted living, you can have the peace of mind that they are surrounded by peers and given many opportunities for community.
- Disconnection from Activities They Used To Love
Whether they are physically unable to do the things they used to do or have lost their passion for them, a lack of activity can result in a declining sense of purpose. Assisted living often offers a calendar of events to stimulate residents emotionally, physically and intellectually.
Is my loved one’s memory deteriorating?
Memory loss is a common ailment of aging adults. If you are concerned that your aging family member is experiencing memory decline that is adversely affecting their life, you might consider the support of an assisted living facility.
A couple of warning signs are:
- Forgetting To Take Medication
When forgetfulness impacts essential care like taking prescribed medications, it can be unnerving for loved ones. You may fear your family member will not get the care they need or accidentally take too much of their medication. In assisted living elder care, there are professionally trained caregivers who manage medications for each resident.
If you have noticed a shift in your loved one in the afternoon that includes moodiness, confusion, anxiety, or defiance, this may be due to dementia. While dementia may require memory care, an assisted living facility can help you determine their needs and recommend a specific care plan.
Charter Senior Living
Assisted Living communities at Charter Senior Living promote resident choice, dignity, privacy, independence and individuality. We provide a lifestyle that is engaging and programs that are life-enriching while allowing residents to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible.
Contact your local Charter Senior Living community today to learn more about Assisted Living and Personal Care at Charter Senior Living.