To shift an elderly family member to assisted living is the toughest and the most heart-wrenching decision to make. However, if such a move keeps the elderly safe, happy and healthy, it is the best for him/her as well as your family. Though no one likes to move from the home they live in, in many cases, moving to an assisted living community is the best way to keep elderly people healthy and safe.
How to determine if it's time for assisted living?
To determine if an elderly can remain at the home or if it's time for moving to an assisted living facility, carefully watch his/her current housing situation, medical requirements, and health status. There are a number of signs indicating it's time to put your elderly parent in an assisted living center. You may ask the following questions:
- Is the elderly saying that he/she is eating properly, but you are noticing food waste in your house? Changes in appetite and loss of appetite are a normal part of aging. However, it indicates your elderly parent requires additional care to ensure that he/she get sufficient nutrients.
- Is the elderly falling frequently? To know the answer, you can check whether he/she is covering up bruises he/she does not want to show you. Bruising clearly indicates that your parent falls quite frequently. This is a very serious issue because falls are the major cause of injury, hospitalizations, and death among elderly people. So, if you think that your parent is at the risk of falls, it is better to move him/her to a senior care facility.
- Is the elderly wearing the same dress for several days? Is he/she able to groom properly, launder clothes, and bathe independently? If your parent needs assistance in such activities of daily living, moving him/her to an assisted living community may be the best option.
- Look around their yard or house. Are they as clean and neat as they used to be?
- Is your parent still able to operate the home appliances safely? Is he/she able to remember to turn off the appliances on time? If your parent has memory problems, staying alone in a home may not be safe for him/her.
- Is the elderly remembering to take his/her medication correctly on time and in the right dosages? This is an extremely important question because the effect of failing to take medicines on time could be very serious. If you believe your parent is unable to take his/her medication correctly on time, you can think about moving him/her to an assisted living center.
- Is your home equipped with the safety features necessary for elderly people, such as emergency response system and grab bars? Does he/she have an arrangement to seek assistance in case of any emergency?
- Is the elderly still able to drive? Does he/she have any alternate ways of transportation?
- Does your parent look as vibrant and bright as he/she was a few years ago? Or are you seeing a person who is more limited and who requires some assistance in daily activities?