How do you know if your elderly mom or dad needs to transition into an assisted care living facility? Here are 10 signs that can help you make this decision.
It’s never easy to accept a loved one’s declining health.
Around 40% of adults in the US with aging parents say they act as the primary caregiver. But an important part of caring for a loved one is knowing when our help is no longer enough.
The line isn’t always clear, however.
That’s why we’ve put together 10 signs that your loved one is in need of assisted care.
Have you noticed significant changes in your loved one’s personality? Outbursts of emotion are often a good indicator that they need assisted care.
As we age, our risk of conditions like dementia increases. We also become more susceptible to other mental health conditions through chemical or lifestyle changes. This can lead to dramatic changes visible to loved ones.
If you’ve noticed these changes, they may indicate that your loved one can no longer take emotional care of themselves. They could be causing a great deal of stress to themselves and those who care for them.
Risks to Person
You may need to think carefully about additional care if your loved one suffers regular injuries.
Frequent falls and other injuries may indicate your loved one is no longer capable of protecting their own well-being.
It’s even more important to watch out for this behavior if they live alone, as they may be unable to seek help after an accident.
Repeated injuries and falls suggest that your loved one needs someone to watch over them closely or handle day-to-day tasks. If you see these signs, it may be time for additional care.
The term “sundowning” refers to a period of increased anxiety and stress occurring toward the end of the day.
Sundowning is a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. It can take a significant toll on both the person and their carers, as care becomes more difficult.
If your loved one is showing signs of sundowning, you may want a doctor’s opinion. If they’re in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, then assisted care with a service like Seasons Memory Care may prolong their quality of life.
As we grow older, our body becomes less effective at fighting off diseases.
If you notice your loved one seems to be in a constant state of illness, it could indicate they need better care. A prolonged period of sickness could leave them physically weak and unable to look after themselves properly.
It could also indicate that their general living conditions aren’t enough to maintain good health. For instance, prolonged flu could leave them too weak to cook, making them more susceptible to additional diseases.
Sudden weight fluctuations are never a good sign in the elderly.
Weight fluctuations could indicate an underlying condition or poor personal care. It could suggest a physical or mental disability preventing your loved one from engaging with their own health.
Whatever the case, carers must monitor weight changes closely to ensure they’re within expected limits. Assisted care could help ensure there’s someone there to monitor their diet and habits to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Lack of Housekeeping
Take a look around your loved one’s house. Is it getting dirtier than usual? Are there household chores left undone?
Many people will refuse to talk about their declining health. Taking a look around can show you where the problems are. A dirty kitchen presents a serious risk to health, for instance, and can be a sign your loved one is failing to cope.
If your loved one struggles with daily activities, assisted care could improve their quality of life by removing that burden.
Bad hygiene is often a strong sign that your loved one needs additional care, especially if it’s previously unknown behavior.
Bad hygiene may indicate that your loved one needs support to complete mundane tasks, or perhaps access to special equipment to make these tasks easier.
Consider whether poor hygiene is symptomatic of larger problems. You may need to have a sensitive talk with your loved one to find out whether they’re struggling or unaware of the problem.
Severe Memory Loss
Memory loss often presents along with other symptoms of Alzheimer’s. When it becomes severe, the sufferer will usually need additional care.
Memory loss prevents people from carrying out their usual day-to-day tasks. They’ll become easily distracted and prone to half-finish anything they attempt.
Severe memory loss can also present a significant risk to safety. Absent-mindedness can quickly lead to fires or other accidents.
Looking out for signs of financial struggle could help you assess whether your loved one needs assisted care. Even if they don’t talk about their finances, look out for other signs.
Your loved one may start to ignore their mail, for instance. They may brush letters off as confusing or not important. This could be a sign they’re no longer managing their finances correctly.
This confusion can also make the elderly more susceptible to scam practices, resulting in immediate loss of money or additional debt.
You’re Helping Out Too Much
It’s a strange point in our lives when we realize our elders have come to rely on us instead of the other way around. But for many children and grandchildren, this is an everyday reality.
If you find yourself putting your life on hold to ensure a loved one’s quality of life, it could be a sign they need additional care. A few favors here and there is one thing, but you need to get on with your life, too.
You can’t be there all the time, so taking on too much may actually leave your loved one at greater risk.
Assisted Care Could Improve a Life
Many people feel guilt at urging their loved one to move into assisted care. But the truth is that care could improve or even save a life when it’s truly needed.
By considering the signs above, you should be able to come to an informed decision when it’s time.
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