Placing your loved one in assisted living can be one of the hardest decisions to make. Sometimes the choice is pushed on you due to overwhelming circumstances that have left you or a caregiver unable to take care of your loved one. Other times, your loved one may be experiencing constant difficulty in taking care of themselves.
So, how do you know when it’s time to make that leap and place your loved one in assisted living? Listed below are 6 signs to help you decide if assisted living should be the next step in your loved one’s care.
1. Aggressive changes in behavior
Aggressive behavior is one of the most common signs you need assisted living. This sign is mostly found in seniors who are diagnosed with dementia. As your loved one gets older and their memory fades, it’s common for them to react to things in an aggressive and combative manner. Violent and even sexual aggression can manifest itself as your loved one ages. These moods can be dangerous and negatively affect you and your family.
In assisted living, they’re trained to handle these moods gently and effectively to prevent your loved one from causing harm to themselves or others. When things start to go down this road, it’s time to consider placing them in assisted living.
2. Medical conditions are getting worse
The most common medical conditions found in seniors are heart disease and Alzheimer’s. As they age, the need for constant medical attention increases, and it can be hard to consistently be on top of their medical needs.
In assisted living, the caregivers are trained to make sure that your loved one is getting everything they need medically and that they’re taken care of. If you find that your loved one’s diagnosed medical conditions are getting worse, consider putting them in a place where they can be medically attended to whenever they need it.
3. Financial Hardships
As your loved one gets older, they may find that it’s harder to keep up with their bills and other financial responsibilities. If they have continuous medical problems, the cost of care and medicine can drastically build-up over time.
Your loved one is also more susceptible to being taken advantage of financially by telemarketers and even other family members. Not being able to properly address their financial responsibilities can be an extension of dementia, that only worsens with age. If your loved one’s finances are falling apart, it could be time to place them in assisted living where someone can help them manage their money.
4. Accidents happen more frequently
Accidents, like falling or wandering off, can become more common as your loved one gets older. These accidents are also common signs you need assisted living. In some cases, falls can cause serious injuries, and sometimes they can be fatal. If your loved one tells you that they’ve fallen on multiple occasions, this is a red flag that they shouldn’t be living by themselves.
Additionally, it’s very easy for an elderly person to wander off even if you or a caregiver looked away for two seconds. If you notice that this is something that’s happening a lot, it’s time put them in a place where if they wander or fall, there will be somebody there to attend to them and bring them back to their living area.
5. Messy living space
If you find that your loved one’s house is always messy, this could be a sign that they’re having trouble taking care of themselves. You or their caregiver may feel that making sure their house is clean is taxing and stressful.
Your loved one may also forget to get rid of old food, which could put them at risk of eating things that are spoiled and can jeopardize their health. Lack of vacuuming, clean dishes, clean clothes, and a pile-up of trash are all indicators that it’s time for your loved one to be in assisted living where someone can take care of these things for them.
6. Home is no longer safe
As your loved one gets older, they may find that their home is not as easy to navigate as it was before. For one, staircases can prevent your loved one from going up or down the stairs. At the same time, they can be very dangerous and put your loved one at an increased risk of falling.
If you or your loved one start to feel like their home is a dangerous obstacle course, then it’s time to place them in assisted living where they can come and go as they please without fear that they’re going to hurt themselves.
Deciding to put your loved one in assisted living is not easy, but it can allow them to live in a place where there’s a team of people trained and ready to take care of them according to their needs. If your loved one starts exhibiting one or more of these signs, then it’s time to start thinking about placing them in assisted living.