Telltale Signs That Can Indicate That Assisted Living May Be Desirable
It can be a very difficult decision, both practically and emotionally, for the family to move an elderly person to an assisted living facility. The prime concern for you will be the safety and the wellbeing of your loved one, and you really need to feel confident that the circumstances were such that it was no longer optimum for the elder to be living alone. Some indications that can help you to make up your mind:
There can be certain situations that make it more evident that it is time to start planning about other living arrangements. These include your loved one meeting with an accident or a medical situation that could easily have turned more serious but for some good luck. If the person is also unable to seek medical help when required, if a simple ailment turned serious because of not being treated on time, or a chronic ailment that keeps on worsening, it could indicate that the person is unable to take care of himself. You may also want to consider assisted living if your loved one is facing increased difficulty managing the various daily activities required for independent living such as dressing, doing laundry, shopping, taking medication, cooking and eating.
There can be a number of indications that your elder family member may benefit from assisted living. These could be a significant weight loss leading to clothes hanging loose or requiring further tightening of the belt. Weight loss can emanate from forgetfulness of shopping, cooking or eating or even not taking medicines regularly. The person may also seem feeble when you give him a hug or have difficulty in getting out of a chair or balancing when trying to walk. Untreated illnesses like diabetes or even dementia can result in weight gain. Changes in the person’s appearance due to poor grooming, sloppy or unclean clothing may indicate that the person is not able to take adequate care of him and requires specialized elderly care.
With advancing age, social circles tend to become smaller and this can have significant health and safety consequences. See if your loved family member still has an active social life involving lunches and get-togethers with friends, visits to neighbors’ homes etc. Observe if the elderly person talks with passion regarding his activities and whether he looks forward to his outings – this is important as many aged persons develop depression and resist mixing with other people. A good indicator of depression is cutting back on hobbies, interests, and activities – find out if a club or library membership has not been renewed, or if a hobby is being neglected.
An assisted living facility could just be the place where he can find new friends if his earlier friends are no more or have shifted elsewhere. If he is now not inclined to go out because he’s unsure if he can handle public transportation or because he lacks companionship, an assisted living facility can really be beneficial as they encourage group activities under supervision.
A pile of unattended mail can raise serious doubts on whether the elderly person is paying his bills on-time and managing his money well. Envelopes containing bills, even personal letters lying unopened, or credit card statements reporting unpaid balances can be a sign of dementia or a problem regarding management of personal finances. Find out if your loved one has been making uncharacteristic donations, especially to the same charity over and over again. This can be due to forgetfulness or their vulnerability to scams. You may even discover piles of magazines that are completely fresh and not been read at all; even there may be multiple copies of the same magazine indicating that the person has no knowledge of subscribing twice.
If you can make out that the elder is not really able to manage his daily life activities well or could be in danger if left alone, it is time that you gently persuaded him to consider shifting to an assisted living facility. You will need to explain that he will enjoy a better standard of living with assured assistance in general activities as well as emergencies besides the company of numerous like-minded people.
Charlie Brown is a freelance content writer. He has written many articles on different categories like Technology, fashion, finance, travel, health, etc. To know more about him, please his blog.