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When Is It Time for Assisted Living?

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A happy older adult woman looking at a notebook with an assisted living staff.

As we age, daily tasks that were once simple and easy can become increasingly more burdensome. Housekeeping, grocery shopping, and laundry can go from simple to difficult. It’s time to consider assisted living when your loved one can no longer comfortably manage living on their own. 

Assisted living communities offer laundry service, building maintenance, housekeeping, meal preparation services, and more. This eases stress and lets your loved one carry on with more pleasurable activities. An added benefit is the social engagement of neighbors and the ease of visits from friends and family. 

Things to Watch For

There are signs you can observe to help you determine if it’s time for assisted living. 

Accidents or Close Calls

We all trip, slip, or fall occasionally, but it can be harder to recover as we age. If you have noticed your loved one has had more frequent accidents or their recovery is taking longer than it typically would, it may be time to start thinking about assisted living.

Health Conditions

If your loved one has an ongoing or chronic health condition that is getting worse or becoming harder for them to manage on their own, they may need extra help in caring for themselves.

Weight Loss or Other Physical Changes

Physical changes, such as weight loss or gain, reduced mobility, or diminished hygiene, can indicate that your loved one is struggling with activities of daily living.

Social Engagement

An older adult man sitting alone in his bedroom while  he is spacing out.

You may notice your loved one has not wanted to leave the house or lacks interest in social engagement. Maybe their circle of friends has decreased in recent years. It’s important to recognize signs of isolation and loneliness so you can help them get support. 

Condition of Living Space

If you look around your loved one’s living space and notice dishes stacked up, take-out containers, grime, and dirt on the floors and bathrooms, your loved one may be struggling. If your loved one is normally tidy, their living space is probably a source of stress and anxiety. They may need support and help to manage their space. 

You may also notice signs they aren’t cooking or grocery shopping. Perhaps there is evidence of burnt food or burnt pans in the kitchen. If their cupboards are empty, or they seemingly only have microwaveable meals, that demonstrates they may need some help with meal preparation. 

Personal Affairs

If you see piles of unopened mail or if they have been missing important phone calls, perhaps their mobile phone has been disconnected. This could indicate that they are struggling to maintain their personal affairs, pay bills, and manage their accounts. 

Discussions about finances can be difficult, and they require delicacy. A financial advisor or a banker may be helpful to show that you intend to help them stay in control. If your loved one is comfortable, assigning a trusted person to manage their accounts could relieve some stress. 

How Do I Bring It Up With My Loved One?

Take the time to have an open and honest conversation about your loved one’s needs. Give them space and time to process. It could take several conversations to come to a decision. You can also contact other supporters, family, and friends for their opinions of your loved ones’ needs. 

Would you or another family member be able to provide care and assistance? It’s crucial to be honest about the time you can commit to your loved one’s care and meeting their needs. Hidden costs can include lost time at work or caregiver burnout.

It’s necessary to be realistic about your loved one’s condition and how they’re coping. If their safety or well-being is a concern, staying in their home may not be an option for long. Have a timeline or plan in place for the transition to happen so it doesn’t come as a surprise to them. 

Where to Start With a Transition to Assisted Living

Once the decision to move into assisted living has been made, take some time to assess your loved one’s needs and wants. Choosing a community can be overwhelming, so knowing your loved one’s must-haves is a good place to start. You can reference a checklist to help keep things organized and on track. 

At The Parkdale, your loved one’s comfort and worry-free enjoyment of life are the priority. Our community’s warm and welcoming environment is ideal for aging in place. Independent living, memory care, and hospice services are available.

With daily activities, a games room, a library, delicious meals, a cafe, and a private dining room, this community offers home comforts. We have a dedicated and friendly staff, available 24 hours a day. Schedule a visit today and let The Parkdale welcome you home. 

Written by The Parkdale

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