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When is it the “RIGHT Time” to Consider Moving Your Loved One into Assisted Living Facility?

By Linda McKenna Posted on March 12, 2018

The right time to consider moving your loved one into an assisted living facility is mostly dependent on their health and safety needs and issues, and if your loved is at risk living in their own home…and alone.

It is always the “right time” to have a discussion with your loved one especially when you have concerns for their health and safety needs and issues of them living at home alone.  The timing truly becomes vital in having this discussion with your loved one before it becomes an eminent concern and situation can get out of control.

An assisted living facility provides that sense of security to you for your loved ones needs. ALFs provide daily clinical care assistance, social nurturing, and spiritual guidance to your loved in a safe and comforting environment.  Your loved one will have assistance in their required level of care….may it be such tasks as: managing their medications, grooming, bathing, or dressing when it becomes too difficult of a task.  These tasks are called ADLs (Activities of daily living) and when these ADLs are comprised, the assistance of daily tasks adds to their quality of life. Some assisted living facilities also offer special memory care services for those that have Alzheimer’s and Dementia. These specialized care services certainly give you, their caregiver, a peace of mind..

These cues tells you it’s time to consider assisted living options

Medical Emergencies, Frequent Falls, Incidents and Near Occurrences

Has your loved one had few incidents and occurrences at home, such as a fall or injuries sustained from trying to prevent a fall? These incidents and occurrences are a warning sign that your loved one has a problem with mobility. Even inactivity, stiffness in the joints, permeable bones and complications of having diabetes are typical health conditions that can affect their mobility and have unsteady gait. Falls can frequently happen when there are obstructions in pathways, slipping in the shower, or the inability to ambulate at night and in the early morning hours, especially when getting in and out of bed. These difficult times of the day can certainly increase fall risk.

Your loved one’s home may not be conducive to them being safe and are risk factor, such as: items that are not properly accessible, obstructive pathways or clutter, difficulty navigating around corners or climbing stairs safely and effectively. If the above is not currently a risk factor but you notice your loved one has been taking medications improperly, this can be a stronger cause a concern and will require immediate intervention.

Noticeable Weight Loss, Bad Hygiene and Changes in Appearance

Recognizing these signs early on could result of several health concerns or the inability managing their own ADLs (activities of daily living}. If your loved one is unable to nutritionally shop, prepare and eat their own meals will often substitute eating whatever is easily available or little to nothing at all. This behavioral pattern can lead improper nutrition, sizable weight loss, and loss of endurance in their daily routine. Even when medications taken without proper nutrition can also lead to further problems if an eating regiment is not adhered to.

If loved one who is unable to groom or bathe themselves….it will show signs of self-neglect in their physical appearance. The que of witnessing your loved one wearing the same clothes for number of days in a row, or they are not tending to oral hygiene such as brushing their teeth or soaking their dentures, or grooming and washing their hair, or looking unkempt and disheveled . Ironically, if you give your loved one a compassionate hug it can acknowledge their lack of hygiene and their debility and lack of strength.

Proof of a Home Incidents (fire/water damage), Appliances Neglected and Unsafe to Use & Entrances Left Ajar

Safety and security issues are areas of concern for you to check upon further, where your loved may be in danger or have a critical issue of fire, a major accident or even a robbery….from ques of leaving a stove on,   their door unlocked and ajar, or merely ‘forgetting’ may or may not be part of your loved one’s normal daily routine. Frequent forgetfulness could ultimately be signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and should be taken serious account and further evaluation by a professional.

Depression, Loneliness and Socially Withdrawing

The loss of a spouse can leave your loved one depressed, lonely and withdraw. When your loved one disengages from their normal social circle, can be signs and manifestation of depression. Depression and loneliness can be relative to their loss of sleep, weight loss, agitation, moodiness, and even thoughts of suicide. Viewing assisted living facilities as not only a conduit to provide emotional well-being and an aid in engaging your loved one socially but also a support system of professionals who can recognize these signs on a regular basis and step in quickly to assist and meet their needs.

Surmounting Bills, Unorderly & Unclean Surroundings, Clutter and Hoarding

When your loved one can no longer maintain their home environment, and it’s obvious to you that their surroundings are no longer orderly or clean, can lead to unsanitary or not conducive to their health, it is time to take over control. Becoming aware that there are surmountable amount of bills, whether they are overlooked or unopened bills may cause the utility company to shut off their service to the home. Neglect to the outside of house such as: overgrowth of lawns and weeds, garbage not maintained or collected, exterior lights unlit at night and obstructive walkways….can lead the neighbors in calling the authorities with complaints against your loved one.  Neglect inside the home, such as clutter and hoarding can become a hazard to their inability to navigate the home safely and can show signs of neurological issues and endanger their mental and emotional state of mind.

All of the above are large cues that your loved one’s safety, health and well-being are at risk and need to be tended to and addressed immediately. Begin by making a appointments with your loved one’s physicians, an elder law attorney, financial advisor/accountant and a senior placement specialist and advocate. This team of professionals can advise you on the necessary steps for your loved one to engage in a better quality of life and nurturing future.  Me being your local senior placement specialist and advocate, I offer my services to you FREE where we can navigate through the system together, tour various assisted living communities and facilities (whether big or small), inform you on the available options of financial and emotional support and find the best fit for your loved one…..and ultimately afford you a peace of mind!

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