According to the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (ANCA/NCAL) almost one million seniors live in assisted living communities in the United States. Making the decision to place your elderly relative or loved one into an assisted living facility can be an emotionally distressing time, but one that you may need to take when your elderly relative is living independently, or caring for them in your home is no longer possible to manage.
Knowing when to consider this option can be difficult and one that many caregivers leave until they are overburdened and their mental and physical health is adversely affected. Being aware of the signs to look for when it’s time to think about assisted living can help make the decision a little easier.
Daily Care Needs
We take many daily activities such as bathing, dressing and toileting for granted but for our elderly relatives these daily needs may now require assistance or supervision. The level of support they need may have increased to the point where they are unable to take care of themselves.
An assisted living center such as Longhouse will provide your loved one with the personalized care they need to ensure their daily care needs are met in a respectful and supportive way. This can also include helping them with mobility issues, laundry and general housekeeping matters.
Increased Injury Risk
Many elderly people are at greater risk of injuring themselves by falling. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately three million older adults are treated in hospital for a fall injury every year, making falls the number one cause of injury and injury death in adults aged 65 and above.
If your elderly relative has injured themselves during a fall at home, this could be a sign of a decline in physical fitness and impaired vision. Knowing they are more vulnerable to injuring themselves can be a worrying thought, and can indicate it may be time to consider assisted living where fall prevention measures are taken to ensure the safety of residents. This can include fixtures such as handrails and shower chairs in bathrooms, as well as inspections for loose or slippery flooring and poor lighting.
Tasks such as shopping for groceries as well as preparing and cooking food can become particularly challenging for many elderly people. As a result, their nutritional needs can become neglected, causing a lack of energy and health problems, especially if they’re living alone. If you notice they are malnourished or lacking in energy, it could be a sign that they are unable to meet their dietary requirements.
An assisted living facility will provide three healthy and nutritious chef-prepared meals to your relative each day, with plenty of fruits and vegetables which meet their nutritional needs. Meals are also prepared to cater for specific health needs, such as low sodium, low cholesterol or diabetic diets.
It can be a great comfort to know that your loved one will receive healthy, flavorful and nourishing meals each day in a social environment, removing the need for them to buy their own groceries and cook their own food.
If you recognize your relative displaying any of the signs mentioned in this article it may be a sign that it is time to consider assisted living.