Starting the conversation with aging loved ones about their future living plans can be a difficult process. However, as a caregiver, it’s important to realize that there may come a time when your loved ones need more help than you are able to provide. Although many seniors have the desire to remain living independently in their homes for as long as possible, when their overall health and safety become a concern, it’s time to begin researching assisted living options that can improve their quality of life.
Although each situation is complex and unique, there are certain common signs that your loved one may benefit from a move to an assisted living community. These signs include:
1) Changes in the state of the home and finances. Perhaps your loved one has always kept a clean and tidy house, but recently you have noticed things within the home that indicate the household is not being maintained. For example:
You should also be on the lookout for things like broken appliances, excessive amounts of clutter and grime, and late notices from utility companies.
2) Deterioration of physical appearance. Any changes in physical appearance can be a red flag that your loved one may need a different living situation. The next time you visit, give your loved one a big hug. Sometimes it’s easier to feel the differences in appearance than it is to see them from a distance. Does your loved one seem thinner and frailer than the last time you visited? On the opposite side, if there is noticeable weight gain, it’s possible your loved one sustained an injury due to a fall or accident that affected mobility. Take note of how he or she looks — are clothes clean and hair washed and brushed? If your loved one is having issues properly eating and grooming, this could be a sign that he or she is having problems managing the basic activities of daily living.
3) Displaying memory problems. Watch for signs that memory loss or confusion is disrupting daily life. Do you frequently find objects in strange places around the home or does your loved one forget what time of the year it is? Or, have you ever found your loved one wandering and exhibiting personality changes? If so, these could be signs of dementia that should not be ignored.
4) Social isolation or withdrawal. It’s common for seniors to become socially isolated, especially if they no longer feel safe driving or are having memory problems. Discuss the types of social activities your loved one has recently participated in. If he or she seems to be withdrawing from society, this may increase the risk of depression. You can also mention all the ways your loved one will be socially engaged by moving into an assisted living community.
5) Caregiver stress. While caregiver guilt and grief are both common reactions during this consideration process, it’s important to realize that an assisted living community can offer a full range of professional services in a compassionate environment. The physical and emotional demands of caregiving can also start to take a toll on your own health. The mental and physical exhaustion you feel should be used as a gauge of how well your loved one is taking care of him or herself.
In an assisted living community, your loved one’s quality of life will begin to improve as he or she receives the right level of care from an attentive team of health professionals. Seniors who were reluctant to move often find that life is just easier in an assisted living community. No longer do they have to worry about housekeeping or yard work, driving to doctor appointments or the grocery store, or cooking meals and cleaning up after them. Members of the community leave daily living tasks like these to the staff so they can spend more time doing what really matters: living.
Dacier Manor at Advent Christian Village is the perfect assisted living community for seniors who could benefit from some daily assistance and support. You’ll find a thriving, vibrant environment with a caring staff devoted to services like daily meals, housekeeping, medication supervision and more. Contact us today for more information. Or, to speak directly to a Dacier Manor staff member, please call (386) 658-5552.