Aging can best be described as more of an art than a science, based on how personal it can be for each individual. Aging comes with varying health concerns, challenges for the surrounding family, and no matter what, tough decisions eventually have to be made. One of those decisions may be deciding when your loved one needs assisted living or memory care. Assessing the right time to move your loved one from independent living, to assisted living or a senior home, can be stressful. Of course, there’s the obvious red flag, a progressive illness that may accelerate the decision-making process, but many times there is no clear sign, and being proactive could save you and your family from hard times ahead.
When is it Time?
- Recent Falls
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other falls research, more than one-fourth of Americans age 65+ fall each year, making falls the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. With falls being incredibly common in independent senior living, the possibility that one might be stuck for a long time before someone can arrive to help is a major concern. This concern increases for those suffering from dementia, who can have a hard time recognizing the danger of a loose rug, unsteady footstool, or electrical cords stretched across the floor. An assisted living community can help keep your senior mobile and safe, while providing specialized dementia care with nurses on-site 24/7.
- Health Problems and Management
If your elderly loved one has recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness and their health has declined, it may be time for an assisted living community or senior home. If they’re taking longer to recover from illness or injury, this can be a sign of a weakening immune system— they might need more care soon.
Health concerns often come with an increased responsibility for medication, which can be hard for seniors to manage on their own. Dementia can add to the struggle of medication management, putting a seniors health in danger. The staff at assisted living communities can help make sure your loved one is taking their medications properly, while assisting with other daily activities to keep their day-to-day health requirements on track.
Depression is common among seniors who live alone, and for those who suffer from dementia it can be worse. Neglecting the responsibilities of a home, pet, and one’s health are signs that the senior may need assisted living and memory care. Can your loved one cook for themselves? Can they do their laundry? Can they clean up after themselves? Are they able to safely bathe themselves? Are the pets in the home being cared for?
Depression and dementia can affect all areas of a senior’s life at home, which may be hard to determine if they self-isolate. Be sure to ask yourself these important questions when considering the move into a senior community. Many senior facilities enable older adults to age in place in a social, home-like setting, which can help with mental and physical health.
Long Term Care
For those who may be unfamiliar, memory care is a form of residential long-term care that provides intensive, specialized care for people with memory issues. Assisted living and memory care often go hand in hand—not only do employees provide meals and help residents with personal care tasks, but they are also specially trained to deal with the unique issues that often arise as a result of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
The Hearthstone Institute has perfected the development of evidence-based tools for memory care, with the I’m Still Here® approach. This approach emphasizes purposeful engagement by using specialized communication techniques, an enriched environment, and activities that encourage personal choice and support learning. Ultimately, when residents are involved in activities that are meaningful and interesting to them, behaviors associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s are reduced.
If your loved one is in need of services for seniors, don’t wait to find them care that could improve their mental and physical quality of life. For more information on top-notch assisted living and memory care in your area, please visit Jewish HomeLife.