Adult children often wonder how they will know when to encourage aging parents to consider moving to assisted living. The question can be tough to answer. Sometimes the warning signs are obvious, like repeated falls or a diagnosis of depression linked to isolation.
Many times, however, the signs are small and easy to overlook. A crisis is often the first indication an elder needs the support of a senior care facility.
1. Balance issues: With aging come unique challenges. One may be trouble with balance. Dizziness may be linked to a medication. Another cause might be a chronic illness, such as COPD, diabetes, or blood pressure problems. Older homes aren’t often designed with senior safety in mind. That can lead to falls.
2. Isolation: While it makes sense that mental health may suffer when an older adult is lonely, experts say isolation is actually a serious health risk. For seniors, it contributes to medical conditions, such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Isolation is even linked to early mortality.
3. Neglected home: Keeping up with a home and yard takes hard work. From routine housecleaning to maintenance and repairs, the workload can be daunting and even risky (e.g., climbing on a ladder to wash windows or change a lightbulb). Take an objective look around the senior’s home to see how well they are managing. Neglected chores can be a sign they are struggling.
4. Unintended weight change: Shopping for and preparing healthy meals often becomes less appealing for older adults. Some turn to convenience items and fast food. Others may skip meals altogether. This lifestyle may result in unintentional weight gain or loss. Both have negative health consequences, such as type 2 diabetes or osteoporosis. Poor nutrition also contributes to poor balance and falls.
5. Personal appearance decline: A decline in personal care and appearance is often a red flag, too. For seniors who live alone and don’t go out often, personal grooming might seem like too much work. Sometimes fear of falling in an unsafe bathtub keeps a senior from showering.
6. Change in disposition: When an adult is struggling to complete once simple tasks, it can cause frustration, fear, anger, and resentment. For example, if an older loved one is having trouble carrying the laundry basket up and down stairs, it may leave them sad and frustrated.
7. Crime victim: A sad reality is that older adults are sometimes targeted for crimes. Whether it is a home robbery or a financial scam, it can leave a senior feeling anxious and afraid in their own home.
Assisted living for seniors offers a safe, supportive environment in which to live. From security programs to life enrichment activities, there is much to learn. Our team of experienced senior care advisors stands ready to help. Call us at 888-514-6461 for free guidance!