Wondering whether it’s time for mom, dad, or both to transition to senior living? Broaching this subject can be tricky, and it’s hard to know when the time is right. While there are several definitive signs that indicate a parent is ready for senior living, every situation is unique. Read on to learn more about senior living, as well as the signs to look for when your parent needs the support senior living provides.
What is Senior Living (and What is it Not?)
There’s a common misconception that senior living communities are centered on providing round-the-clock medical care to residents. While today’s senior living communities do often include medical and/or physical therapy facilities, it’s helpful to instead focus on the word “community.” The old stereotypes that senior living communities are all about medical care and attention are no longer true.
The truth is that modern senior living communities provide much more than patient care. They’ve evolved with senior needs and changing attitudes. Today’s communities have to meet new expectations of the senior living lifestyle, which provides a full range of benefits for residents. That means opportunities for socialization, lifestyle maintenance, cognitive engagement, and much more.
Here are just some of the activities and features you’ll find in the best senior living communities:
Socialization opportunities for forming friendships
Leisure activities spanning physical and cognitive focuses
Opportunities to explore new hobbies or enjoy old favorites
Events that involve family and friends for holidays and celebrations
Upscale amenities and features, such as chef-prepared meals
At their core, senior living communities are designed to support the increasing needs of aging individuals. Today’s senior communities do this best by mixing healthcare and assisted living into the fabric of an active, enjoyable, involved social environment.
It Might be Time to Consider Senior Living If…
No family enjoys the prospect of moving a parent from their family home to a senior living community, but there are some signs to look for that can help you make a clear decision. Whether you’re worried about your loved one living alone and properly caring for themselves or you’re a caregiver who sees it’s time for a change, here are eight signs that indicate it might be time to consider senior living.
If your loved one is showing symptoms of depression or is feeling isolated and alone, it could be time to talk about senior living. Seniors often find driving difficult—they venture out less, which causes them to feel lonely and isolated. Senior living communities offer a full range of activities and opportunities for social interaction, which could be exactly what your loved one needs to improve their mood and quality of life.
2. Difficulty Managing Daily Life
Does your senior loved one have difficulty handling daily activities? Simple tasks like housework, cooking, or even remembering to take medications can be overwhelming for seniors. There’s no need for a senior to suffer under the weight of work—find a place where they can relax and never have to worry about daily tasks they have trouble completing on their own.
3. Poor Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene is often the first thing to go for seniors with chronic pain, a poor mood, or the onset of dementia. Some seniors don’t bathe or groom as often, and when they do it may not be as thorough as it should be. When it’s clear your senior loved one can no longer care for their basic needs, it’s time to talk about moving into a senior living community. It’s not only a question of health; it pushes into an important conversation about aging with dignity.
4. Declining Health or Poor Management of Health Conditions
Chronic health problems or declining health pose a major concern for seniors. Also, seniors who take longer to recover from illness or injury could show signs of a compromised immune system. Seniors with declining health might need more care soon, like full-time care in a senior living community that can improve their health. It’s vital they get the professional attention required to ensure their wellbeing.
5. Poor Financial Judgment
Seniors suffering from memory loss, forgetfulness, self-neglect, or even elder financial exploitation may have trouble keeping up with bills or may be uncharacteristically overspending. If you notice your senior loved one making unscrupulous financial decisions, it’s time to address their current living situation.
6. Significant Changes in Mobility
Noticing changes in your loved one’s mobility, like trouble walking or getting up and down stairs? Don’t run the risk of a slip and fall incident—or worse, a mortal fall. Instead, consider making a move to a senior living community that’s thoughtfully designed to provide in-house physical therapy and safeguards that reduce mobility concerns.
7. Increase in Anxiety or Paranoia
Anxiety and paranoia are real mental health issues for seniors. Whether caused by the onset of dementia, stress, or changes that commonly face older adults, a move to a senior living community can put your parent at ease. Seniors are less likely to experience anxious or intrusive thoughts when they’re in a welcoming, comfortable, familiar, and safe place.
8. Other Personality Changes
Personality changes in aging individuals can be attributed to many things, particularly dementia. If you notice your loved one becoming aggressive or agitated, it may be caused by confusion and dementia. A senior living community can offer cognitive support and personalized memory care for those who need it.
The Support Seniors Need to Age With Dignity
Most people wish to live out their final years in their own homes, and it’s hard for families to come to the conclusion that this may not be possible. If you’ve noticed your senior loved one exhibiting any of the eight signs detailed above, understand that there’s a beautiful, safe community with well-trained professionals and caring staff ready to help you.
Reach out to the team at The Blake today to find out how we can assist you during this time.