As your loved one gets older, most families want to know the definitive answer to this question. It’s certainly understandable; you don’t want to push the issue too soon and definitely don’t want to wait too long. If only there was a way to know for sure when the time is right. The reality is that you may never have that “aha” moment, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t subtle signs. Here’s what to consider in determining if your loved one would benefit from senior living.
Nutrition and Health Concerns
- Have your loved one suddenly lost or gained weight?
- Have you found stale, expired foods in the pantry or excessive amounts of certain items?
- Does your loved one rely on TV dinners or take-out instead of cooking for themselves?
- Have they had a recent health scare or had trouble recovering from illnesses such as colds?
- Is it hard for your loved one to get in and out of their chair, navigate stairs and/or around furniture?
- Are chronic health conditions getting worse or harder to manage?
- Is your loved one suddenly unkempt and/or do they have dirty clothing?
Safety Concerns at Home
- Has your loved one left their home unlocked and/or opened the door to strangers?
- Have you noticed them wandering?
- Have they left appliances on or have there been kitchen fires?
- Does your loved one sometimes get disoriented in familiar places?
- Have they fallen or is their risk of falling high because of eye conditions, balance, medications or issues in the home environment such as poor lighting, lack of grab bars, too many stairs, etc.?
Concerns with Daily Tasks
- Does your loved one have trouble cleaning the house, doing laundry, shopping and/or other chores?
- Is their home in disrepair and/or is it hard for them to maintain the yard?
- Do they need help to shower, dress, use the bathroom and/or manage their medications?
- Have they forgotten to pay bills and/or open the mail?
- Has your loved one fallen victim to scams?
- Are they still taking good care of their pets?
- Have you noticed dents on their car?
- Are you aware of accidents and/or close calls while your loved one was driving?
- Have you noticed dangerous driving: going too fast or too slow, tailgating, drifting across lanes or confusing the gas and brake?
- Is your loved one easily distracted or have they gotten lost on the way home?
- Are they keeping the car well maintained?
- Have they run out of gas?
Concerns about Isolation
- Does your loved one have a variety of social opportunities?
- Are they avoiding activities which they previously loved?
- Do they have active friendships?
Senior Living as the Next Step
If you answered ‘yes’ to one or two questions, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to rush to senior living right away. But certainly, make a point to begin considering the benefits it can offer. Not only will your loved one have as little or as much support as they need, they’ll also enjoy the convenience of having the cleaning, cooking, chores and maintenance taken care of for them. What’s more, senior living offers a social calendar filled with fun activities as well as enriching programs and classes.
And while the questions above aren’t an exhaustive list, if you’ve answered ‘yes’ more than not, we’re here to answer any questions you may have to help guide your decision.