It’s a rare individual that wants to move from their life long home into assisted living. However, in some cases, the signs are present that you need more help, they’re just not always readily noticeable – or in many cases you or your loved ones may be in a state of denial about the need for assisted living. Making that decision is never easy, it’s not like you get a sign telling you it’s time. This list will give you a few things to think about – whether it’s for yourself or a loved one.
To determine if it’s time for assisted living, or if you can remain at home, take a good look at your current housing situation, how healthy you are current and medical needs. Consider things such as:
Living conditions. Is an always neat and tidy home suddenly messy and cluttered? Are you seeing spoiled food, dying plants or dirty dishes? How does the house smell? If there are pets, is the litter box smelly – or does Fido appear to be in good condition with trimmed nails and a tidy coat? Check the kitchen – look for stale or expired foods, broken appliances or charred cords, or multiple quantities of the same items.
Personal state. Are you able to keep your appearance clean and tidy? Have you or your loved one recently lost or gained a significant amount of weight? Look for signs of personal neglect – a scraggly beard on a man who loved to be clean shaven, or wrinkled clothing on someone who before dressed neatly, or wearing the same clothes day after day. These are signs that the tasks of daily living are becoming more difficult. Does your loved one smell clean? Are they caring for their teeth or dentures? Can you or your loved one rise from a seated position and safely navigate the home?
Finances. Look around the home – do you see unpaid bills piling up, overdrawn bank accounts, or “final notices” from bills or utilities? Have you or your loved one gotten calls from the bank or other financial institutions? What about unopened mail or piles of unattended mail? These all may be signs of difficulty managing financial matter.
Driving issues. We recently wrote a blog post about seniors and driving. Warning signs that you or your loved one may be having issues behind the wheel include delayed response to unexpected situations, becoming easily distracted while driving and a general decrease in confidence while driving. If they’re having difficulty moving into or maintaining the correct lane of traffic, hitting curbs when making right turns or backing up, or having frequent close calls – it may be time to have their skills assessed. Especially if you’re seeing scrapes or dents on car, garage or mailbox, or that they’re driving too fast or too slow for road conditions, or receive a citation.
Social life. Have there been significant changes in personality? As we get older, we do tend to slow down a bit, but if you or your loved one is withdrawing from friends and social activities, it could be more a sign of an issue. They may feel isolated or lonely – or they may be suffering from a bout of depression. Are they leaving the house? Or have your or your loved one lost interest in things once enjoyed?
Our teams are professionals and are trained to look for the signs. If you’d like to talk to us about your living situation, or that of a loved one, you are always welcome at any of our Heritage Hall locations.