Senior Center

When It’s Time to Make the Move

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - April 9, 2012

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It is always difficult to confront a loved one and help them decide that it is time to move into a care facility. Many individuals will fight the idea of no longer being able to live on their own, and it can be a heart-wrenching event for you family. Unfortunately, many people who would actually thrive in an assisted living community are robbed of that opportunity for the simple fact they and their family members wait too long to make a decision. Health declines too rapidly or common warning signs are ignored, and then it is more likely they will end up in a stringent nursing home environment rather than the home-like atmosphere of a community that offers both independence and medical assistance.

So how can you tell if it is time to have that important talk with your loved one? How do you balance between being too soon and being too late in making such a choice? Fortunately there are some common tell-tale signs that make it easier to decide when the time has come. If your loved one begins to exhibit a fair number of these, then it is best to plan ahead and take action than to wait around to see how things progress. Someone can always move out of assisted living if it proves unnecessary. Nursing homes and other hospital-like environments are much more difficult to both enter and leave.

The number one warning sign that it’s time to move a loved one into a monitored home environment is when you feel their safety is being compromised. Perhaps they are struggling to maneuver their staircase or hallways. Maybe they are leaving the stove on or have fallen in the bathroom or kitchen. When safety is being compromised, it is likely time to look into a community where supervisory companionship is ready and waiting any time of day.

Daily Living
Following a daily routine is important for health and wellness. While some people just do not do well with structure, everyone living independently should be able to care for themselves to some capacity. If your loved one is not bathing regularly, or is not eating healthily due to the trouble of grocery shopping or cooking good-quality foods, then it may be time to seek out help. A person should be able to wash, dress and fed themselves with minimal effort and when these things become compromised, then troubles may begin. If the individual in question was recently widowed and is unable to care for him/herself on a daily basis due to now living alone, then it just may be time to explore other options.

Emotional Well-Being
While the physical needs of a person are often legitimate enough reasons to explore care options, the emotional health and well-being of that individual should also be taken into account. Severe depression can often set in during the senior years, and this can be exacerbated by isolation, physical illness or a lack of structure or hobbies. An assisted living facility may work hard to meet these relational needs, and your family member may enjoy meeting new people and starting life over with new passions and a social circle to share them with. If your loved one is physically eligible for assisted living, the social camaraderie found in such a facility may be the deciding factor for such a move.