Starting the Conversation about Assisted Living
Aging can bring challenges to our loved ones’ independence. Daily tasks that used to be simple may start to require assistance from others, and while 24-hour skilled nursing care may not be necessary, some individuals require more personalized attention that allows them to continue to thrive.
As a caregiver, simply starting the conversation about assisted living can present a difficult situation in itself. It’s not uncommon for someone to feel that their independence will be compromised if they move out of a long-time home and into an assisted living community. In fact, they often have no intention of leaving their homes despite the fact that they recognize their decline in health and their need for more daily assistance. However, including those under your care in the decision-making process allows them to feel as though they have a say in their futures, and also results in a smoother transition to their new lifestyle.
5 Signs Assisted Living Could Benefit Aging Loved Ones
Assisted living is one of the fastest-growing options for long-term senior care. In fact, research reveals that as much as 70 percent of all seniors over the age of 65 can expect to require some form of long-term care in the future. While every situation is unique, there are a few distinct signs that a move to an assisted living community is the best option for a friend or family member. These signs include:
Declining overall health. Family caregivers may start to feel the strain of their caregiving duties due to their loved one’s worsening health issues or cognitive decline, and may not even be qualified to provide the level of care their loved ones require. However, assisted living communities offer around-the-clock care from a team of compassionate professionals to ensure loved ones stay as safe and as healthy as possible.
Limited mobility. Chronic conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis can make it difficult for aging adults to move safely and comfortably around the home. They may begin living in one area of the home, rather than attempting to go up and down a flight of stairs. Or, they may rely on others to assist them with getting in and out of bed or the bathtub on a regular basis.
Safety concerns within the home. Ongoing health issues, cognitive decline and limited mobility can lead to safety concerns in the home. Perhaps loved ones are forgetting to turn off the stove after cooking a meal, or leaving the front door unlocked at night. Or, maybe a loved one recently fell over a rug and could not get up to call for help.
Signs of neglect in the home or physical appearance. When visiting aging loved ones, it’s important to take note of the state of the home and their overall appearance. If they seem frail or unkempt, it’s possible they aren’t eating nutritious foods or cannot go down the stairs to do laundry. Be on the lookout for unopened piles of mail, excessive clutter, dirty dishes in the sink, etc., as these are all signs that they can no longer properly maintain a household on their own.
Becoming isolated socially. Ask loved ones how long it has been since they visited friends or went out to lunch. It’s possible they no longer feel safe driving, and if public transportation isn’t readily available, they run the risk of becoming socially isolated. Social isolation can quickly lead to loneliness and depression, but in an assisted living community, they’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet other people who share their interests.
Many seniors report that moving to an assisted living apartment resulted in a boost in their independence, not the loss of it. As they’re receiving the right level of care and daily assistance, they have more personal freedom and time to enjoy life.
Gracious Assisted Living in Kalispell at Immanuel Lutheran Communities
At Immanuel Lutheran Communities, residents enjoy customized care and the highest level of independence possible in our assisted living apartments. Our compassionate staff treats residents like family, and we provide a variety of amazing services and amenities including three chef-prepared meals daily, housekeeping, social activities, and so much more. Contact us today to schedule a personal tour.