As our loved ones age, they may face more physical and emotional health challenges. Many are in the retirement stage, and their children are now independent. Assisted living is a plausible option for your loved one. But how do you know it's time? Here are six signs that it's time to put your parents in assisted living to accommodate their lifestyle.
1. Your Loved One Needs Help with Activities of Daily Living
Activities of daily living, or ADL, are normal daily activities, such as bathing, preparing a meal, or dressing up. These may seem like simple activities but can become challenging with age. Unless your parents have a home-care assistant, life will become increasingly difficult. Assisted living facilities help residents manage such activities. While you could help your parents with such activities, they can become exhausting if you add your other responsibilities.
2. Your Loved One is Growing Increasingly Isolated—Socially
As parents age, they move out of formal employment. Their lifestyle begins to change and the world can feel increasingly smaller. While you can offer them company sometimes, it may be hard to do it long-term. Assisted living facilities house senior adults with whom your parents can engage. There are currently 810,000 people housed in assisted living facilities. Don't fret; they'll find friends.
3. There is an Increase in Risk of Falls and Accidents
Multiple factors could contribute to a rise in safety issues for senior adults. They may be dealing with a cognitive decline that puts them at risk at home and on the road. Senior adults are often the victims of road incidents caused by intoxicated drivers. For example, in Anchorage and throughout Alaska, intoxication is the second-most common cause of accidents. Senior adults may also deal with physical health issues such as back pain, arthritis, and poor vision. Such physical challenges make slips and falls quite likely.
4. Home Maintenance Poses a Challenge to Your Loved One
Have you noticed that your mom or dad is a little late cleaning up? Is the yard becoming more cluttered? Negligence of home maintenance is a tell-tale sign that it's becoming too much for your parents than they can handle. Understandably, they may want to maintain independence. In assisted living, they'd still have their own space, but someone would help with the cleaning up and organizing. They can do what they can handle without the stress of home maintenance.
5. You Aren't Available Full-time to Help Your Loved One
Caregiving is an intensive job. It requires dedication and presence. If you're an adult, you likely also have other pressing responsibilities. You may already be taking care of your family and your career. If you notice caregiving is taking up a significant chunk of your time, it's time to accept help.
6. You Notice Visible Signs of Weight Loss or Gain
One of the areas senior adults may struggle with is maintaining a nutritious diet. If they're living with a disability, making a meal may be more complicated. An average disability claim lasts 34.6 months, and the financial assistance is not enough to keep your parents healthy long-term. They may need to have someone help them with nutrition so they can be healthy and fight off any illnesses that may impact their lifestyle. Assisted living has nutrition experts who ensure your parents get the right food for their age and nutritional needs.
Assisted living offers an opportunity to reduce stress for you and your parents. For your parents, it means round-the-clock compassionate care and assistance. It means clean bedsheets and nutritious meals. For you, it means more focus on your responsibilities and fewer worries. Transitioning into a new lifestyle may be a little difficult at first, but it will benefit your loved ones in the long run.