Transitioning a loved one or parent to senior care, or assisted living is not an easy decision. You may have heard them voice their wishes earlier, and yet the time may have come where you are faced with making some of the important choices on their behalf. There are many quality care options, and adult children and families should be looking ahead at local communities, before a crisis occurs and decisions need to be made quickly.
These are some things to consider when you are making choices around moving a loved one into senior care:
Safety. If your loved one is no longer able to be safe in their own home due to illness or mobility, then it may be time to start considering a different housing option. If in-home care or visits from family members is not enough to keep them safe, then senior care should be considered.
Health. If a diagnosis of a degenerative disease has been made, then it is time to look at alternative housing options. It helps to involve your loved one in discussions when they are in the early stages of their disease, and they can express their choices and wishes.
Capacity. Take a look at your family dynamic and capacity to care for your loved one. If you are unable to provide the care and support that they need, then senior care may be a viable option.
Need. Is your loved one increasingly isolated? If they are spending the majority of their time alone and without social interaction, they may have a need to be in a more nurturing environment. As seniors age, and lose friends, spouses and mobility, they become increasingly isolated. This may be another indication that senior care could be a valid option.
What about assisted living?
Your number one concern, of course, is whether any senior living alone is safe and well. What do you do when you see evidence of accidents, or an inability to cope, and you’re not there full-time to assist with your parent’s care?
You may already be considering assisted living for a senior living on his or her own and here are some things to look out for when considering such a move:
Accidents or Falls: If your parent has trouble getting around on their own at home, you may want to take a closer look. Have they had falls lately or been in any traffic accidents with their car?
Chronic Health Conditions: Are there signs that diabetes is worsening, could increasing breathlessness be a sign of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, (COPD) or is there evidence of the onset of dementia? No one with a worsening chronic health condition can be expected to deal with it alone.
Daily Living: Can your parent still get themselves up and about without assistance? Often it’s routine things like dressing or making meals that highlight the need for care.
While weight loss may be due to not eating well, it can also be an early sign of disease and is not to be overlooked.
Appearing Older and More Frail: When a parent living alone suddenly seems more frail than usual, it can be a sign that their life is changing and you may feel that now is the time to make the move to assisted living.
If you’re thinking about the benefits of assisted living, then it’s probably time for you and your parent or parents to talk about it. It’s an important conversation and a step that you must take together. Remember that conversations go both ways. Listen to your loved ones’ needs, be supportive and let them know that you are with them all the way.
If you are questioning whether your loved one or family member is ready for senior care, contact the Hamlets at Penticton for more information.