It is not easy to decide when it's time for an older adult to move into assisted living. You must make decisions based on certain practical matters because there is no way to know it for certain. Of course, their own home is the best place for all senior citizens if they are independent and active. But when something does not seem to be right in your home, you must address the issue quickly.
Here are some signs that will tell you when it's time to move your parent to a good assisted living community:
- Around-the-house signs: Look around the house. If you see a lot of clutter, spoiled food, dirty dishes, dying plants, overflowing trash, neglected pets etc., it's time to think about moving your elderly parent to an assisted living community.
- Neglecting personal care: If your senior family member appears unbathed or unkempt, it indicates he or she is neglecting personal care. If your aging parent is using dirty clothes or if he or she is wearing the same dress all the time, you can consider moving him or her to a good assisted living community.
- Significant personality changes: People tend to slow down as they age. However, if your elderly parent is withdrawing from social activities and friends or if he or she is giving up their favorite hobbies, you must seriously think about sending him or her to a reputable assisted living facility that suits his or her needs. Does your aging parent lack interest in things he or she had been enjoying in the past? Does he or she seem to be lonely, isolated, or depressed? You can consider all these as warning signs.
- Safety Issues: Issues like frequent falls and injuries, difficulty in standing up from a sitting position, worsening mobility, inability to administer medication properly, trouble walking up stairs, forgetting to turn off stove etc. are very serious. If you notice such issues, it's time to move your elderly parent to an assisted living center.
- Noticeable weight gain or weight loss: Changes in eating habits could result in significant weight gain or weight loss. Weight loss often indicates lack of interest in food. Forgetting they've eaten already and eating again may lead to weight gain. If you notice significant changes in the weights or eating habits of your elderly parent, you may consider moving him or her to an assisted living center.
- Overall cognitive decline: Lack of proper judgment, increased confusion, trouble following directions, requiring many reminders etc. show an overall decline in cognitive function. Cognitive impairment could lead to Alzheimer's. If your elderly parent shows signs of cognitive decline, it is better to move him or her to an assisted living community.
- Driving problems: unexplained scratches or dents on the car, driving below the speed limit, traffic tickets, drifting out of lane etc. shows your senior family member has driving issues. You must consider moving your elderly loved one to an assisted living community if you think he or she is no longer able to drive safely.