June 10, 2014

How Do You Know It's Time For Senior Living?

Making the decision to move a parent or loved one to a senior living facility is never an easy decision. Realize that you are not alone as The National Alliance for Caregiving and the American Association of Retired Person’s (AARP) site that 64 million Americans care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family members. Caregivers spend an average of 20 hours a week caring or providing personal health or medical assistance to those who need it – primarily seniors. The decision to help an aging adult move out of a current home is a complex one — both emotionally and practically.
To determine if it’s time for some type of senior living, take a good look at the present housing situation, health status and medical needs of your loved one. There are some signs that caregivers can look for in order to recognize when it’s time for assisted living:

  • Safety Issues – Has your loved one fallen or has a chronic illness that is worsening thus making their home situation unsafe? Are they able to operate appliances safely? Do they remember to turn appliances off when they are finished cooking? Do they have a plan in place to contact help in case of an emergency?
  • Wandering – In the later stages of dementia wandering becomes a greater risk that caregivers need to avoid. Is your loved one at risk for this behavior?
  • “Sundowning Syndrome” – Does your loved one exhibit agitated behavior that becomes more pronounced later in the day? This syndrome of sundowning may be a sign that the caregiving burden is too hard to handle.
  • Isolation Problems – Does your parent have friends, or are they isolated from others most of the time? Would they benefit from the contact and friendships they would make at senior living.

Escalating care needs – Is your aging parent remembering to take medications correctly, with the right dosages and at the right time? Are medications expired? Is your parent telling you that he/she is eating, but you’re seeing food go bad in the refrigerator? Is your parent wearing the same clothes when you go to visit? Can they take care of their personal hygiene on their own?
Aviv Centers for Living offers several levels of Care Options for your aging loved one from Adult Day Health, Assisted Living and Long-Term Care. Regardless of the type of care you are looking for if the move keeps your parent healthy and safe and perhaps even happy, then it will probably be for the best for the parent, the caregiver and the family.