One of the most challenging times in your life is deciding when your loved one needs care beyond your capabilities. For many, this person is the one who raised and nurtured you through adulthood—but now you’re the caregiver and it’s time to consider your loved one’s health, well-being and safety. Here are 10 signs that it may be time for your loved one to move to assisted living:
1) An increase in medical emergencies. Has your loved one experienced more falls? Does he or she have a chronic condition that requires frequent visits for medical care?
2) Financial slip-ups. Does your loved one struggle to keep up with paying the bills or leave mail unopened? Has your loved one fallen for a financial scam? Forgetfulness, confusion or loss of interest may be early warning signs of dementia or depression.
3) Lack of social engagement. As people age, their circle of friends diminishes. As a result, social isolation may occur, which is often associated with depression or cognitive decline. Staying socially engaged is one of the leading factors in a longer, better life.
4) An absence of housekeeping. Are the house and yard tidy as they once were? Dirty dishes in the sink, smelly garbage left inside the house or a home that hasn’t been cleaned in weeks are all indicators that your loved one is struggling to keep up with regular household chores.
5) Poor nutrition. Does your loved one eat three balanced meals a day and get plenty of fruits and vegetables? If a look into your loved one’s refrigerator reveals moldy leftovers, foods past their expiration date or empty shelves, then his or her nutrition and health are at risk.
6) Poor hygiene. When your loved one wears the same clothes for several days in a row, forgets to trim his or her nails or take frequent showers, it’s another indicator that he or she may need help with activities of daily living. Many factors could contribute to a lack of hygiene: the inability to move up and down stairs for laundry, difficulty transferring in and out of the bathtub or trouble remembering when to bathe.
7) Driving mishaps. Have you noticed a few dents and scratches on your loved one’s vehicle? Are you aware of frequent fender benders? The inability to drive safely puts your loved one at risk for social isolation and access to medical appointments. If he or she is driving but a decline in driving skills and reflexes has occurred, then he or she could injure themselves or others in a crash.
8) Memory lapses. Has your loved one left a meal burning in the oven, forgotten to take medications, missed important appointments or no longer remembers how to drive to familiar places? Dementia affects a person’s cognitive abilities and tends to get worse over time.
9) Changes in mood. If you’ve noticed agitation, aggression, paranoia or inappropriate behavior in your loved one, these may also be signs of dementia.
10) Caregiver burnout. As a caregiver, are you feeling overwhelmed or burned out? Do you feel as though you can’t do it all or do you worry that you can’t prevent a crisis from happening? Although your loved one prefers you to be the primary caregiver, managing his or her full-time needs might not be realistic—or safe.
If you’ve noticed some of these signs, it’s time to consider a community that provides assisted living and memory support services, where your loved one can be safe and receive just the right amount of daily help so he or she can live a better life in every way. These communities provide personally tailored care and can respond instantly in the event of an accident or emergency. This means that you can enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that your loved one is in the safest possible place.
At The Village of Gainesville, we encourage independence, but provide the right amount of support. One monthly service fee covers 24/7 healthcare staff, medication management, personal laundry, housekeeping, restaurant-style meals and so much more. And a full calendar of activities encourages social engagement, exercise and personal well-being. Find out how we can help you. Schedule a personal appointment today, or call us at 352-548-3507 to learn more about our assisted living or memory care support.