As we age, we often need help with day-to-day tasks that we used to be able to complete independently. But there’s a big difference between hiring someone to take care of the lawn and not being able to remember if you ate breakfast or not that day.
Julie Mathis, a Wellness Nurse and Assisted Living Manager at Friendship Manor offers five tips to help you decide when it may be time to consider an assisted living arrangement for your loved one.
Lost sense of direction
Short-term memory loss can be a barrier to living independently. The most visible symptom of seniors with short-term memory loss is an inability to focus on the topic of conversation or repeating themselves often. But a more dangerous side effect is a lost sense of direction. Seniors may go to the store and forget what they went there for, or worse, not remember how to get back home.
We’re not talking about taking a spill in an icy parking lot. That can happen to the most nimble of teenagers. But if your loved one is tripping in the house, falling when they get up from bed or going to the bathroom, then it could be time to consider assisted living.
Sometimes the problem isn’t aging, it’s physical. Urinary tract infections, and blood pressure issues can also cause frequent falls. So make sure you consult your loved one’s physician first.
Not eating or taking medication regularly
When a senior has issues with short-term memory loss, sometimes they forget to eat, prepare food for themselves or take medication. Not only does that make it difficult for them to fulfill their nutritional needs, but it can also lead to more serious problems when medications are not taken properly.
Problems with basic hygiene
If your loved one is having trouble with basic personal maintenance tasks, such as showering daily, brushing their hair or teeth or dressing properly, then it may be time to consider assisted living.
This isn’t limited to seniors who have trouble accomplishing the tasks on their own. If they need reminders to do daily tasks such as taking a shower, then you should consider moving them to assisted living where staff will remind and help them to maintain proper personal care levels.
Oftentimes children of seniors feel the obligation to take care of their parent at home. But if your parent is up every few hours and you are always making sure they don’t fall in their way to the bathroom or wander outside of the house, then it may be time to consider moving your parent to assisted living where trained staff can look out for them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“There comes a point where the child needs to say, ‘I can’t do this all myself,’ ” said Mathis.
Click here for more information about assisted living and to see if it may be the right move for your loved one.