The hardest part about taking care of parents or older relatives is knowing when it’s time for professional help. Most seniors won’t tell you when they are having trouble taking care of themselves. Instead, family members have to watch out for the signs and make the decision themselves. 

8 Warning Signs It’s Time to Consider Assisted Living

Here are the eight most common signs it might be time for assisted living. 

1. Accidents

older woman took a fall

One of the strongest motivators to move a loved one into an assisted living facility is for their own safety. As some seniors get older, mobility becomes more challenging and the risk of accidents increases. Unfortunately, even a minor slip or fall could have serious consequences, resulting in broken bones or head injuries. 

If an accident has happened recently, ask yourself:

  • Who was there to help out? 
  • How long did it take for help to get there? 
  • How bad was the accident? 
  • Have accidents been happening more frequently?

The answers to these questions may show you that an assisted living community is the safest option. 

2. Long-Term Health Conditions

It’s quite common for long-term health conditions to spring up as people age. Older adults often have to deal with health problems like arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease or a form of dementia, heart problems and more. These long-term health problems can weaken a person’s immune system, making them more susceptible to injury, or compromise their ability to take care of themselves. Additionally, long-term health conditions often require frequent monitoring. 

Assisted living communities like Abbey Manor have 24/7 health care staff that can ensure your loved one is taking their medications, is going to doctor appointments and has help if emergencies come up. 

3. Slower Recoveries

If your loved one was recently sick and you’re noticing their recovery is taking longer than in the past, this might be a sign it’s time for senior living. As people age, their bodies and immune systems slow down, making it harder to recover from illnesses. A transition to an assisted living facility will give you comfort knowing that if your family member gets sick, they’ll receive adequate medical attention and monitoring to help them get better. 

4. Difficulties With Everyday Living

A clear sign that your loved one needs senior care is when they display signs of not being able to keep up with daily living. Some warning signs they can’t keep up with daily tasks are:

  • Poor hygiene and messy grooming habits (they seem to be showering less and have a bad odor, not dressing appropriately, unkempt hair, not grooming themselves)
  • Financial responsibilities are slipping and you notice they have unpaid bills around the house
  • They’ve experienced dramatic and noticeable weight loss, implying they can’t feed themselves properly
  • You’re concerned they’re not taking their medications correctly and not going to their doctor appointments 
  • They’ve stopped participating in social events, often because they can’t remember appointments, can’t arrange transportation or don’t want people to notice the changes in their behavior 

Assisted living and nursing home care can provide your loved one with assistance in their daily tasks so you know they’re groomed and showered, are eating well, taking their medications in the right doses and going to all their appointments. 

5. Isolation 

Senior woman experiencing isolation

Many seniors struggle with maintaining social relationships as they get older. This is especially true if they don’t have a partner or their partner recently passed. Social gatherings become more challenging because the senior may not be very mobile, can’t drive or simply no longer has many friends that live nearby. Some even isolate themselves because they want to hide their deteriorating condition or don’t want to be a bother to others. 

This isn’t something to ignore, as isolation is a serious issue that can lead to mental health conditions like depression. 

One benefit of assisted living facilities is that they bring your loved one into a community. They’ll get to interact with people every day, make friends and participate in social events. 

6. Driving Signs

A fast way to tell if the loved senior in your life needs the help of an assisted living community is to observe them while they’re driving. If they seem like they can’t cope behind the wheel, it’s likely a good indicator that they aren’t managing well in other areas of their lives. 

Sometimes you don’t even have to get behind the wheel with them to know that driving has become too challenging. You may notice that their car has scratches or dents on it, implying recent accidents. Or they’ve become too scared to get behind the wheel and refuse to drive anymore. 

If your loved one continues to drive dangerously, they could end up hurting themselves or someone else on the road. Alternatively, if they become too scared to drive, they could start isolating themselves or avoiding important tasks like visiting the doctor’s or picking up groceries. 

7. Sundowning 

Sundowning” is a condition in some seniors when they get progressively more confused as the sun goes down and into the evening. By the time dinner rolls around, your loved one may become agitated, confused and easily angered. This condition is typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a type of cognitive decline that will likely continue to worsen with time.

Sundowning can be incredibly stressful for both the loved one and the caregiver. If left unsupervised, a senior can wander off and hurt themselves during a sundowning episode. As most caregivers can’t commit to constant monitoring every single evening, this is a sign it’s probably time for senior housing. The staff at assisted living communities and nursing homes are experienced at dealing with sundowning and can offer compassionate care that will help your loved one feel safe and secure. 

8. Caregiver Stress

While all the common signs we’ve listed here have been about the senior, there’s also a significant warning sign from the caregiver. If you find that caring for your loved one has become a burden that’s bringing you additional stress, it’s probably time to transition to senior living. You don’t want to grow to resent your loved one. There’s no shame in seeking help to relieve your stresses and responsibilities. You have the right to put your mental well-being first, as it’s ultimately the best decision for everyone. 

Caregiver taking care of senior man

Abbey Manor Assisted Living

Even if you’re not entirely sure that assisted living is the next step, consider contacting us for an assessment. Many families feel more secure in their decision to transition to assisted living after they’ve met with our staff and heard about all the benefits Abbey Manor can offer. Remember, this change is good for your loved ones and can help keep them healthy, safe and happy. 

Contact us here:  (443) 256-4871  to schedule a tour today.