According to a 2016 report, 17.7 million Americans provide medical assistance to an elderly relative or friend. As we age, we may experience a decline in physical or mental health, adversely affecting our ability to live independently, which will leave us questioning when is it time for assisted living. Over half of those aged 85–89 (58.5%) and three-quarters of those aged 90+ (74%) require assistance from family members due to health or functional issues. We must recognize that some of us may require assistance earlier since accidents and illnesses can strike anytime.
When is it time for assisted living, and how can you tell? Some necessities are more apparent than others. A person’s ability to care for themselves may be compromised after experiencing a stroke, a fall, or an accident. Below are the necessities for and the answers to the question of when is it time for assisted living:
When Is It Time for Assisted Living: How Do You Know?
A serious injury is a leading cause of nursing home placement. One of the most common ways people get hurt is falls can have life-altering effects if they aren’t treated quickly. Your loved one may benefit from the higher level of care provided by an assisted living facility if they frequently complain of hip or leg pain.
Struggles With Financial Independence
As upsetting as it is to see a loved one lose their ability to take care of themselves, the consequences of mental decline in this regard can be even more devastating. Is your parent having difficulty with things like bill paying and making self-care decisions, among other things? This should warn them that they may need to be relocated to a senior care facility.
Problems With Daily Functioning Are Making Life Difficult for Your Parent
Having trouble keeping up with the basics is another sign that an elderly loved one should not live alone. Is their appearance taking a hit? Can they not seem to make meals for themselves or finish what they prepare? Look into senior living communities where staff can help your elderly parent with activities of daily living like eating, dressing, bathing, and using the restroom if they are having difficulty doing so on their own.
How to Talk to Your Parents About Senior Living
After knowing when it is time for assisted living, how do you approach your aging parents about assisted living services? Or if they ought to leave their house and move into a senior living or care facility? The right approach can help them live more safely and enjoy life more. It’s not an easy topic to have, but doing it the right way can help them. Create a list of concerns about their living situation and educate yourself on community and assisted living services before the conversation.
Once you have more information and feel comfortable explaining the choices, a fruitful conversation can be had by following these guidelines:
- Start your conversations early. Tackling this major decision early can help you and your family decide and plan with minimal stress rather than waiting for a medical emergency to force the issue.
- Meet up in person. If it isn’t possible, a video call can do. You should be relaxed and schedule an appropriate time for the chat.
- Listen. Moving into a retirement community may cause anxiety for your loved one. Be careful not to dismiss those emotions. Recognize and inquire about their worries to gain insight. Doing so demonstrates that you will respect their preferences.
- Practice understanding, not pity. Listening to you, they will know you care about them and their plight because of your soothing tone and demeanor.
- Wait. Having more information at your disposal could prove useful. They may require additional time with you. Embrace their opinions and viewpoints. Reaching a deal without any pressure will benefit you in the long run.
- Continue the conversation. Despite your best efforts, this is not something that can be resolved in a single conversation. You can schedule follow-up conversations.
- Guide their transition. Help your loved one adjust to their new home by introducing them to the neighborhood in person or online. They can get a sense of the community, neighborhood, culture, and amenities available
- Know their rights. Unless they are severely impaired, your parents have the right to decide to enter a nursing home. Your loved ones require you to voice your concerns, but ultimately the choice is theirs to make.
When it comes to Assisted Living, each timeline is Unique
Have you thought about providing senior care services for a family member? Contact Kansas City Home Care when you’re ready and we’ll help move the process along!