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Assisted Living and Seniors: When Is It The Right Time?

Assisted Living and Seniors: When Is It The Right Time?

Most families eventually must deal with the complex and heartbreaking issue of deciding when an aging parent or relative requires more assistance than the family is able to provide. On one hand, there are elderly people in their 90s who can live independent lives, while others in their 60s and 70s may need more help due to certain circumstances. Below are some signs that it may be time to consider an assisted living facility for a loved one.

Disease or Physical Impairment

Some health conditions, such as diabetes, are very manageable for a very long time before it gets to the point when professional care would be needed. However, physical impairments like Parkinson’s disease and kidney failure, continual care may be required eventually. In these cases, it is obvious that full time care is necessary. However, if that isn’t quite the situation just yet, it is important to monitor your loved one’s health and look for signs that the condition could be worsening.Anyone is prone to a trip, slip or fall. However, older people have much higher risk of bone fracture and could easily become incapacitated. If a loved one seems unsteady or suffers a serious injury, it may be time to consider an assisted living facility. Difficulties with everyday tasks like getting around the home or running errands may also mean that it is time to look into an assisted living facility where daily support is available.
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Changes in Hygiene or Personality

Whether due to advanced age or dementia, noticeable declines in personal care, appearance, social or eating habits could be signs that a loved one may need to live with assistance. If unexpected pain or other changes are evident, it is a good idea to monitor your loved one. Whether your loved one resides in a Los Angeles facility or you need to check out a Birmingham assisted living home in Alabama, the living center will inform you that signs of confusion or forgetfulness may require some care options that are available for those not needing continual attention.

Choosing Assisted Living Homes

There is a large variation among available assisted living facilities. This can make the process of selection seem daunting. However, the good side of this is that there are many options, one of which is probably perfectly suitable for your loved one’s needs.

  1. Begin by checking with personal acquaintances for referrals to check out. Do some preliminary research to determine the levels of care provided. Consider the type of care your loved one needs and the things they like to do. For example, if your loved one needs only minimal care, you would want to find a place that allows enough freedom and activities so that he or she won’t feel cooped up, which could worsen, rather than enhance their situation.
  2. Note the location. This is important in terms of proximity to medical care and you and your family for visiting. Call around and have phone conversations prior to visiting the facilities. Ask as many questions as possible about the size of the place, care levels, activities and food and staff turnover ahead of time. Then you can eliminate any places that you don’t think will fit our needs.
  3. Check the atmosphere. Remember that amenities should matter much less than the staff and residents. It is really the people who will make the place a good home. Once you check some of them out, pay close attention to how the people look and how the staff interacts with them. Before signing on any dotted line, be sure to visit with your loved one ahead of time and watch how they interact with the place as well. Also, make unannounced visits to the assisted living facility to get a true picture of what living there may be like.

It is not an easy task knowing when family members’ needs have changed so that they need extra care. However, it is much better to confront the situation and deal with it rather than wait until something unfortunate occurs. The main thing to remember is that it is your loved one’s life and safety that you are trying to protect. When selecting a facility, go with your gut and choose the place where you feel your loved one will be cared for and the most content.

About the Author
Caring for an elderly parent gives freelance writer, Nadine Swayne, the compassion and knowledge to offer this article on assisted living.  The staff at Chateau Vestavia understands that this can be a very difficult time for any family facing the issue of determining if a loved one needs assisted living.  Located in Alabama, their birmingham assisted living facility has the most caring professional staff committed to knowing the individual needs of you and your loved ones so they may live their lives to the fullest.

Photo Courtesy of:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7267002236/

Nadine Swayne, a former television journalist, is a freelance writer with a B.A. in Communications. Being raised in the metropolitan areas of NYC/NJ helped to cultivate her interest in the arts, health, media and social communities. The array of experiences and friends help her contribute articles from many points of interests.

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