Is It Time to Consider Assisted Living?

January 28, 2019

6 Signs a Senior Needs Assisted Living

Are you wondering if it is time for a senior in your family to move to assisted living? These six signs that an older adult is struggling can help you decide.

A question we often receive from the families of seniors is how to tell when it’s time for a move to assisted living. While some older adults are excited to move to a community that offers many opportunities for friendship and life enrichment activities, others are more reluctant to make a change.

If this is a question your family is grappling with, we can help. Finding an answer starts with recognizing the warning signs that might indicate a senior is struggling at home.

6 Signs a Senior Needs Assisted Living

  1. Change in personal hygiene: Have your parent’s personal hygiene habits declined? Is their appearance not quite as tidy as in the past? Are they wearing clothes that are not appropriate for the season or the time of day? These may seem like inconsequential details, but they aren’t. A marked decline in personal care can be a sign an older adult is having difficulty keeping up.
  2. Unintended weight gain or weight loss: Another sign a senior might benefit from a move to an assisted living community is if they are gaining or losing weight. This change may be due to a poor diet. Because cooking for one often seems like too much work, an older adult might skip meals or rely on fast food and convenience foods. Another reason is that they’ve given up driving and are having difficulty getting to and from the grocery store often enough.
  3. Errors with medication: Seniors may take several different types of medication each day. This can increase their risk for medication errors. According to Pharmacy Times, almost half of the two-billion prescriptions filled each year are incorrectly taken. Check to see if your loved one is on track by comparing the number of pills left in their medication bottles with the number prescribed. Having too many or too few left can indicate a problem.
  4. Making money mistakes: Another red flag that a senior is struggling is making mistakes with finances. A few signs that indicate an older adult is having difficulty managing their finances include phone calls from creditors, a stack of past-due bills, or a senior unable to identify credit card charges.
  5. Decline in housekeeping: The condition of a senior’s home can also tell a tale. If your parent’s home has always been neat and in good repair, a disheveled, dirty house isn’t a good sign. Check their refrigerator for expired foods. Notice if trash or laundry are piled up. Also, look for neglected maintenance tasks, such as burned-out light bulbs or a leaky faucet.
  6. Withdrawing from social activities: Stepping back from favorite volunteer projects and giving up going to church or synagogue are other warning signs. Sometimes withdrawal is due to a lack of transportation, but other times it can be a sign of cognitive change. For example, isolated seniors are at a higher risk for depression.

These are just a few of the most common signs that a senior is struggling and could benefit from assisted living. If you are still wondering if assisted living is the right choice, we’ll be happy to help you understand all of your senior care options. Call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you to learn more.