How Do I Know It’s Time for Assisted Living? Part 1

There are many signs that it’s time for assisted living for ourselves or a loved one. If you pay attention to them, a smooth transition can be made before a catastrophic event occurs. Unfortunately, most times, it is the catastrophic event itself that pushes an individual into an assisted living situation. That push generally comes from a qualified medical provider stating the individual can no longer live on their own and they will need 24-hour care to continue to live safely.  Generally, if not ignored, the following signs can help avoid a catastrophic event.

  • A major accident (most commonly a fall, but not always) or a close call. Especially multiple close calls within a short period of time.
  • Slowed or stalled recovery from those accidents. Typically, this leads to additional assistance needed.
  • A chronic health condition that is worsening.

Sometimes, the signs are more subtle, and include the following:

  • Difficulty completing activities of daily living (often referred to as an ADL) such as bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, and ambulating.
  • Difficulty with instrumental activities of daily living (often referred to as IADL) such as shopping, paying bills, cooking, cleaning, laundry and taking medications.

It is normal to have reservations about moving into an assisted living but important to remember that assisted living is the right choice for many aging individuals.  Through researching options and planning now, you or your loved one will have the ability to choose their future home.  Those who wait often lose control over where they end up.  Making the decision on your terms allows you to choose a facility with the best location, price point, and services to fit your individual needs.

Stay tuned for Part II where you will learn the signs that a loved one may need help with ADLs or IADLs that they aren’t vocalizing.