Seven out of 10 people will need an assisted living facility at some point in their lives, according to Consumer Affairs. For aging adults and their families, it can often be difficult to determine the right time to move to an assisted living facility. There’s no one right answer, but there are signs that may indicate some tough decisions need to be made.
Feelings of Loneliness or Fear
As we age, socialization isn’t as built into our daily schedules as it might have been when we were younger. This can lead to social isolation — which can also act as the catalyst for other health problems, according to the National Institute on Aging.
How can you tell if your loved one feels lonely? Start by checking in with them and ask. Additionally, look for signs of depression such as disinterest in activities they once enjoyed or changes in eating habits.
One of the benefits of assisted living is the sense of community. Fitness classes, hobby groups, and local outings all provide opportunities to connect with others and build meaningful relationships.
Difficulty Performing Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
Fundamental skills are required to care for yourself, including eating, bathing, and mobility. With age, these daily activities can become more cumbersome. Roughly 20% of adults aged 85 or older need help with ADLs, according to a United States National Health Interview Survey.
To find out if your loved one is struggling with ADLs, pay attention to:
- Personal Hygiene: Determine if they are having difficulty with tasks like bathing, grooming, brushing teeth, or dressing themselves. Unkempt appearance, body odor, or dirty clothes may indicate potential issues.
- Unexplained weight loss or gain: If it’s difficult to prepare meals, they could be eating too little, or overindulging in processed foods.
- Difficulty walking, getting in or out of chairs, or falling: These are common signs of mobility issues that require additional help getting around.
Assisted living facilities offer fresh cooked meals, housekeeping, health care coordination, and transportation to help ensure your loved one always has help with what they need, when they need it.
Not Keeping Up with Medications
According to the FDA, medications aren’t taken as prescribed nearly half of the time. Medication mismanagement can lead to serious consequences, including failure of treatment and even increased risk of death.
The care teams at assisted living facilities can help with medication management. This removes the mental burden of having to remember when to take each pill and how much — and puts family members’ minds at ease.
Each year, 36 million falls are reported in the U.S. among aging adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of every five falls results in an injury, such as a fracture or head trauma. Falls are not a typical part of aging. Multiple falls may indicate vision problems, diminished mobility, deteriorating balance, lower body weakness, or another underlying issue – all of which can compromise an individual’s ability to live safely and independently.
In many cases, falling serves as a critical signal that it may be time to consider moving into an assisted living facility. The additional support available at assisted living facilities may help to mitigate some fall risks, while also providing an environment better suited to the changing needs of aging individuals.
Finding the Help You or a Loved One Needs
For those considering assisted living facilities, Miami Jewish Health offers support with daily activities such as bathing and getting around the community with the help of an escort. Families also have the peace of mind that we’ll help their loved one with medication management and coordination of healthcare, ensuring that there’s always oversight for their medical needs. Chef-prepared meals, hobby groups, and outings to local places in Miami also provide invaluable opportunities for aging adults to engage with others, build meaningful relationships, and have a sense of community.
To learn more about our assisted living facility or schedule a free tour, call 305.795.6180.