10 Signs It Might Be Time for Assisted Living

September 5, 2023

It’s a sensitive subject, but it’s important to talk to your loved one about assisted living. Even if your parent retains their independence, they could struggle with activities of daily living (ADL), negatively impacting their quality of life.

Here are some common signs that it’s time for your loved one to move to an assisted living facility.

#1: Poor Hygiene

Is your mom or dad not bathing as often as before? Do they have unkempt hair or facial hair? Is their dental hygiene lacking?

Those may be signs of a decline in their physical and mental abilities. Assisted living facilities offer ADL support, including bathing, grooming, going to the bathroom and dressing.

#2: Deteriorating Physical Health

A difference in your loved one’s physical health, especially a chronic condition, is an indicator that it might be time to consider assisted living. Forgetting to address an illness or take their medication could result in hospitalization and long-term medical concerns.

Assisted living facilities have medication management programs to ensure your mom or dad gets their exact dose on time every day, reducing the risk of an overdose or missed dose.

#3: Frequent Bruises or Injuries

Bruises, cuts and scratches could be signs of falls. Muscle strength and flexibility change with age. While that doesn’t necessarily affect your parent’s independence, it can impact their personal safety.

#4: Inability to Maintain Their House and Yard

Whether they’re physically incapable or becoming more forgetful, maintaining a household could be too much work for your loved one.

They may struggle to do the following:

  • Wash dishes
  • Shop for groceries
  • Sort mail
  • Fold laundry
  • Vacuum and dust
  • Cut the grass
  • Garden
  • Clean gutters
  • Rake leaves

#5: Weight Loss or Gain

Preparing meals can be taxing. Your parent may eat less as they age but be mindful if they’re losing an unhealthy amount of weight. If they’re relying on takeout or processed foods because they can’t cook, they might put on extra pounds too.

Assisted living provides robust meal plans and caters to special dietary restrictions. Most facilities employ a dietician to help your mom or dad address their eating habits to ensure they get the nutrition they need.

#6: Loss of Mobility

Struggling to get out of bed or from a seated position is usually a sign of decreased mobility. Even if your loved one uses a cane or walker, they could still have trouble moving to eat, bathe and go to the bathroom.

There are a variety of therapy and exercise programs available at assisted living communities that emphasize the importance of exercise and mobility in seniors.

#7: Failure to Pay Bills

It’s not unusual for money management skills to change. Your loved one might forget to pay bills on time or bounce checks because they haven’t balanced their bank accounts. Seniors are also susceptible to fraud and scams, so talk to them about avoiding suspicious calls and emails, especially if someone asks for money.

#8: Lack of Socialization

There could be various reasons for your mom or dad withdrawing from social activity: lack of transportation, immobility or depression.

Socializing is essential to healthy aging because it provides mental and emotional stimulation that supports brain function. Assisted living can reduce social isolation in seniors. Your parent will meet others with similar life experiences and get to know their neighbors in a relaxed setting.

#9: Change in Mood

Aging can affect your senior’s mental health. Limited socialization increases their risk of isolation and depression. You may notice changes including:

  • A lack of energy
  • Increased agitation or anger
  • Less smiling or laughing
  • Tearfulness

Assisted living staff monitor and address shifts in emotional wellness. Your loved one may require therapy or medication, but their healthcare team will also implement socialization and other practices to boost your parent’s mood.

#10: Doctor Recommendation

Has your mom or dad’s primary care physician expressed concern about their well-being, especially if they live alone? Their doctor will have insight into their physical health to help you determine if the move to an assisted living facility is necessary.

Embassy Healthcare has assisted living facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida where your mom or dad will receive personalized care and support to enhance their quality of life. Call 216-378-2050 to learn more.