If you have a parent or elderly relative that is living alone, it's natural to worry that they may be approaching a point where they can't take care of themselves entirely by themselves anymore. While many seniors aspire to live independently as long as possible, sometimes it's just not feasible, and the healthiest thing for them can be a move to an assisted living facility. Take a look at some signs that it's time to consider assisted living for a senior in your life.
Anyone can fall, but seniors are at particular risks because of some of the side effects of aging, like reduced mobility and diminished vision, help contribute to more frequent falls. What's more, the consequences of a fall are much more serious for seniors.
Consider some of the statistics about seniors and falls. Falls account for 87% of fractures in seniors, and one in every 200 falls will cause a hip fracture. Among seniors who fracture a hip because of a fall, one-fourth will die within six months of the falls. Often, a fall is not a single, isolated incident—two-thirds of seniors who fall will fall again within a six-month period. And even if a fall doesn't result in any injuries, close to half of seniors who fall can't get up again without help, and the time they spend on the floor can have its own negative impacts on health.
If your elderly parent or relative has fallen or is unsteady and at risk of falling, it's better for them not to be alone. Falling is one of the key signs that a senior is no longer safe in their living situation.
Loneliness can be hard to spot in someone else—after all, they may not be feeling lonely when you're around to observe them. But it's an important thing to watch out for. Loneliness is more than just a feeling. It can have a significant impact on health, especially for seniors.
Studies show that seniors who are lonely experience greater functional declines and a higher rate of medical conditions like hypertension and diabetes. Loneliness can also lead to abnormalities in the immune system, leaving your loved one more vulnerable to infections.
In an assisted living facility, your loved one will not only be surrounded by caretakers, they'll also have a community of other seniors to interact with. This can help stave off loneliness and result in a better quality of life.
One more sign that your loved one might be ready for assisted living is if you can no longer care for them yourself. This can be a touchy subject. You want to do the right thing for your parent or relative, and perhaps that means acting as a caretaker so that they can continue to stay in their home. But what happens when you just can't do it anymore?
Care giving is difficult. It's common for caregivers to experience high stress levels, to become ill themselves, and to run into financial difficulties when trying to afford their own households and care for someone else. There may come a time when you're just not physically, financially, or emotionally equipped to act as a caregiver. When you reach that point, you shouldn't feel guilt about considering an assisted living facility for your loved one.
At an assisted living facility, your loved one will still be able to live partially independently, but they'll also have a caring staff around to help with some of their needs. Your loved one may enjoy it more than they think. Keep an open mind and visit resources like http://www.graceseniorcommunity.com to learn more.