Caring for an aging loved one is an incredible responsibility. You love this person very much and want the very best for them. The time may come when your loved one may benefit by moving to an Assisted Living community. Assisted Living can be a great option for older adults who need some level of help with their daily activities—things like cooking, cleaning, laundry, personal care, and medication management. However, knowing when it is the time is right to make the move can be difficult and feel overwhelming. Each person, family, and circumstance is unique, and while there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Following are some common signs and hints that you can use as a guide to determine if assisted living could be a good fit for your loved one, and you.
Common Signs That Assisted Living Could Benefit Your Loved One:
They have had a recent fall or have trouble getting around
You likely know an older adult who has experienced a fall that significantly changed their quality of life. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and often, the outcome is grim. In addition to the health outcomes of a fall, as a caregiver, you likely worry about your loved one falling when you are not there. Assisted living offers around the clock staff trained in fall prevention and also the support of a caring community who act as your eyes and ears when you can’t be there.
They have trouble managing medications
Most older adults rely on prescription medications to manage their health. But what if they take the wrong drug, miss doses, or take more than prescribed? Medications can only work well for your loved one when they are correctly taken. Assisted living staff are available to administer medications on time, every day. Additionally, if there are signs that your loved one’s medication routine needs to be changed, a nurse can recognize this and implement changes, or recommend an evaluation with a physician.
They have very little social interaction and are lonely
From research, we know social isolation can have a devastating impact on our health, and older adults are especially vulnerable to being alone. Is your loved one often alone with little social interaction? Being part of an assisted living community and having connections to others who are similar to them is beneficial for your loved one’s physical and mental health. Neighbors and staff form a tight-knit, family-like atmosphere. Residents have daily opportunities for social engagement. Activities are curated to meet their physical, social, spiritual, and intellectual needs. Life in assisted living includes a lot of fun!
Life tasks are presenting a challenge
When you visit your loved one, does their space seem messy? Is the mail piled up or are bills going unpaid? Are they able to do their laundry? What’s in their refrigerator—are they eating balanced, healthful foods? If not, these are signs that your person may be struggling on their own and could benefit from the support offered through assisted living. Assisted living can provide extra support like nutritious meals, personal care, and cleaning services.
They are demonstrating signs of dementia or memory loss
Do you worry about your loved one wandering or getting lost? Are they often confused or beginning to show signs of aggressive behaviors? If so, finding a place where your loved one can access a higher level of care is important. Staff who work in assisted living with memory care have the knowledge and experience to keep your loved one safe, offer comfort when they are distressed, and can provide activities and social opportunities to engage them in life and the community. Learn more about Clark’s unique memory care services below.
Other signs that it may be time to explore assisted living for your loved one:
- You’re overwhelmed by your loved one’s needs or physically unable to serve as a caretaker.
- Your loved one has a chronic health issue that is getting worse.
- He/she is struggling with bathing or regular self-care.
- Your loved one doesn’t seem happy. Joy is missing from their day-to-day life.
- Neighbors, friends, or loved ones are expressing concern to you.
If it is the right time, what are the next steps?
Making a move to assisted living sooner rather than later can be extremely beneficial for your loved one. Waiting too long can negatively impact their health and make the transition more difficult. If you think a move is on the horizon, here are some things you can do to begin the process:
Have conversations with other family members
When you’re making a decision like this, gathering support from other family members can help alleviate some of the stress for your loved one.
Find the right place
With so many options and things to consider, it’s important to personalize this experience for your loved one to assure that they are comfortable and get the best care possible. Visit assisted living communities to get a sense of the space, the culture, amenities, life enrichment offerings, etc. Start by scheduling your tour at Clark now.
Selecting the right level of independence
Clark offers a variety of assisted living options depending on the level of independence that’s right for your loved one. Each option includes access to Clark’s amenities and daily life enrichment activities. Our sales counselors can provide additional details, but following is a brief overview of our options:
- Enhanced Living is essentially independent living with the option of adding on certain a la carte services to meet your loved one’s needs. These additional services can include medication reminders, housekeeping, or laundry services.
- Assisted Living provides residents a homelike environment and the opportunity to remain as independent as possible while accessing necessary support services. Personal care, medication management, and meals prepared by our executive chef are all included.
- Assisted Living with Memory Care is similar to assisted living but offered in a safe and secure environment that includes plenty of helpful and comforting memory cues. Your loved one will also benefit from our innovative programming, including music therapy and our Montessori for Aging and Dementia Program, led by experienced and specially certified professionals.
Recognizing that your loved one needs extra support can be difficult. However, once they are settled in the right place, there is so much joyful life to live. Trust that you are doing the right thing for yourself and your loved one and your family. Give your family the gift of more memories made and happy days together.
At Clark, we partner with families in planning the care your loved one receives and focus on empowering your loved one to maintain as much of their independence as possible while being available 24/7 to lend them a helping hand when it’s needed. Ultimately, this means your loved one has the space to thrive, and you can worry less knowing supportive care surrounds them. If you think your loved one could benefit from assisted living, contact our sales counselors at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-278-6520 to learn more about our living options at our two distinctive locations. We’d love to show you what Clark can bring to your family.