We in the senior living industry often see an increase of inquires in the beginning of the New Year. Why? The answer is really quite simple. Over the holidays, the reality of where a senior’s mental and physical health currently is becomes apparent when children or loved ones are home and spending more time together.
We often find that if you are starting to ask the question ‘is assistance needed?’ then it may be time to begin inquiring into senior living options.
It is best to begin the search into senior living options earlier, rather than later, so that all involved have the time and the best choices available to make the right decisions for a loved one.
Consider these questions when deciding whether it is time to inquire into senior living community options:
- Emotions: How are they emotionally? Are there changes in their activity level and mood? Are they seeing friends and partaking in activities they have loved for years?
- Health: Are they taking their medications correctly? Has there been significant weight loss? Unexplained weight loss could indicate a major health problem.
- Home: In what shape is the home? If the home is in need of repair and un-kept, these can be signs that more help is needed.
- Hygiene: Neglecting personal hygiene and cleanliness can be a sign that help is needed. Are they taking care of themselves physically? Look to see if they are keeping up with basic daily routines such as bathing, brushing teeth and wearing clean clothes.
- Mobility: Are they having difficulty moving around their home? Having trouble walking or being unsteady on their feet puts them at risk for falling and injuring themselves.
- Memory: Are you noticing changes in their personality? Memory loss, difficulty in performing familiar tasks, poor judgment, misplacing items, disorientation, rapid mood swings, increased apathy or passiveness are all early warning signs of Alzheimer’s. A doctor’s evaluation can help determine the cause and treatment of these symptoms.
- Money: How are their finances? Any mishandled money or bills to cause concern?
- Transportation: Do you see any dents in their car? This may indicate erratic or unsafe driving.
There are different types of senior living communities to accommodate the varying needs of seniors. The three most common types of senior living options are:
- Independent Living communities are for active older adults who require little or no assistance from others. They enjoy private dwellings, control over their own schedules, and freedom to come and go as they choose. Social networking, optional events, special interest clubs, and conveniently located services may be offered onsite as well as resort-like amenities with all the comforts of home.
- An Assisted Living residence is a combination of housing, services, personalized assistance and care, tailored to the individual needs of those who require help with the activities of daily living.
- Memory Care is designed especially for residents with memory loss including Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Many independent and assisted living communities offer memory care areas within their communities. Residents live in a secured space and enjoy an environment and activities coordinated by staff members trained specifically for caring for those with memory impairment.
Thankfully there are many wonderful options in the 21st century for seniors. Check with us about the many senior living opportunities available today!