Knowing when you need to consider assisted living is a difficult decision for any person to face. However, it’s often a matter of loved ones being in the position to identify when a move needs to be made. Roles are often reversed with adult children taking on the position of caregiver. Knowing when assisted living is now required can feel like a complex and overwhelming decision.
As Somerset assisted living providers, we see this situation play out time and again, in various different ways. There are some common signs that can help you realise that it’s time for assisted living to be considered.
It is unlikely to be much consolation, and resistance can still be met, but there are some obvious signs that assisted living is needed for your relative.
Whilst not as obvious as the signs above, there are other notable factors which make the decision regarding assisted living impossible to avoid.
When you care for and see someone regularly, it can be difficult to spot a gradual decline in their ability to live independently. Therefore, try to view your loved one from an impartial viewpoint or ask someone who doesn’t see them so frequently for their thoughts. The gradual signs that further help is needed are:
It is very easy for an elderly, infirm or frail individual to gradually slip out of their active community life and social network. It’s important for loved ones to be aware of important signs by asking the following questions:
Social connections are vital. Does your relative still meet with their friends and engage with a social life? Have many of their friends moved away or passed on?
Do they keep up a hobby? Do they show an interest in the things and opportunities around them?
Obviously occasionally or intentionally, this is fine. However, is your relative avoiding leaving the house out of fear of falling, or because they find travel overwhelming? Assisted living, such as our Somerset assisted living provision, will actually provide more stimulation and opportunity for socialisation due to the secure environment and care in place, along with organised activities.
For example, if there was a fire in the home, would they be able to cope?
Sometimes the clearest evidence that an elderly person isn’t coping with independent living is in their money management and life admin tasks. You should look out for:
It can be useful to look beyond the individual themselves and look at how they are managing and maintaining their living environment. There are some key signs you should look for:
In addition to these housekeeping tasks, there are also house maintenance tasks which if left can become signs that assisted living may be a sensible step. It’s worth considering whether your loved one is noticing deterioration in their property and taking steps to maintain it.
Given the difficulty of making decisions regarding an elderly loved one, it can be useful and reassuring to have help making the decision.
Speak to friends and family and garner their opinion. This will help you build a bigger picture. You may discover that friendships you thought were active have fallen by the wayside, or they are failing to turn up to previously enjoyed activities.
You can also encourage your loved one to visit their GP, perhaps with you with them. They can give their input on how your relative is managing their health and any chronic conditions.
If your relative has a carer, or even a cleaner or gardener, it can be beneficial to get their input. They will likely see things you don’t. If it transpires that you each think the other is doing something they aren’t, then this is an indication that your relative isn’t coping.
In the UK your relative, regardless of income, is entitled to a care assessment. This is carried out by your local adult social services department. At the assessment the assessor knows what signs to look for that your loved one needs more help. They will help determine the level of care your family member needs.
Often ignored, but if you’re the primary carer for your loved one, then take an honest appraisal of how you are coping? Sometimes care needs are manageable for a period, but not indefinitely. Are you struggling with exhaustion, low mood or irritability? Assisted living can help you and your loved one to regain a loving relationship unhindered by care needs.
Assisted living is available in different levels from sheltered accommodation to care homes to nursing care. At our Somerset assisted living properties, we enable individuals to thrive and manage daily living with support and care. This takes the pressure off families too. Find out more by calling 01769 573166.