Everyone needs help from time to time, but as you grow older, you might find that you need assistance a bit more often than you used to. Aging is a normal part of life, but it can be frustrating when you find yourself struggling to do things that once you could do seemingly on autopilot without a problem. It can also be hard on your pride feeling that you need to ask for help, which is why a lot of senior citizens might not be forthcoming about what they truly need in terms of care and support. However, it’s always much better to get the correct help so you can continue to live a comfortable, happy life and everyone has peace of mind that you’re being looked after.
If you have a senior relative who you have some concerns about and believe that they aren’t being honest about how much they’re struggling, below is a bit more information on assisted living care and some signs that they might need this kind of help.
What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living homes can offer residents help with a range of daily tasks that they might no longer be able to do alone, or at least struggle to complete. This helps them still maintain a level of dignity by making sure that they have daily washes, can get dressed, and brush their hair. Meals are prepared for residents on-site, which also ensures that they are getting regular, nutritious food each day as well. If they require any medication, the carers on-site can also help them manage this so they won’t forget to take it. There are also organized activities at assisted living homes so residents can socialize with one another and be entertained throughout the day. You can find out more about what to expect from these kinds of care facilities by looking at this home for assisted living Colt’s Next NJ.
Moving into an assisted living home isn’t for everybody, but if your senior relative still needs help, there are other options. You can hire a carer to come and visit them at home to assist them with whatever they need. Some carers can even move in with your relative if they need 24/7 support.
If you’re unsure whether or not your relative does need assistance, here are a few indicators that they do.
Their Home Is a Mess
Unless your relative has always been a messy person, then seeing their home grow increasingly untidy and dirty should be a warning sign. This is likely because they are finding it difficult to do household chores, whether it’s because they are struggling with their mobility or maybe because they are having difficulties with their mental health. Dementia might be a possibility, but it could also be a sign that they are feeling depressed. It can be a sensitive subject when commenting on the state of someone else’s home, so be sensitive when you ask them about it and offer to help them out when you can.
Their Appearance Is Disheveled/Decline in Personal Hygiene
If the last few times you have seen your senior relative you have noticed that they are still in pajamas even if it’s the middle of the day, or that they don’t appear to have bathed in a while, it is likely that this is because they are finding it difficult to manage. If they have recently had a fall, they might be anxious about getting into the shower or bath by themselves in case they slip or are worried that they won’t be able to lift themselves out of the tub. Again, a lack of personal hygiene and not caring about their appearance could be an indication of depression, particularly if they live alone and have begun to feel isolated, or they have recently lost a partner.
They’re Not Eating Properly
Another worrying sign is that they have lost a lot of weight, or perhaps have even gained weight because they are living off of unhealthy foods. If your senior relative is finding it difficult to prepare their meals each day, they might start eating more ready meals or relying on takeout to eat. They might just start skipping meals altogether. There are meal services you can use if this is something that you’re concerned about, and your relative might be more open to trying these than moving into an assisted living home for the time being.
They Forget to Take Their Medication
If your relative needs to take medication for an ongoing health condition, but they are either always forgetting or purposefully avoiding taking it, having someone there to help them manage this is essential. This is another thing that an in-home carer or qualified nurse who visits your relative at home can help with, but this kind of support will also be offered at assisted living care homes.
Loneliness is a very common problem within the senior community, especially for those who have lost their life partners or close friends and relatives their age. Even if the younger members of the family make the effort to come and visit as often as possible, day-to-day things can still get lonely and leave people feeling isolated. If your senior relative can still care for themselves but are struggling with loneliness, a retirement community (aka independent living) might be the better choice. However, if they are showing more of the signs listed here as well, assisted living will be a better fit.
It’s not always easy for senior citizens to admit that they need help, so if you do have concerns about your relative, make sure that you are approaching that conversation sensitively. You should discuss the options available to them, whether that’s moving into an assisted living home or looking at getting someone to visit them in their current living space instead. What your budget is will also determine the kind of care you can get, as various prices are depending on the services provided and general quality of care.
If you have noticed any of the above in your senior relative and are worried about their well-being, assisted living might be the best option for everybody, and it’s time to have that conversation with them.