Health and Wellness: When is it time for an assisted living facility?
Your parents took care of you for 18 years — maybe even longer. As both you and your parents get older, it may become your turn to take care of them. As time passes, your parents’ needs may increase to a point where you could use some extra help to care for them. When this time comes, assisted living facilities are a great option.
Knowing when you should start looking for an assisted living facility for your parents can be a difficult decision to make. Let’s go through why mobility issues, unmet needs, chronic diseases and Alzheimer’s might be a cause of concern and signs that it’s time to consider an assisted living facility.
Mobility issues are serious and should be considered when caring for an elderly parent. Mobility issues are often caused by Parkinson’s disease, aging or an injury that took place in earlier years, and they can often result in achy muscles or a serious fall. Here is a list of signs of mobility issues:
- Frequent falling.
- Avoiding stairs.
- Difficulty sitting or standing.
- Not being able to balance.
- Avoiding exercise.
Assisted living facilities have precautions in place that will not only help keep your loved one safe but also build their mobility up through physical therapy.
Difficulty meeting basic needs
As your parents get older, it can become increasingly harder to care for their basic needs. They may start requiring things like frequent brief changes, sponge baths, tube feedings, or other medical devices. In these cases, you may not feel comfortable performing certain tasks or have the time it takes to meet their needs.
“There are several health risks that can develop if a senior’s needs are not being met,” said Bryan Hadley, administrator at Capistrano Senior Living in San Juan Capistrano, California. “Keeping up with basic needs for seniors can be a demanding task but one that comes with great pride.”
Caregiving can take upward of 40 hours a week. This can add a lot of stress to a caregiver’s day-to-day life, especially if they are already working a full-time job — in fact, 61% of caregivers work another job. You can relieve some of the stress that comes with caring for elderly parents and making sure their needs are met by hiring professional help at an assisted living facility.
Did you know that chronic diseases are not uncommon in elderly adults? It is estimated that 85% of elderly adults have a chronic disease, and 60% have two! This is an important aspect to note when caring for an elderly parent because they may need extra medical devices, require treatments to keep them healthy and be more susceptible to getting sick.
If you choose for your elderly parent to live in an assisted living facility, they will be closely monitored, will have easy access to appropriate treatments and can be separated from anything that may get them sick.
Alzheimer’s disease is a disorder that affects memory and thinking skills. This disorder can result in patients forgetting to meet their basic needs and perform simple tasks. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, which makes it difficult to care for a loved one with this disorder. Here are a few early symptoms of Alzheimer’s to be on the lookout for:
- Forgetting key memories.
- Continuously misplacing items.
- Poor judgment.
- Sleep issues.
While caring for your elderly parents can be rewarding, there may be added health risks. Mobility issues, unmet needs, chronic disease and Alzheimer’s are all aspects that should be taken into consideration when caring for an elderly parent. If your elderly parent is experiencing any of these symptoms, consider having them live in an assisted living facility, where they can receive qualified help to ease their golden years.
Lindsey Certonio is a project manager at Stage Marketing, a full-service content marketing agency based in Provo.