The Baby Boomers are now seniors, and that can be rough on a free-spirited generation accustomed to independence. If you’re a child of a Boomer, you may find yourself in the unenviable position of talking to your parents about moving out of their home and into assisted living. On the other hand, maybe you’re the free spirit suddenly faced with the idea that autonomy might not be as safe as it once was. It’s difficult to give up a familiar lifestyle, but in some cases, it’s the right decision. How do you know when it’s time to consider assisted living? It’s preferable to make the decision before a serious downturn in health forces the issue. If you notice the following, it may be time to make the move.
- Frequent falls may mean it’s time to stop living alone. If an older person falls when alone, will it be possible to get timely help? If someone nearby can come when this happens, a medical alert system may be the answer. Moving to an assisted living community, however, means help is always on call when needed.
- If health problems are chronic or worsening, it’s good to live where supportive care is readily available. When a person’s health is declining, or it’s taking longer to recover from illness or injury than expected, it could be a sign of a weakened immune system. Having full-time care available can be beneficial and may even improve overall health.
- Difficulty in properly managing medication can be dangerous. You might notice that your loved one is having trouble with prescribed medications. Is this a financial issue or a problem with forgetfulness? If prescription costs are the concern, consider a Medicare D program. If the problem is memory, trained team members at an assisted living community can help make sure medicine is taken as needed.
- Sometimes it’s hard for an older person to handle the tasks of daily life. Cooking, doing laundry, and cleaning may become overwhelming. Caring for a house and yard can be too much to manage, and so can caring for a pet. In an assisted living community, these things can be handled, leaving more time for hobbies and socializing.
- Poor eating habits may mean the person needs assistance. If you’ve noticed that your loved one has been living on takeout or frozen meals, or has had a significant shift in weight, this could signal a problem, perhaps with preparing food or possibly with underlying medical issues. This should be discussed with a medical professional. One benefit of assisted living, though, is that healthful and delicious meals are prepared for residents.
- A decline in personal hygiene can be a red flag. Sometimes, even bathing can feel like a chore. If you’ve noticed that your loved one has body odor or seems ill-kept, it may be time to intervene. Poor hygiene can lead to illness as well as mental and emotional decline, and a person who can’t keep up with self-care may not be well-suited to live independently.
- Mobility issues may be a safety hazard. Trouble getting around means it’s either time to renovate the house for accessibility or move to assisted living. Aside from bodily mobility, there’s also the issue of transportation. If your loved one no longer drives, the transportation provided by assisted living communities may be very helpful.
- Signs of cognitive decline can indicate it’s time to move. Pay attention if your loved one becomes disoriented easily, wanders, or has drastic alterations in mood or behavior. If your loved one seems unhappy or is self-isolating, have a conversation to determine what it means.
- An older person lacking in support may be better served by an assisted living community. An assisted living community can provide not only assistance with medical care, but also a community of neighbors with whom to engage.
Many modern assisted living communities are designed with today’s seniors in mind. Understanding that engagement and purpose are important to a person’s well-being, communities like The Artesian of Ojai strive to provide an environment where older people can thrive. In comfortable surroundings, where medical help is within easy reach, seniors can live life to the fullest, pursuing personal interests, forming relationships, and enjoying a lifestyle customized to meet their needs.
At The Artesian of Ojai, we are committed to providing a high quality of life for seniors, creating an environment that promotes independence in a comfortable, safe setting. At our assisted living community in Ojai, California, you’ll find four comfortable homes that allow our residents to maintain their independent lifestyles while enjoying services that assist with social interaction, medical care, and physical wellbeing. Call 805-798-9305 to learn about how we can facilitate a seamless transition from home to our community, or contact us through our website for more information.