Over the holidays, it’s common for adult children to notice changes in their parents’ health and lifestyle that weren’t obvious throughout the year. If 2017 brought changes to your loved one’s care needs, start of the New Year in 2018 with a healthier, more independent, and social lifestyle for your loved one.
So how can you tell that it’s time for assisted living? Here are seven signs to look for when visiting with your parent or loved one:
1. They have recently fallen down. Unfortunately common and dangerous for seniors, falling down is the leading cause of injury and death in seniors aged 65 and over – 87 percent of all fractures in the elderly are a result of falls. While you can take precautions like removing rugs from your loved one’s house or adding non-slip mats to the bathtub, seniors can still have a tendency to shuffle and trip as a result of poor vision, a decline in physical fitness, or a recent surgical procedure. Assisted living communities, however, are designed with the safety of seniors in mind and are staffed with care professionals who provide support when needed.
2. They’ve been bathing and grooming less frequently. If you notice your parent has been wearing the same outfit every time you go to visit, this may be a sign that he or she has not been feeling well enough to do their laundry, is worried about slipping in the bathtub, or simply doesn’t want to go to the trouble to bathe as often as they once did. When moving into assisted living such as The Preserve at Clearwater, your loved one can enjoy the care of nurses and caregivers who can lend a hand with personal laundry, dressing and undressing, and maintaining a regular bathing schedule.
3. They rarely visit with friends. Many seniors spend time alone after a spouse passes away, their friends move away to retirement destinations, or they are simply too tired to spend extended time with friends. Alone time is normal, but too much isolation can be harmful to one’s physical and mental health. If you notice your loved one almost never hangs out with friends, helping them move into a highly reputable senior living community allows them to make more like-minded friends, maintain a healthy social life, and still find time to enjoy their privacy on their own schedule.
4. They have been eating less. If it’s been six months or longer since you last saw your loved one, you may notice weight loss or increased frailty. While they might reassure you that they’ve been eating, the refrigerator can provide some insight into their diet. Open it up and see if they have plenty of healthy food to eat, and make sure nothing is spoiled or expired. A decrease in appetite with aging is common, but it’s important your loved one has someone ensuring they at least have a snack every few hours, eat healthy and balanced meals, and are always well hydrated. If there is an evident gap in your loved one’s diet, senior assisted living communities can provide the nutritional support needed.
5. They have avoided driving. Maybe your loved one got into a fender bender or was pulled over for a minor traffic incident. Perhaps they recently went on a drive to somewhere that was once familiar and got lost. At The Preserve at Clearwater, seniors don’t need to put their well-being at risk by getting behind the wheel. Our community provides trips to doctor appointments, shopping and entertainment.
6. They have forgotten to take their medicine. Nearly 200,000 elderly people are hospitalized each year because of adverse drug reactions. If your loved one has been forgetting small things, it’s likely they may also be forgetting a very large thing – to follow the correct doctor’s orders or to take their medications altogether. At The Preserve at Clearwater, our round-the-clock clinical staff ensures every resident takes their prescribed medication in the right dosages and on schedule.
7. You worry about them frequently. Maybe every time your phone rings, your heart drops with worry that your loved one has fallen. Or maybe you can’t shake scenarios of your loved one going out for groceries and losing control of their car. If you can’t get your loved one’s safety out of your mind, it may be time for the care and support of assisted living – even if your loved one only needs support one or two hours each day. Our care team speaks with you and your loved one to develop their custom care plan so that they can live safely and as independently as possible. Their safety and well-being are always our top priority.
The Preserve at Clearwater is here to answer any questions you have about assisted living and memory care in Clearwater and Dunedin Florida.
Whether your loved one is in need of a little extra support or is living with a more serious condition like dementia, it’s time to start evaluating assisted living and dementia care options. If any of these signs sound familiar to you, we encourage you to start 2018 on the right foot by talking to your loved one about senior community living.