Sometimes it is very clear to a family when a loved one needs assisted-living or long-term nursing home care. Perhaps there has been an accident or a health emergency that signals that the loved one is going to need more assistance than what can be provided at home. But other times, a loved one’s decline is more gradual. There may be increased forgetfulness or a general growing inability to take care of one’s personal hygiene. It is a difficult decision to ask a loved one to leave their home and move to a facility, even if it is so that they can receive better care.
Here are some guidelines that a family can use to determine if it is time:
– Your loved one is saying they are eating, but the food is going bad in the refrigerator;
– Your loved one is falling often or trying to hide bruises from you;
– Your loved one is unable to routinely bathe themselves, dress themselves, and do laundry;
– Your loved one is not remembering to take the proper dosages of medication and the correct medications;
– Your loved one is not staying on top of paying bills and taxes; or
– Your loved one’s disability has progressed to the point that safety is clearly endangered.
Anyone of these alone may not indicate that it’s time for additional care. If your loved one exhibits a combination of two or more of these indicators, its time to talk to their primary health care professional about seeking help with their care.
No family wants to face making the decision as to whether or not it is time for a loved to receive assisted living or nursing home care. Being proactive and watching for these signs in order to catch the need early will help in what is often a very necessary, but difficult, transition to a facility.