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Senior Living Facility: Know when to need it 

Published: Dec 30, 2022. Last Updated: Jan 8, 2023.

Many older adults feel that they’re not ready to move to a senior living facility because of personal and emotional reasons. Some seniors do not wish to change the life they have grown into, while some fear that they’ll be giving up their independence. Others might even refuse to entertain the idea of moving in until they have a health issue and need extra assistance. These feelings are valid and understandable to feel. However, having the right information is crucial to discover that senior living is not as stressful as one may think it is.

With the onset of your golden years come the unavoidable time when you have to make critical decisions for your living situation. Embracing the possibility for change is the first step, and everything else will follow. Though it may be hard for you and your family, you need to reconsider things especially when there are signs that it’s time for you to move to a senior living facility. These warning signs may come as subtle or as obvious, but either way, you should be able to recognize them at some point. Let’s talk about some red flags that tell if a change in your living situation is deemed needed:

Health Deterioration

The top reason why most seniors decide to move into a senior living community is a declining health situation. This is most likely the most known trigger than any other deciding factors on the list. This is especially true if your loved one has had an accident or an injury from a fall, or has an existing health condition and you notice that symptoms are gradually worsening over time. Some other health concerns include hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and even other health-related issues like loss of balance, flexibility, and mobility. These are obvious signs for you to rule out that moving your loved one to a facility where professional help is close by in case an emergency happens is the best choice to make.

Contrary to living independently, they will not be dealing with getting things done to manage their health condition such as going for regular check-ups and managing their prescriptions. You will not also need to stress about how they may go about with their daily household tasks. In a senior living facility, your loved one’s health care needs will be duly facilitated by the staff who will also be there full time whenever they may need assistance with anything.

Mental Health Changes

Are you starting to notice changes in your loved one’s mood? Are they constantly giving you the blues without any specific reason? If this is the case, you need to pay close attention to their mental health.If they lack the energy they used to have in interacting with people around them, or doing the things they used to be happy doing, take it as a red flag that there’s something wrong. What’s even worse is if they tend to isolate themselves and refuse to participate in activities they were once passionate about. Some seniors who experience a change in their mental health may act aggressively at times. If this is the case, be observant. If your loved one seems unhappy about almost anything, it might be a sign for a change in their living environment.

Find time to sit down and talk with them. You can open up about how they can enjoy the things they used to love with the right circle of peers and with the right community. Sometimes, it’s all about having a fresh start in life. Senior living communities offer various activities for socialization that your loved one can enjoy. There are even social clubs that they can participate in once they move in, such as gardening club, book reading club, sports club, walking club, and many more.

Unable to Look After Themselves

It’s a common problem encountered by people coming of age to experience difficulty in looking after themselves like they used to. There are clues that you should note that tell that your loved one is slowly losing the ability or willingness to take care of themselves. Say, they have developed poor hygiene habits such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and brushing their teeth. Whether they are unable to do these things, or simply lost the energy and willingness to do self-care, take it as one sign to consider moving them to a new home where someone will extend a helping hand to them to do these important things.

You Can’t Care for Them

When an aging loved one needs help on accomplishing their daily tasks, it can be challenging to manage the situation especially if you have a family of your own or if you have work. However willing you may be to look after them, it can be an impractical or unrealistic plan when we talk about time, energy, and finances. You have to consider your aging parents’ needs to stay healthy, and if you think you are no longer capable of caring for them, it’s totally understandable. That is why senior living communities exist to provide care and help for seniors who need support. If you think it’s the best and the right thing to do, communicate with them. What’s important is when you decide, include them in the process.

Doctor’s Advice

If any serious health concern is involved in the picture, it’s always best to discuss it with your family doctor. This is the right option to do especially if hospital admissions are becoming more frequent for your loved one, or if a series of falls or accidents have happened resulting in fatal or non-fatal injuries, or if your loved one has a chronic health condition that’s worsening with time. When professional advice is given that says it’s already time to ponder on moving into a senior living community, allow the matter to be completely processed by your loved one. Help them with this phase, express your support and assurance to them, but let them make the decision. One advice is to have a queue of questions ready prior to the consultation to help you clear out things relative to addressing your concerns.

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About the Author

JM Guiang

Writer & Researcher

Elder Guide LLC

Inspired by fresh ideas and wise words, JM Guiang, Communications degree-holder, and Elder Guide writer, finds profound joy in writing quality content and insightful articles that redefine seniors' perspective on aging with grace and confidence.