Over the holidays many of us had a chance to spend time with our families and this visit may have been a little different from last year.
It's a time some of us realize that mom, dad or even a spouse just isn't as well as they used to be. But how do you know when it's time to get help?
Becky Feola, founder of Assisted Living Advantage , says this is really an emotional time for families because it's a really big decision to move anyone out of their home.
Feola says there are five signs to look for when considering assisted living:
- Are they able to recognize danger for themselves or others?
You may begin to notice that your parent or aging loved one is not as aware as they once were. This can raise concerns if there was a fire in the house or someone is at risk of injury or actually injured and in need of help.
- Are their cognitive skills and ability to make good judgment impaired?
It is not unusual for older people that may be losing their cognitive abilities to allow people into their lives and give them access to personal and/or financial information. If they are in the early stages of Alzheimer's they can wander off and get lost or drive somewhere, putting themselves and others in danger.
- Their short term memory is impaired; are they forgetful, confused or afraid?
People trying to hang on to independence are often aware that something is wrong, and they are becoming forgetful, but they don't let anyone know, yet they are afraid of what is happening.
- Are they isolating themselves?
Seniors can isolate themselves for many reasons. In some cases they can't recognize others or they have difficulty following conversations. When they isolate they will decline mentally and physically
- Do they need help with activities of daily living, or at risk for falls?
If they have difficulty taking their medications, dressing or feeding themselves, keeping up on hygiene or you notice difficulties with mobility, they may need assistance.
Once you make the decision that it is in fact time... What's the next step?
Feola says start to do research, check assisted care options around your area, find out pricing, talk to your other family members, consider meeting with an assisted living counselor and create a plan. This will help reduce the stress and help you to make the best decision for your loved one.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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