Friday, February 28, 2014

(Guest Post) When it is Time for Assisted Living

When it is Time for Assisted Living 

Are you the family member for a loved one that seems to be unable to complete certain tasks or activities around the home? As adults get older, they may not like to admit that certain things they used to be able to do without much thought have become cumbersome, time-consuming, and difficult. If you are the primary caregiver for your loved one, you may feel that you are unable provide them as much assistance and care as what they actually need. You may also feel stretched too thin between your job, your children, your own personal goals, as well as the person you want to care for. It is important for you and you loved one to discuss the possibility of moving to an assisted living community where they would receive around the clock supervision and care. 
Perhaps your loved one (maybe a parent), is experiencing difficulties when they are taking out the trash or driving to the grocery store. These are only two examples in an array of signs that may signify that your loved one maybe in need of assisted living. If you loved one has recently experienced a fall or other accident, were they unable to properly respond or get themselves to medical help? As we age, the probability of these accidents or incidents occurring dramatically increase. If they are unable to seek out medical assistance when these things happen, this is another sign that they may need assisted living. Some illnesses or injuries that go untreated can develop into chronic illnesses or reoccurring injuries. Perhaps you loved one was unable to drive themselves to the doctors when they had the flu and now they have developed chronic bronchitis. 
Your loved may be experiencing an increasing difficulty in conducting ADLs (activities of daily living) or IADLS (instrumental activities of daily living). Examples of these tasks are showering, doing laundry, cooking meals, and housekeeping. Normally, a person would be able to complete these tasks without the help of someone else or without struggling. 
Pay close attention to your loved one’s physical health as well as their ability to keep up with hygiene and household chores. Their physical health or demeanor will tell you a lot about how they are fairing on their own. Has your loved one lost or significantly gained weight? If your loved one is having difficulty to remember to cook themselves meals, or go to the grocery store, this would be a big sign that they would benefit from assisted living. If you loved one is unable to get out on their own or have difficulty exercising due to a physical injury, this would also be an indicator that they may be in need of round the clock help. 
Your loved one may appear more frail or fragile than you remember. They may experience trouble when moving or lifting objects or they may have difficulty standing for any period of time. Do you notice that your loved one has limited mobility, balance or strength? These symptoms may indicate an inability to get around on their own without the assistance of another person.
In an assisted living community, they would be well cared for by professionals, they would be able to socialize with their peers, and they would be in a safe environment with around the clock assistance. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either to them or to their primary care provider. Discuss with their doctor your concern for your loved one’s safety while they are living alone and independently. 

Jacob Edward is the manager of Senior Planning in Phoenix Arizona. Jacob founded Senior Planning in 2007 and has helped many Arizona seniors and their families navigate the process of long term care planning. Senior Planning provides assistance to seniors and the disabled finding and arranging care services, as well as applying for state and federal benefits. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys dining out and supporting his alma mater Arizona State's Sun Devil sports teams. Jacob lives in Tempe Arizona.


If you would like to read Jacob's previous Guest Post please click the link below:

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