Many age-related changes can affect a senior’s ability to live on their own. Most of these changes don’t happen overnight. Reduced vision, loss of mobility, and cognitive decline, for example, can take years to progress before interrupting a senior’s everyday life.
It can sometimes be difficult for seniors and their families to know when it’s time to start exploring senior care options. By learning to recognize some of the common warning signs, families can their aging loved ones preserve their independence.
4 Signs It’s Time to Move to Assisted Living
1. Risk of falling
Falling is a common concern among older adults. Medications, vision changes, and reduced coordination are common reasons seniors have a higher risk of falling than younger adults. Unfortunately, older bodies are more prone to injuries like hip fractures and head trauma after a fall. These can take a long time to heal and can affect a senior’s ability to live on their own.
A few signs that a senior is at risk of falling include:
· Having fallen at least once within the past year
· Holding onto furniture, people, or walls to get around
· Having a poorly lit or cluttered home
Seniors who are concerned about falling may be able to reduce their risk by moving to an assisted living community. Senior living spaces are designed to minimize the risk of accidents—including falls.
2. Poor nutrition
Nutrition becomes more important with age. Not only are good eating habits essential for physical health, but nutrition is also crucial for sleep health, immune strength, and cognitive functioning. Unfortunately, many seniors struggle to meet their nutrition requirements due to poor health or physical limitations.
Having trouble getting to the grocery store or difficulty cooking may indicate your loved one is struggling to eat a healthy diet. They may benefit from living in a community where fresh, well-balanced meals are prepared daily.
3. Inability to drive
Reduced vision, a loss of mobility, and slower reaction time are a few age-related changes that can make it difficult for seniors to drive. They may even reach a point where they are no longer safe to drive. Giving up driving can be particularly challenging. Not only is it more difficult to run errands and attend doctor’s appointments, but it also makes it harder to socialize.
Signs that a loved one may need to give up driving include:
· Mysterious scratches and dents on their car
· Slow reaction to traffic signals
· Avoiding driving whenever possible
Seniors who are unsafe to drive may benefit from assisted living communities where transportation is available.
4. Trouble with housekeeping and maintenance
It’s common for older adults to experience challenges that make it difficult to keep up with housework. Piles of dirty dishes and an unkempt lawn are two signs that this may be the case.
Assisted living communities have dedicated staff to take care of housekeeping and maintenance. Residents don’t need to worry about washing dishes, changing light bulbs, or taking care of the yard.