Picture it: you’ve been anticipating your visit to Mom’s house for several weeks. When the time finally comes, you arrive to find the house in disarray and no groceries in the kitchen–even though she knew you were planning a visit.
When you casually mention the food issue, she unexpectedly fires a frustrating response back to you. This isn’t like Mom, you think to yourself, puzzled. What’s going on?
As our loved ones age, it’s natural for us to become more concerned about their wellbeing and safety, especially if they live alone. The golden years can be a time of joy and fulfillment, but they can also bring about new challenges and changes that can impact the health and independence of seniors.
It’s essential to be vigilant and watch for signs that might indicate your loved one is struggling to manage their normal daily activities and may require the additional support provided by personal care or even Alzheimer’s memory care.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the key indicators to look for that could suggest it’s time to consider a transition to an assisted living community, and then suggest some ways you can step in and intervene without damaging your relationship with your loved one.
By being aware of some of the most common signs, you can help ensure your family member receives the care and assistance they need to maintain their quality of life and age gracefully.
- Sudden weight loss or gain. Forgetting to eat and expired food in the refrigerator are big signs to watch out for.
- Unusual new behaviors, such as paranoia, confusion, or difficulties in communication.
- Medication mismanagement. Hiding medicines–often from themselves–and not taking the medication at all are very common in seniors with dementia.
- Loss of interest in family, friends, or hobbies. Withdrawing from social events is a big red flag.
- Difficulty in organizing normal tasks, such as paying bills, going to the grocery store, or cooking for themselves and others.
Taking Action: What can you do if you observe these signs and symptoms?
If you observe your loved one exhibiting signs and symptoms that indicate they may require personal care or memory care, it’s essential to approach the situation with sensitivity and understanding. As a family member, confronting them about any observations could result in a negative outcome and damage your relationship.
Here are some steps to consider taking to ensure your loved one receives the appropriate care and support they need:
- Have an open and honest conversation: Initiate a calm and empathetic discussion with your loved one about the changes you’ve noticed in their behavior and overall wellbeing. It’s important to listen to their feelings and concerns and express your own worries about their safety and health. Remember, this conversation may be difficult for both of you, so approach it with patience and compassion. The last thing you want is to damage a good relationship.
- Consult with healthcare professionals: Reach out to your loved one’s primary care physician or a geriatric specialist to discuss the observed signs and symptoms. They can provide valuable insights, conduct assessments, and recommend the appropriate level of care needed, be it personal care or memory care. Medical professionals are a non-partial third party that can often have a lot of influence with older adults, especially when decisions need to be made.
- Research and explore care options: Start researching assisted living communities that offer personal care or memory care services. Look for facilities with a strong reputation, well-trained staff, and a range of services tailored to your loved one’s specific needs. Schedule visits to these communities to get a feel for the environment and the quality of care provided.
- Involve family members: Include other family members in the decision-making process, as they may offer additional perspectives and support. This can also help ensure that everyone is on the same page about the best course of action for your loved one.
- Create a transition plan: Once you have identified the appropriate care option for your loved one, work together with the personal care community and your family to create a smooth transition plan. This may include downsizing possessions, addressing financial and legal matters, and organizing a moving schedule.
- Offer emotional support: The transition to assisted living, personal care, or memory care can be an emotional and challenging experience for your loved one. Be there to provide reassurance, encouragement, and a listening ear throughout the process. Remember that adjusting to a new living situation takes time, and your ongoing support will be invaluable to your loved one’s well-being.
Being responsible for an aging loved one is never easy–but you’re not alone in the process.
Knowing the signs to look for and having a plan to move forward will help you preserve your relationship. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your family member receives the appropriate care and support they need to maintain their quality of life and continue to thrive in their golden years.
Moving to a Senior Living Community Like Orchard Ridge Residences
Senior living communities in Dalton, Georgia, like Orchard Ridge Residences provide a maintenance-free lifestyle for seniors with benefits like:
- Three meals daily
- Transportation in the local area
- Assistance with activities of daily living (grooming, bathing, etc.)
- Medication management
- Licensed nurse oversight
If you’d like to know more about Orchard Ridge Residences Personal Care and Memory Care, reach out and talk with one of our caring specialists. We’d love to get to know you.