Almost 15% of California’s population is made up of seniors over the age of 65. That’s almost 6 million people!
Are your parents seniors who are living in beautiful Encino, CA? Have you started thinking about the transitional care they’ll need as they continue to grow older?
If this is the case, you’re probably asking yourself, “When is it time for assisted living?” Some families have a difficult time broaching this subject, as change can be difficult. However, it’s important to get your parents settled into assisted living before physical or cognitive issues worsen.
Read on to learn more about signs that it’s time for assisted living so that you and your family can make an informed decision.
Difficulty with Activities of Daily Living
Activities of daily living, or ADLs, are commonly used to assess a senior’s wellbeing. They are broken down into six major categories. These categories include bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, getting in and out of bed, continence, and feeding. These make up some of the fundamental capabilities we need in order to survive and thrive.
There are a few different ways that you may begin to notice that your parents’ ability to take care of their ADLs is slipping.
You may begin to notice a lack of grooming. Bathing is difficult when balance worsens, especially if your parents’ home is not equipped with shower handrails. Dressing, shaving, and combing hair will be hard for them to accomplish if they have a lessening range of motion.
Toileting accidents may also become more common for seniors. This occurs to those who struggle with getting to the bathroom on time or controlling their bladder and bowels.
Finally, take note of when and where your parents sleep and how long they remain in bed. Imagine, for example, that you discover that one of your parents has been sleeping in a large lounge or lift chair. This is a good indication that getting in and out of bed has become difficult or impossible.
Difficulty with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
Once again, instrumental activities of daily living, or IADLs, are also used by professionals to assess a senior’s abilities. These cover a range of activities that are required to get through the day and take care of one’s emotional and physical wellbeing.
They include things like paying the bills, cleaning the house, and cooking. They also include socializing, and providing transportation for oneself.
An ability to meet IADLs is often one of the most noticeable signs of physical or cognitive decline. For example, if your parents receive notices in the mail for overdue bills, this may be an indication that they are forgetting to do something that was once routine. If the house is falling into a state of disarray, this is a sign that either the can no longer clean for physical or emotional reasons.
The loss of the ability to cook or drive is not uncommon in seniors. Oftentimes, this is due to natural physical signs of aging. However, once your parents can no longer do these things for themselves, it is imperative that they receive extra care.
Worsening Medical Conditions
Many seniors decide that it is time to move into an assisted living facility when their medical conditions become difficult to manage independently.
In severe cases, this may be caused by an increase in emergency medical situations. For example, a senior who is prone to strokes or heart attacks will need quick access to medical attention. It is important that someone is around who can provide transportation or request an ambulance in a timely manner.
Oftentimes, the issue becomes a detailed medication routine or a need for medical equipment. Seniors with cognitive issues may not remember to stick to their medication routine. In an assisted living facility, trained caring professionals can ensure that your parent is taking their medication every day according to schedule.
In addition to specific medical care, seniors with medical conditions may need to consume a specialized diet. In an assisted living facility, you can rest assured that your parents are consuming nutritious meals that meet the standards specified by their doctors.
Social isolation is typically defined by two things. The first and more obvious entails that an individual does not often see or speak to others, either due to refusal or circumstance. The second entails that an individual, though seeing other people from time to time, is lacking in meaningful interaction.
Social isolation is of the biggest concern if a parent lives alone. However, cohabitating parents can still develop a feeling of social isolation.
Social isolation can lead to a number of health problems, particularly cognitive and mental. Socially isolated seniors may develop depression, making it harder for them to fulfill their ADLs and IADLs in spite of any physical capability. Social isolation has also been linked to a more rapid development of cognitive diseases like dementia and Alzheimers.
If your parent or parents are socially isolated, it may be a good idea to talk to them about assisted living. In an assisted living facility, seniors can develop meaningful relationships with other tenets as well as staff, who they will see on a daily basis. Organized activities encourage socialization and your parent or parents can live their lives surrounded by friends.
When Is It Time for Assisted Living and Where Should Your Parents Live?
If you’re asking yourself, “When is it time for assisted living?” the chances are, probably soon. Consider the list of signs we’ve discussed here and how they relate to your parents. If you decide that it’s time, the next question is, where should your parents live?
Royal Garden Board & Care Homes is one of Encino, Tarzana and Valley Glens California’s finest assisted living facilities. Here, your parents will experience the privacy and freedom they deserve while receiving the attention they need. To find out more about our services, contact us today.