There are many clues to indicate when a loved one is not coping well living alone. Once those signs start appearing, you’ll know it’s time for a discussion about living arrangements and safety. You’ll want to take the necessary steps to assure that you select a reputable facility and one that will meet the needs of your loved one.
Visual Clues that Indicate Your Loved One Shouldn’t Live Alone
When you visit an aging family member, look for clues such as housecleaning tasks that aren’t getting done and a lack of personal care. Check out the refrigerator and cabinets to see if there’s moldy food in the fridge or little food in the pantry. If all you find is junk food and a refrigerator that’s almost empty, you’ll know that your family member isn’t eating properly. You should also be in the habit of taking a visual exam of your relative. Are they looking more gaunt and skinny than normal? How is their body odor? Are they changing their clothes every day? These are the things that you can know just by taking the time to notice. If you do notice anything that is off, make sure to respectfully talk to him or her about what is going on in their life. If there are no improvements after that, then you know that something is definitely wrong and that they can no longer take care of themselves and need more help.
Is Safety Becoming an Issue?
Seniors who fall often at home may need to move to a facility where they have immediate access to help if they fall. Assisted living facilities are designed for easy navigation. Typically, the bathroom has grab bars and non-slip surfaces that make them safer for seniors. When someone begins forgetting to take their medicine or takes it too often, they are putting themselves at risk for serious health problems. It would be safer for them to live where they have someone to dispense the proper dose of medication at the proper time.
Selecting an Assisted Living Facility
You’ll need to research facilities to find the one that’s best for your loved one. Visit the facility. Talk with staff and residents. Ask to see their licensing and certification. This information will tell you if they have reports of neglect or mismanagement of medication against them. While it’s not a pleasant thought, some facilities do fail to provide appropriate care for residents. If you and your relative come across this, make sure to get legal help from a firm, such as Bennett & Sharp PLLC, that specializes in nursing home malpractice. Hopefully, though, you won’t need to do that. When you do go looking at different facilities, make sure to look at the state of the facility and talk to multiple people who are being cared for there.
If possible, try to find a facility for your loved one that is close enough for you to regularly monitor their care. If you can find one in the town that they currently live in, friends and family can visit. This will alleviate a feeling of isolation and help them to adjust to their new surroundings much better.
Compassion is needed when helping someone adjust to moving to an assisted living facility. Diligent research and consistent observation are key factors in finding the right facility.