If you’re a caregiver of your elderly relative, you may struggle with knowing when to get additional help. Find out when to look for senior care options.
Moving your loved one into a skilled nursing center or long-term care center can be a very difficult decision for a family to make.
But it can also be a great step to take. There are many benefits of getting additional care.
There are different senior care options available based on your circumstances.
In a skilled nursing facility, residents have their daily needs cared for much in the way a family caregiver or assisted living facility would.
Some people opt to move into a skilled nursing facility temporarily if they are recovering from sort of surgery or injury. If this is your situation, then you will have very specific needs.
A doctor should be able to point you in the right direction for a facility that can help you.
If you’re wondering whether it’s time to consider senior care options for your loved one, then read on for more information.
8 Signs It’s Time to Consider Senior Care Options
Families often find the question of when to move their loved one to a long-term care facility to be a difficult one. It can be heartbreaking for some.
But if your loved one has lost mobility and has needs beyond what you can provide, you may need to look for a nursing facility and find out more.
If you are having trouble deciding whether your loved one is ready for a move, then you should consider the following signs.
1. They Need Medical Care Daily
As we age our bodies develop more ailments and eventually the combination can be difficult to manage.
If your loved one’s condition has been deteriorating and they now require medical care around the clock, then you should consider putting them in a skilled nursing facility.
There they will receive the attention they need and have all of the medical needs addressed immediately.
You may be tempted to move your loved one into your home if you have the additional room. But you should consider the full impact that decision would have on your family.
You would have to be reachable at all times and wait on them potentially for years.
2. They’re No Longer Mobile
If your loved one has trouble moving around, they can lead a very lonely existence. They may rarely leave their house and stop seeing friends.
But if you choose one of the senior care options mentioned in this article, the staff will be able to notice if your loved one can’t get around freely and help them.
Many people try to hide their lack of mobility from their loved ones but there are signs to look for.
They may have newspapers and mail outside their front door that hasn’t been brought in. They may also start missing appointments with their doctors and stop attending their regular activities like social and church events.
Their house will probably become less tidy over time as it becomes too much for them to manage. They will also probably spend more time in bed.
Without mobility, your loved one will be trapped at home. But in an assisted living facility they could attend events and activities with the other residents.
3. They Don’t Eat Well
If your loved one appears to have lost their appetite, then it might be time to consider senior care options.
It can be difficult to tell when your loved one has stopped eating but there are a lot of signs to look for.
If they don’t have much food in their home and they appear to be skipping regular meals than you should be worried.
You should also look for signs of weight loss. At an assisted living facility these changes would be quickly noticed and managed.
4. They Don’t Care for Themselves
Staying clean is an important part of your health. If your loved one can’t carry out their daily activities like brushing their hair, going to the toilet, bathing, or brushing their teeth then they may need additional care.
Other signs that your loved one isn’t taking care of themselves is if they start to develop bruising and sores or have excessive bug bites.
5. They Don’t Keep Up With Their Medication
Taking their medication is the only way your loved one is going to be able to stay well. If you have been counting their pills and the numbers don’t add up, then you should consider senior care options.
You will also know they are skipping doses if they have symptoms develop or blood test results that are unexpected.
6. They Require Frequent Specialist Care
One of the biggest benefits of most senior care options is that they provide regular access to specialists. This includes wound care specialists as well as social workers. They also frequently have physical therapists that come by regularly.
If your loved one were not at that facility, then it may be difficult for them to have that much access to their doctors. Getting to appointments can be very difficult and costly.
7. They Fall Frequently
If you have noticed that your loved one has a lot of unexplained bruising then they may be falling frequently. You should consider senior care options so that they can get the help they need.
If you wait, then things could get worse. Your loved one might break a bone or dislocate a hip. If no one is around when that happens, the situation could quickly turn into a life-threatening emergency.
8. They Have Significant Changes in Behavior
Typically it’s not one thing that leads a family to decide to consider senior care options. Rather it’s a combination of a lot of small things.
The changes may not be easy-to-pinpoint, but over time they will become more obvious. Make sure you pay attention to your loved one and how well they are able to complete their daily tasks.
Some of the signs include behavioral changes. Consider whether your loved one has become strange about having people over to their house. They may also become paranoid or have delusions from certain diseases and medications. Others suffer from confusion and disorientation.
You should also look into senior care options if your loved one has ongoing health problems or chronic pain that way they can get the medical care they need.
Tips for the Transition
There are steps you can take to make the transition easier on your loved one.
Try taking about senior care options early on before they need it. That way they can get used to the idea of going there when they can no longer care for themselves.
They will be happy because it will give them the time they need to do research on a facility that they think they will like. Making this decision while they are in a healthy mindset can be helpful later on if things go downhill.
Even if your loved one is not all the way with it anymore, you should still get their input on the options. They are the one who will have to live in the facility.
Make sure you stay involved after your loved one moves to the facility. Even if you can’t visit in person, you should call often.
While you are there, make sure you make an effort to connect with the staff. These people are who will be caring for your loved one around the clock. Giving them thank you notes and holiday gifts is a great way to show you appreciate them.
Dealing With the Emotions
Even when you know it’s time for your loved one to move to a long-term care facility, there can be a lot of shock and heavy emotions that go along with the decision.
Some loved ones see the decision as a move against them and others see it as a loving and responsible decision. Consider the following tips when dealing with the emotions surrounding your loved one’s transition.
Don’t Make Promises
Making promises in the moment can make things much harder down the road.
When your loved one first gets to a long-term care facility they may have a lot of questions and you may be tempted to reassure them about how often you are going to visit and what their life will be like.
Make sure you set realistic expectations. Otherwise, your loved one may feel neglected after making their move.
Provide the Right Care
Some loved ones are especially hard to deal with when it comes to moving to a long-term care facility. But you have to make the decision that is best, even if it isn’t what your parent wants.
The right plan needs to be able to meet your family’s needs both now and in the future. Consider what is right for everyone involved to have a peaceful transition.
Expect Intense Emotions
No matter how long your loved one has known they will end up in an assisted living facility, there will still be a ton of emotions. Make sure you are patient with your loved one as they go through this transition.
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Knowing when to move your loved one into a long-term care facility can be difficult but it is key to their wellbeing.
If you are looking for more articles on making the right choices, then check out our blog today.