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Is It Time for a Move? 5 Signs Your Senior Needs Extra Help

Planning for senior support is tough for families, but there are some signs that can indicate when it’s time for a move. For example, your loved one may need more hands-on support than they can receive while living at home by themselves. Road Runner ID presents a few ways to tell whether it might be time to consider a move to assisted living.

Preparing Healthy Meals is a Challenge

Eating well is essential for good health in our older years. However, many seniors encounter challenges when it comes to shopping for and preparing healthy foods. An empty refrigerator or an unhealthy body weight could indicate that your loved one needs assistance preparing meals.

Older adults who are underweight may need to eat more frequently, consume high-calorie foods, and eat more protein. In some cases, supplements can help seniors maintain a desirable weight and better nutrition overall. Of course, having oversight from family or a community member helps older adults stay on track with their eating habits.

Caring for the Home Becomes Difficult

You may not expect your loved one to mow the lawn every weekend or climb a ladder to make household repairs. But tending to tasks like taking out the trash, vacuuming, and dusting are regular chores that you should expect to see taken care of.

If a senior has trouble taking the kitchen garbage out regularly or dust is accumulating at an alarming rate, this could mean they need help keeping things tidy. Moving to a community where housekeeping is taken care of may be a welcome relief.

Not every family can afford assisted living costs outright, however. If you’re considering such a move for your senior loved one but are concerned about the expense, selling their current home may provide a financial buffer. Even during COVID, selling a home can be a simple process thanks to video-chat tours, 3D walkthroughs, and other virtual solutions.

Memory Issues Are Disrupting Daily Life

Many older adults experience memory issues, even in the absence of dementia and other more significant conditions. In fact, research suggests that 20 to 25 percent of Americans over age 65 have “mild cognitive impairment.”

While only 10 percent develop dementia, those mild memory troubles can cause unsafe scenarios when seniors forget what’s cooking in the oven or lose their keys while out of the house. Simple measures like having your loved one wear an emergency ID like Road Runner ID can help keep them safe in the event of unexpected wandering. But addressing early warning signs of memory challenges may help avoid such dangers before an emergency happens.

There’s a Lack of Community Near Home

For seniors who live alone, a lack of community may be the most significant motivator for a move to assisted living, or at least a new home where there’s a closer-knit neighborhood.

Studies show a clear benefit to socialization for seniors, notes Where You Live Matters, pointing out that older adults need friendships and family support whether they live at home or in a community. Community living can help promote social interactions that benefit older adults’ mental health. In fact, a lack of social interaction could negatively impact seniors’ health.

Health Conditions Are Going Unmanaged

Not every senior has a complicated health condition to manage, but many do. Research suggests that around 85 percent of older adults have one chronic condition while 60 percent have two. For seniors who live alone, these conditions may be difficult to manage, especially when they involve regular medication.

Whether it’s transportation to refill prescriptions or remembering to take their medication, many seniors benefit from a bit of hands-on help when it comes to maintaining good health.

Many factors are involved in determining whether it’s time for your loved one to leave their current home. While assisted living isn’t the perfect solution for every older adult, it does offer an alternative for families that need in-home support for their loved ones. These indicators can help clarify whether your loved one may be ready for such a move.

Lydia Chan

Alzheimer's Caregiver |lydia@alzheimerscaregiver.net

Photo via Unsplash