Sometimes it’s clear when your senior loved one needs more help. Maybe they suffered from a fall in their home, or they are beginning to struggle with their memory. But sometimes knowing when to make the move to an assisted living community is not as obvious, and the search for senior care can be easier said than done.
Whether you’re sure it’s time or you still want to evaluate the situation further, the search for senior care can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to begin or what to look for. The key is to start the search and conversations surrounding it as early as possible to ensure comfort and peace of mind for everyone involved.
Despite where you are in the process, you can start now by reading our simple tips and information on when it’s time to search for senior care, what kind of care they need, and what to consider.
Is It Really Time to Search for Senior Care?
To understand when it’s time for senior care, you’ll need to observe your loved one for signs and ask questions about their health, memory, and mobility. To assist you, you can take into account the activities of daily living, or ADLs, which are the basic daily tasks we all need to be able to do to thrive.
The ADLs include:
- Personal hygiene
- Ability to use the bathroom properly
- Dressing self
- Feeding self
- Independent mobility
If your loved one is having difficulties in any of these areas, it might be time to consider their care options. In addition to your observations of the ADLs, ask your loved one how they are feeling and if they have any concerns about their health or mobility. Notice the tidiness and safety of their home.
Go through this checklist:
- Is there a lot of clutter around the home?
- Is mail piling up?
- Have they fallen recently?
- Can they keep up with yard work?
- Are they remembering to take their medications?
- Has their social life changed?
- Is their chronic illness worsening?
- Do they seem happy?
Once you have evaluated your loved ones and addressed any concerns with them, you can consider what type of senior care they need.
Senior care can range from hiring additional help in the home to full assisted living with staff to care for their every need. Many seniors want to age in place at home. But if there are concerns about their health and ability to do so safely, finding a beautiful community where your loved one can comfortably age in place, while having access to 24-hour care, can be the best option.
What Kind of Senior Care Do We Need?
Based on your evaluations and conversations with your senior loved one, the next best step is to get their doctor’s opinion. Encourage an in-person or virtual visit to the doctor and accompany them, if possible.
Home health aides
You may already have been serving as a caregiver to your senior loved one in some form, whether you were checking in every day, helping them for several hours a day, or they live with you. If you’re able to take it on, you could have your loved one live with you if they don’t already, or hire professional health aides or caregivers to assist you if the care is becoming too much.
You also have the option of moving them to an independent living community if they don’t need too much additional help. With independent living, they can have simpler, cleaner spaces and won’t have to perform yard work or home maintenance. They also will have plentiful social opportunities with people around their age.
Assisted living communities
If your loved one needs medical care, memory care, or is having trouble with everyday tasks, the best option may be an assisted living community. Here, they could have comfortable, cozy amenities, dining options, social activities, and access to professional care all day, every day.
What To Consider when Searching for Senior Care
There are lots of considerations to weigh when searching for senior care, but don’t let that overwhelm you. You can use this extensive checklist from the AARP to help guide your decisions, and we will break out some considerations here.
In-person visits might not be possible or safe right now, so you may have to ask your questions over the phone or ask to do a video tour. Then, when possible, you can visit the community and talk to residents and staff.
Questions to ask about the community:
- How many living units are available, and do you have different sizes?
- Are rooms and bathrooms private?
- Do you have a contact that details fees and services?
- What are the dining options?
- Can residents have pets or personal furniture?
- How does visiting work?
Questions to ask about care options:
- Do residents each have their own care plan?
- Do you offer memory care?
- Can residents choose their own doctor?
- What happens when a resident’s care needs change?
- What sort of activities and services are available to residents?
When a visit is possible, evaluate the building for its cleanliness, cheerfulness, and overall atmosphere. Does everyone seem happy? Is there adequate lighting and safety features such as handrails, call buttons, and locks? Keep your loved one as involved as possible so they can ask questions, too.
Start Here: Find The Right Senior Care For Your Loved One
We understand the decision to move your loved one to an assisted living community can be difficult and stressful. That’s why The Kensington team’s promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own. We take senior care to a new level with comfortable elegance and a staff of loving, kind individuals.
Our community is meant to be home for those looking for assisted living services as well as memory care options. We have designed our programs carefully to allow your loved ones to age in place, meaning they can move in even when they don’t need a lot of care and stay with us as their needs evolve over time. Professional, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week care is always available.
In addition to the highest quality of medical care, we want your loved ones to have fun. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have altered our life enrichment programs to allow plenty of fun and social activities for our residents to enjoy. Our goal is to help them find purpose and joy every day.
Please call us today to learn more about our staff and programs. We look forward to giving you a comfortable, helpful experience during a challenging time.