Are you making the decision to look for senior living and care options?

While there are indicators a senior’s readiness for assisted living, there is no hard and fast rule to follow. The most important thing is to determine if your aging parent is no longer in a position to live alone, and take part in their life so you’ll be aware if there are concerns that suggest it is the right time to look for senior living and care options. It is advisable to speak to a physician or geriatric care manager if you have concerns about health matters.

More than 15 million Americans devote time and energy to caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, but sometimes the cost of caregiving becomes too high. The decision to help an aging adult move out of a current home is a complex one -- both emotionally and practically. Above all, you want the person to be safe and well. How can you all feel more confident about whether circumstances suggest that your loved one should no longer be living alone?

We at Arizona Senior Options help families and their loved ones locate the most suitable senior living options and senior care, after performing an individualized assessment of your loved one's: individual needs, including level of care, financial affordability, qualified benefits, geographic location, lifestyle preferences, and any other circumstances that can typically affect a life changing situation. Our experienced and compassionate senior care advisors can guide you through what can be an overwhelming, time-sensitive and emotionally sensitive time in your life. Call us today and let us navigate you through all of the senior living options and care throughout the Phoenix valley, at NO COST to you or your family! Our services are FREE! This is made possible through the financial contributions of local senior living communities in our network; of whom partially reimburse us for our services. Call us today at 602-903-6365!

Keep the big red flags in mind. Certain situations make it more obvious that it's wise to start thinking about alternate living arrangements.

Signs to look for:

  • Memory Loss or Confusion. Does your loved one have increased difficulty when following directions and often have to stop and search for words when speaking? Some seniors start to suffer from cognitive impairment as they age. Unexplained phone calls and loss of short-term memory are both signs that your loved one may be suffering. If this is the case, include memory care in your search for senior care communities.
  • Decline In Personal Hygiene. Are there changes in appearance, unkempt hair, dirty clothes, body odor, failing to change clothing for days on end, and a lack of personal grooming are all signs that your loved one may require some help in the daily activities of daily living. As people age, these everyday tasks can become tedious and difficult due to loss of motor control, arthritis, pain or cognitive impairment.
  • Recent accidents, falls and lack of mobility or close calls. Did your loved one take a fall, have a medical scare, or get in a fender bender (or worse)? Trouble walking up or down stairs, rising from chairs and entering and exiting vehicles are all signs of diminished mobility? When aging individuals lose mobility, it is time to start looking into assisted living for seniors or other senior assistance, such as in-home care services.
  • A chronic health condition that is worsening. Progressive problems such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), dementia, and congestive heart failure (CHF) can decline gradually or precipitously, but either way, their presence means your loved one will increasingly need help.
  • Losing Track of Medications. Expired medicine bottles, unfilled prescriptions, or abnormally high pharmacy costs could signal an inability to manage medications properly. Proper medication is essential for many seniors who have medical conditions requiring treatment. An assisted living will ensure proper medication management.
  • Increasing difficulty managing the activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). ADLs and IADLs are the skills needed to live independently -- dressing, shopping, cooking, doing laundry, managing medications, and so on. 
  • Noticeable weight loss or loss of appetite. Are clothes loose, or has he added notches to his belt? Many conditions, from depression to cancer, can cause weight loss. A person who is having trouble getting out to shop or remembering how to cook (or to eat) can lose weight; check the fridge and watch meal-prep skills. Some people never care much about food or cooking, but if your loved one starts skipping meals, grocery shopping or cooking too little to maintain general health, moving your loved one to assisted living will ensure three meals a day, encouragement to eat, assistance with eating and socialization with others that is associated with eating meals.
  • Signs of loneliness, depression and isolation. Depression and loneliness affects people of all ages. The symptoms of depression and loneliness can be feelings of sadness, listlessness, loss of interest in social interaction, and previously enjoyed hobbies and activities are indicators of depression and loneliness. Try to stay in tune with your loved one’s interests so you’ll know if these symptoms show up. The sooner your loved one receives help, the sooner they can get can get help to recover. If friends have died or moved away, moving to a place where other people are around could be lifesaving.
  • Unable to manage household/financial/personal responsibilities. Unopened bills can indicate that your loved one is having difficulty managing finances -- one of the most common first signs of dementia. Are there changes in care for the home, sticky floor, un-emptied garages, stained carpets or spoiled food and piled up laundry? This may be an indicator an aging adult needs help keeping up on household chores. Communities that offer assisted living for seniors provide housekeeping and laundry services to residents.
  • Thank-you messages from charities. Older adults are often vulnerable to scammers. Even those who have always been fiscally prudent are vulnerable if they're having trouble with thinking skills (a common sign of Alzheimer's disease). Some charities hit up givers over and over, and your loved one may not remember having donated the first time.
  • Home Safety. Appliances left on and forgotten, pots and pans left unattended on an open flame, clutter in the home may be a sign of short-term memory loss or dementia. 
  • Declining Driving Skills. Do you hesitate to let your loved one drive by them self or with others? Are there unexplained dents or scratches on their vehicle, or an increasing record of accidents or tickets? Loss of vision, cognitive impairment and diminished motor capabilities can all contribute to these signs. Assisted living provides scheduled transportation to medical appointment, shopping, and outings.
  • How you're doing, as your loved one's primary caregiver. While this decision to remain in one's home is not primarily about you -- the son, daughter, grandchild, caregiver -- your own exhaustion can be a good gauge of a decline in older adults' ability to care for themselves. Keeping someone at home can require lots of hands-on support or care coordination, and this is time-consuming. If your loved one's need for care is just plain overwhelming you, or if a spouse or children are feeling the collective strain of your caregiving activities, these are major signs that it's time to start looking at other options.

Call and speak with our knowledgeable and compassionate senior care advisors today: 602-903-6365! Our services are at NO COST to the seniors or their families! 

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There is NO COST or hidden fees for our service; we are compensated by the senior living communities when or if you choose to transition into a recommended community.