How do you know when a family member needs assisted living?

Assisted living facilities provide an invaluable service. When a medical condition, developments associated with aging or another variable affects an individual’s ability to live independently, assisted living facilities can ensure such men and women get the help they need to live as fully and actively as possible.

It’s not always easy to identify when an individual may need to move into an assisted living facility. Some individuals choose to do so on their own, but families often make such decisions together. As families work to determine if a loved one should move into an assisted living facility, they can look for various signs that suggest the time is right to do so. According to the Elder Care Alliance, signs that an individual may benefit from assisted living include:

  • Requiring routine reminders to take medication
  • Noticeable changes in weight, including weight loss or gain
  • Loss of mobility or increase in falls
  • Signs that household maintenance is being neglected
  • Difficulty with daily tasks like grooming and meal preparation
  • Increased isolation
  • Loss of interest in hobbies

It’s important for families to recognize that some of the signs noted above might suggest the presence of a condition or disease that would not, if treated successfully, compromise an individual’s ability to live independently. For example, the SilverSneakers program offered through Tivity Health notes that weight gain among seniors may be attributable to slower metabolism, a less active lifestyle or menopause for women. Each of those conditions can be addressed without requiring a relocation to an assisted living facility.

Family members are urged to discuss anything that seems to be affecting a loved one’s ability to live independently with that person’s health care team before they consider if a person needs to move into an assisted living facility. It’s equally important to ask a loved one’s health care team which type of facility they think might be most beneficial if, in fact, they think it’s in an individual’s best interest to relocate.

No two facilities are the same, and the Elder Care Alliance notes many specialize in specific types of care, such as tending to individuals with cognitive issues like dementia or physical issues like limited mobility.

Assisted living facilities help millions of individuals every day. Families can work together to decide if a loved one can benefit from moving into such a facility.