When’s the right time to make a move?
That’s a question I’ve heard a lot over the years from family members who are worried about their loved ones. Often times there have been many warning signs, but still those involved have a hard time looking into senior care options, much less talking about it with their loved ones. This can be one of the hardest conversations that caregivers will need to have, but if you’re concerned, then it’s always the right time to say something.
So what are some red flags? Frequent falls or calls to the rescue squad, weight loss due to the inability to cook or shop, trips to the hospital because of medication mismanagement, wandering due to memory loss and accidents while driving are just a few. Basically any change to the persons norms, or being a risk to themselves or others should be considered a call to action. While it can be uncomfortable to talk about these things with a loved one, it’s so important, because the sooner you talk, the sooner you can come up with a plan of action. Often times this might just mean having someone assist with some of the weekly “chores” that are too difficult to accomplish. In some cases it may mean touring senior living communities to see what’s out there. For many seniors there is a fear that they are being put away in a “facility”, however today’s senior living communities are built and designed to be an extension of a senior’s own home. These communities offer assistance where needed but also encourage independence in areas where the senior is able and offer dozens of amenities such as recreation, fine dining, concierge services and housekeeping.
While we all want to stay at home as long as possible, quality of life does need to be considered as well…for seniors and their caregivers. Don’t wait till those red flags become real life emergencies with real life injuries and consequences.
What are your thoughts? Have you had to have a conversation with your loved one about needing more care? Leave your comments below.
Interested in more? Check out this great article from The Family Caregiver’s Alliance.