Making the decision to place a loved one in an assisted-living facility might not be an easy one, but it is a decision that you might have to face. You may wish to take a few moments to reflect on the following key indicators that assisted living is ideal. This way, you should have an easier time deciding if this is the right move to make or if the situation you are dealing with does not call for such action yet.
Forgetting His or Her Environment
If your elderly loved one is starting to forget where they are, even if they are simply at home, it is a sign of trouble. If this change is sudden, you might first want to speak to his or her primary care doctor, especially if there has been a recent change in medication. The problem could be nothing more than an adverse reaction to treatment that is currently taking place. If this turns out to not be the case, then you might want to call a nursing home to discuss setting up an appointment with an intake specialist.
No Longer Remembering to Take Medication
This may not be as big of an issue for someone who only takes a daily aspirin as it would be for someone on blood thinners or diabetic medication. The more serious your loved one's medical condition is, the more important it is to keep up with the scheduled medication doses. However, you might not want to automatically assume that just because there are a few leftover pills at the time of refill that there is a problem with memory. Try first talking with your relative. Did they skip any pills on purpose? They might have thought that by making their medication stretch they could save money. This is when you can have a doctor speak with them about the importance of keeping up with their medication schedule. If it appears that he or she simply has no idea what you are talking about or insists that no medication was skipped, even though it is apparent that it was, then it could be a case of memory problems.
Falling Too Many Times
The number of times a person will fall before it becomes "too many" will vary from one case to the next. For example, if the dog ran through the house and bumped into your elderly relative but no real physical damage was done, things might be fine. However, if your loved one fell trying to get into the shower or simply getting dressed, it might be time for some additional help. You will want to sit down with an assisted-living facility admissions counselor to discuss whether you should be concerned and how they would help prevent such falls from occurring in their facility.
With these previously mentioned three things in mind, you should have no trouble deciding whether now is the time to move your elderly loved one into a quality nursing home.