A Guide to Helping Your Loved One When They Need More Care Than You Can Provide
As much as you’d like to do it all yourself and provide round-the-clock care for an aging loved one, sometimes it’s just not achievable on your own.
This can be a hard pill to swallow for many children or spouses who have cared for a loved one but need to hand over a little responsibility to others.
You may be wracked with feelings of guilt, apprehension, and sadness that the care of a loved one is falling out of your control. But this is just the nature of aging and debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
So when is it time for assisted living? Find out in this blog…
Assessing Levels of Care
Just as our parents raised and nurtured us, there comes a time when this type of selfless love is needed in return. But caring for an aging, frail, or ill loved one all by yourself poses a number of challenges.
Aside from having to juggle the responsibilities of your own life, adding full-time caregiving into the mix can make life incredibly stressful.
You may be caring for a loved one in your own home for a certain period, or they may even be living alone. But there will come a time when even your best care is no longer enough.
This is where a loved one’s level of care must be reassessed.
One of the best ways to understand the level of care a loved one needs is by using an ADL rating. ADLs are activities of daily living, which include basic tasks such as:
- Using the toilet unassisted
- Bathing and dressing unassisted
- The ability to move, unaided, from one area of the home to another
- The ability to get out of bed, unassisted
- Full bowel control
- The ability to eat, unaided
These ADL categories have equal amounts of significance.
Aside from ADLs, a loved can also be rated on IADLs: instrumental activities of daily living and relates to when a loved one is still living alone. This includes tasks such as paying bills, cleaning, eating regular meals, socializing, and transporting themselves.
Basically, if a task can be performed unaided, this equates to a score of 1. If not, this equates to a score of 0. Once all the numbers beside each category are added, this brings you to a score of independence. The higher the score, the more independently a loved one is able to live.
Beside these ratings, there are a number of obvious signs it could be time for assisted living…
When is it Time For Assisted Living? 5 Obvious Signs
Many of the most obvious warning signs are directly related to activities of daily living, and the general capability of a loved one.
These signs can also be explained medically. Sometimes they’re caused by depression or something a little more subtle such as the onset of dementia.
Here are the warning signs to look out for:
1. Worsening State of Health
One of the most common aspects of aging is a deteriorated state of health, with the likelihood of illness skyrocketing after 50 years of age.
Some of these conditions are chronic, including debilitating diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease.
The fact of the matter is that the more someone ages, the worse a chronic condition will become and they will become less capable of caring for themselves.
To add to this, the potential for accidents such as slips and falls and other medical emergencies increases, especially when living alone.
2. Mismanaged Funds
This is related to seniors who still live alone and have always had a handle on managing their own finances. As soon as this begins to falter, this is a warning sign that something is amiss.
Falling behind on bill payments, taxes, and even simple financial transactions could point to cognitive issues- such as the onset of dementia.
Many seniors are also susceptible to money scams, falling prey due to impaired decision making and cognitive abilities. This can put both your loved one and even you in a tight financial bind.
3. Senior Isolation
This is a major issue across the United States with one in three seniors living alone, in isolation. Overall, this can take a serious toll on your health, resulting in depression, addiction, and the onset of cognitive issues such as dementia.
Senior isolation can even result in an increased rate of mortality, due to a depressed state-of-mind and lack of will to live.
4. A Dirty/ Untidy Living Space
This is a direct result of a senior not being able to keep up with simple household chores due to frailty, depression, or cognitive impairment.
If a loved one’s living space has become messy, smelly and run down, this is a warning sign that they may no longer be able to care for themselves properly.
Some common examples of an untidy or unhygienic living space include piles of dirty dishes, dirty washing, and spoiled food in the refrigerator.
If they have a pet, it’s likely that they are unable to care for it properly either. This could result in piles of animal feces and dirty litter boxes throughout their living space.
5. Poor Self-Hygiene
Finally, if a loved one is unkempt, shabby, and may even have unpleasant body odor, this is a warning sign that they are failing to care for themselves.
This could be as a result of depression, lack of motivation, illness, frailty, or cognitive issues. This is a sure-fire sign that it may be time for assisted living.
Poor self-hygiene is characterized by messy grooming, wearing the same clothes for days on end, bad odor, bad breath, etc.
Additionally, if your loved one looks thinner and more frail than usual, this could point to poor eating habits and an inability to prepare meals for themselves.
Looking For Exceptional Live-In Care?
At Arthur’s Senior Care, we offer an intimate, close-knit setting for the assisted care of your loved one. If you’re looking for memory care, dementia care, end-of-life care, and more, Arthur’s Senior Care is ideal.
If you’re still wondering ”when is it time for assisted living?” our professional staff are here to advise you on your best options. Contact us today for all the help you need.