Realizing it may be time for a loved one to move to an assisted living community is never easy for family members. Whether it’s a parent who has stopped taking care of themselves or a spouse whose condition has advanced beyond your ability to care for at home, you’re not only faced with the logistical challenges of finding the best care, but you also have to manage the emotional struggles that accompany a loved one’s dependency.
Often, family members have a hard time deciding whether their loved one truly needs full-time support. The difficulties that increase with age come on gradually, and we may not realize how significant a problem is until a crisis occurs.
The best time to make the move to assisted living is prior to a major healthcare event. In many cases, the move to the correct level of care can help prevent or delay these events. Almost without exception, our assisted living residents tell us, "if I could change one thing I would have come sooner!", says Jaritza Smith, ARNP and AED of Wellness at Amavida's Vistas assisted living and The Meadows memory care.
How to Know When the Time Is Right
Depending on you or your loved one’s current situation, you may have to consider various components about health and well-being to determine if it’s time for assisted living. Everyone situation is unique; however, the amavida team uses ADLs, which are activities of daily living, to measure the level of care a senior needs. This concept was developed by a doctor named Sidney Katz back in the 1960s, and it helps professionals understand how well a potential resident can complete routines and basic activities that contribute to daily life. Katz broke these routines down into six main categories:
- Toileting (going to the bathroom)
- Transferring (the ability to get in and out of bed)
- Continence (being able to control your bowels)
- The ability to take medicine appropriately (on time and the correct dosage)
- Starting to "slow down" and some "forgetfulness"
There are also activities called IADLs, or instrumental activities of daily living. These include activities like:
- Paying the bills on time
- Cleaning the house
- Cooking food for yourself or enjoying a balanced diet
- Being able to transport yourself outside of the house
- Balance socializing
These ADLs may not seem like much on their own, but as more and more emerge, you or your loved one's quality of life can suffer. Please do not be like so many others who "wished they'd made the move sooner".
The Next Step: Finding the Right Community
If you’ve decided that it’s time to help your loved one find an assisted living community, the next step is to search for the right one. Depending on where you or your loved one lives, you may have many options to choose from. Be sure to do your research and weigh each option thoroughly in order to pick the best community.
If you need help deciding if it’s time for your loved one to receive care at an assisted living community, or you don’t know where to start your search, reach out to the amavida team. Our years of senior living experience can help you understand the different services available and get started on making the best arrangements for you or your loved one.
Keep moving forward. Call us today at 877.969.0712 to learn more about the community that’s changing the status quo of senior living.