These are a few of the most important questions I ask families when we are conducting an evaluation on a client that may need assisted living. If you are still unsure as to whether they need in-home care or an assisted living setting, please feel free to call me to discuss the situation. With just one phone call, I can help inform you on your options and possibly help with any necessary resources. (480) 419-4202 http://www.assistedlivingadvantage.com
If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, it is time to consider assisted living…
Can they respond appropriately in an emergency to help themselves or others?
Do you worry that they can no longer determine if they are in danger and would not know how to react appropriately? For instance, if there were a fire in the home, would they alert everyone, call 911 and get out? If you are a married couple and you are the caregiver, do you trust that your spouse would be able to assist you and get help if you had a heart attack or some other catastrophic incident?
Do they need 24/7 care?
If this is the case, it is obvious that they need assistance. However, do you understand that the costs of bringing 24-hour care into a private home are often considerably more than moving them to an assisted living community? It is in your best interests to understand the costs of all options available to you.
Are they able to manage their own medications?
If the answer is no, then this could be a life or death situation. You don’t want to wait until they end up in the hospital because they overdosed or forgot to take a life-sustaining medication. An option you would want to consider is a community that would manage their medications and make sure they are taking the proper dosages and at the scheduled times.
Are their cognitive skills such as the ability to reason or their judgment impaired?
Are they making decisions in their best interests? Are they putting themselves in danger or vulnerable situations?
Is their short or long-term memory impaired?
This can greatly affect their quality of life, especially if they are living on their own. It can also affect those around them when repeated phone calls are made for the same questions or emergency trips occur to check in with your loved one because they can’t remember if they’ve eaten, taken their meds, etc.
Are they frequently confused or afraid to be alone?
Do they swear that nobody has visited them in a long time when you know a family member was just there yesterday? Are they oriented as to where they are and what day it is? This could very well be memory loss.
Are they increasingly becoming isolated from social functions?
This is another question that could be related to memory loss. Perhaps they can’t follow conversations at the dinner table any more so they refuse to go to family get-togethers. Maybe they recognize the faces at their weekly Bridge game, but can’t remember the names, so they are embarrassed and quit going. When a person becomes isolated, their physical and mental health declines much more rapidly.
Do they have an unsteady gait or frequent falls?
You don’t want to wait until there is a fall and they seriously injure themselves. I’ve had clients that were fall risks but insisted on staying home because they hadn’t fallen yet. Then they fall one day, end up in the hospital, only to be told that the injuries are severe enough they cannot go back home. This is devastating!
Do they have an increasing need for help with bathing, dressing, or other personal activities?
Are they no longer able to cook, clean or shop without assistance?
Do they wear the same clothes over and over again? Are their clothes dirty?
With assisted living, these will all be taken care of for them. They will be able to have help with their personal hygiene, laundry and housekeeping. Meals will be provided for them and they won’t have to worry about cooking or grocery shopping.
It’s always difficult to suggest to a person that they are no longer able to care for themselves and that they need to move to an assisted living community. But trust me, their safety and well-being must come first. With these questions, you can rest assured that you are evaluating critical issues and warning signs and should be able to discuss them with you loved one, their doctor or anyone else involved in their care and reach the right decision!