Recognizing when it’s time to consider assisted living may be more difficult than you think. Here are some signs to look for to help you make the decision.
Physical, sexual or violent aggression frequently happen in people with dementia, and caregivers or other family members may begin to feel resentful or stressed.
Escalating Care Needs
Ask yourself: “Are the person’s care needs beyond my physical abilities?” or “Is the health of the person with dementia or my health as a caregiver at risk?” If you’re answering yes to those questions, it might be time to have that tough family conversation.
Consider your senior loved one’s health and your own abilities to care for them. Is the person with dementia unsafe in their current home?
In later stages of dementia, the risk posed by wandering becomes much greater. They can wander even if you just take the time to go to the bathroom, and the probability of falls and injuries increases as well.
Incidents, Close Calls and Medical Emergencies
If your loved one has had a few incidents at home, such as a fall or injuries sustained from trying to prevent a fall, these are warning signs of a problem with mobility. Inactivity, stiffness in the joints, porous bones and complications of diabetes are common health conditions that can affect steady gait. Many falls can happen in the shower, when a loved one is trying to prevent themselves from slipping, or at night and in the morning hours when getting in and out of bed. Being alone during early morning or late evening hours can also increase fall risk.
Noticeable Weight Loss, Strange Body Odor and Changes in Looks
These signs could represent several health issues or a problem managing activities of daily living. A loved one who is unable to prepare his or her own meals will often resort to eating whatever is easily available or little to nothing at all. These patterns can result in a lack of proper nutrition, considerable weight loss, and decreased strength for their daily routine. Medications taken on an empty stomach can also cause complications if meals are not eaten as scheduled
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