How do you know when it’s the right time for aging or frail loved one to transition to a long term care facility? Learn everything you ought to know, here…
70 million people aged 50 and older have at least one chronic medical condition such as Alzheimer’s or heart disease.
If you have a senior loved one, watching them gradually wither from their former strong and vibrant selves is sad. Nonetheless, it is the cycle of life, and it is all part of the process.
But when it reaches a point where you start doubting their capability to take care of themselves, it is time to take action.
Nevertheless, most seniors will deny that they need help. Therefore, do not take their word for it, instead, look out for the telltale signs. This article will discuss signs that your aging loved one should transition to a long term care facility.
Determining Whether Your Loved One Needs Help
In the late 1950s, an American doctor named Sidney Katz developed the Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADL).
Professionals use this index to determine a senior’s capability to complete routines and basic activities of daily life. The index breaks down these routines into six categories which include:
• Toileting (ability to use the bathroom)
• Transferring (ability to change locations)
• Continence (ability to control bowels)
Each category is assigned a value of 1. Thus, the total chart value is 6. To evaluate a senior’s level of dependency, you grade them on their proficiency to complete the above tasks.
If they can complete five out of the six, then they just need basic help. However, if they score three and below, they require a lot of care.
After measuring these ADLs, the professionals embark on testing the senior for a broader range of activities known as the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs).
This allows them deeper insight into the level of care that senior needs.
• Cleaning the house
• Paying bills
IADLs are also assigned points to help evaluate an individual’s competency.
While you can use the Katz chart to evaluate your loved one, it should be done by a professional since they know what to look for. Nonetheless, it can give you a basic idea of whether they need assisted help.
Signs You Should Consider a Long Term Care Facility for Your Loved One
Their scores in ADLs and IADLs notwithstanding, a senior could also be having a chronic medical condition that needs professional assistance.
Senior long term care facilities specialize in taking care of the elderly. Your loved one will get 24/7 attention from professionals to ensure that they have the best possible quality of life.
Some individuals such as Benjamin Breier have set high standards for the level of care offered in these facilities. You can, therefore, rest easy knowing your loved one will be well taken care of.
The following are some pointers that your loved one is in need of assisted living.
1. Deteriorating Health
As mentioned earlier, seniors are likely to develop chronic diseases as they age.
If a senior has such a condition, they become more and more incapable of taking care of themselves. Additionally, the likelihood of a medical emergency occurring becomes greatly increased.
Reports indicate that nearly a third of seniors fall at least once per year and that deaths resulting from these falls are steadily increasing.
If your loved one has fallen or is struggling with mobility, it is time to consider assisted care for them.
2. You are Unable to Provide Care
Upon noticing that their senior loved one is having trouble taking care of themselves, most people take it upon themselves to start helping out.
You love them and feel like you can use that time to bond with them more as there are many things you can learn from an aging parent.
What starts as helping out with simple tasks, however, soon becomes an around-the-clock job.
Many times, caregivers have to drop their needs for someone else. This can quickly lead to frustration and depression, and this will impact the kind of care you provide them with.
To avoid this, consider getting them to a facility where there are professionals on standby to take care of them.
3. Responsibility Issues
You know your loved one needs special care if they stop handling their responsibilities or do not pay attention to them. Inspect the following things:
If you visit them and find piled up bills, you should take it seriously. Once an individual stops caring about their bills or is simply unable to handle the numbers, it means that they are not fit enough to make rational decisions.
This vulnerable state also makes them susceptible to scams from both the outside as well as family members.
• Poor Hygiene
If your once fastidious parent suddenly stops caring about their living conditions, you should view it as a red flag. This usually happens gradually. In the early stages, it might be a bit of clutter here and there.
On a later visit, you might find the house has not been vacuumed in a while in addition to dirty dishes that appear to have been in that state for a long time.
Subsequently, you will find them lacking in personal hygiene.
Even if they seem physically capable of handling these responsibilities, the fact that they are not doing so should be taken as a green light to seek extra care for them.
4. Character Changes
Retired seniors tend to spend most of their time alone. In fact, more than 11 million seniors live alone. This isolation can breed a number of issues such as depression, addiction, and mortality.
Thus, if they were once lively but now seem angry all the time with bad habits such as smoking and drinking, it is an indication that the isolation is getting to them.
In senior care facilities, your loved one will be in the company of their peers and this will help prevent these issues.
The Need for Assisted Care
Aging is something we cannot avoid. However, it does not mean that our quality of life should decrease due to age-related illnesses and conditions.
Providing care for the elderly is quite demanding.
This is why you should consider enlisting the services of a long term care facility as they have the knowledge, skills, patience, dedication, and tools to help your loved one live out their twilight years in bliss. Does your senior loved one want to maintain their independence? Check out these five things they should do.