If a senior loved one can no longer manage well, and is reluctant to let family members know because they’re afraid of losing that independence, how do you know if they are ready for assisted living? This is where your vigilance becomes paramount to your senior loved one’s safety and well being. Aging in a community may provide more solutions than you think.
As longevity spirals upward, it tends to become more challenging for many people to do what they once did with ease. Simple tasks, known as activities of daily living (ADL), to which someone gave no thought at 45, may take the better part of a day to accomplish at 90. Still, it fills the hours, and most seniors of advanced age take pride in their independence.
8 Signs It May Be Time for a Move
Below are some of the typical warning signs that a senior may no longer be able to live independently, and it might be time to consider a move to assisted living:
- Rotten food in the fridge. You open up your dad’s refrigerator to store some yogurt you brought him, and the state of the fridge shocks you: there’s mold on several items, and what is stored in containers looks like it’s been there much too long to be edible. You look at the sideboard and see shriveled apples and tomatoes. Yet he insists the food is fine; he just hasn’t gotten around to eating it yet. While sense of smell diminishes with age, your parent may also have visual impairment and didn’t notice the spoiled food.
- Trash piling up. Why isn’t Mom taking out the trash? When you ask, she says the bag isn’t full, but it clearly needs to go outside. Maybe she feels unsteady on the stairs and wants to limit how many times she has to go up and down, especially carrying something heavy like a trash bag. Or perhaps her grip strength has weakened to where she can no longer carry the trash downstairs, so it sits there until her grandson comes to visit on the weekend.
- Clutter. Your parents have always been fastidious, but lately when you visit, there seems to be mail and magazines piling up on the dining room table, mountains of dirty laundry in the laundry room, and dishes in the sink. Maintaining the home in the manner they used to may be too much for your folks at this life stage, but they don’t want to say anything. When you ask your mother whether it might be a good idea to hire a housekeeper, she protests she can manage, adding, “I clean one room a day.”
- Changes in appearance. Is dad growing a beard, you ask? No, he says, his razor is broken. But for someone who has always taken pride in his appearance, this sounds strange. Why wouldn’t he simply buy a new one?
- Weight loss. Mom looks thinner than she should, but her doctor gave her a clean bill of health at her last appointment. She says she doesn’t have the appetite she used to, so she eats less. But you wonder: has grocery shopping and preparing meals become too much for her? Or is she forgetting how to cook?
- Medication mix-up. You notice the bottle containing your dad’s heart meds seems to be too full. But the one for his arthritis pills seems too empty. “Oh, they look alike, sometimes I take the wrong one,” he says dismissively. You explain that taking the wrong doses of medication can be dangerous, but he laughs it off.
- Fall or accident. What’s that bruise on mom’s cheek? You ask humorously if she’s been in a fight, and she fidgets. Finally she admits she “took a little tumble” getting out of the shower, but insists she’s perfectly all right.
- Refusal to socialize or leave the house. Ever since mom passed away, your father doesn’t want to go anywhere. You understand that he’s grieving — you and your siblings are, too — but he’s adamant about avoiding any social activity, even among family members. This withdrawal could be a sign of hearing loss or memory issues.
How Kensington Park Addresses Changing Senior Needs
At Kensington Park, we have a deep understanding of these changes, and how they impact seniors who’ve lived independently all their lives. Because we offer a full spectrum of senior living options, someone can move to Kensington Park when they are independent and enjoy luxury living at The Highlands, then later move to our neighboring assisted living or memory care communities if this becomes necessary, all without leaving our lush, eight-acre campus.
Assisted Living will offer your loved one the help they need, while allowing them to enjoy an active social life free of concerns such as cooking healthy meals, taking out the trash, or doing the laundry.
Our competent staff handles all the nuances related to running a home, efficiently operating behind the scenes so your loved one can relax and enjoy life. We’ll provide 5-star dining that not only meets their nutritional needs, but also pleases the palate, in an elegant setting akin to a fine hotel restaurant.
Living at Kensington Park also means you won’t need to worry about your loved one taking the wrong medication, or risking a fall. We provide a seamless, supportive continuum of care that preserves meaningful routines for our residents.
In addition to clinical care, we offer outpatient rehabilitation services through our partnership with Genesis Rehab, to help our residents regain or retain their optimal level of independence. Genesis offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and fitness programs.
Preparing for Transition
Leaving one’s beloved longtime home is never easy, which is why we have a full-time transitions expert on staff to facilitate the move to Kensington Park. Our Family Support Guide to Transitioning A Loved One to Assisted Living outlines what you need to know before, during, and after the move.
Come visit us soon, and let us show you how Kensington Park may be the perfect place for your senior loved one to enjoy safe, healthy, fulfilling days ahead, minus the upkeep of a house, and worry-free for family members.