- Hey, this is Gene from the Assisted Living Network.
I'm gonna give you three signs that it's time
for someone to move into assisted living.
Number one: they need it.
It's not a want; its a need.
A lot of times when somebody moves into assisted living,
it's because there is an event.
Maybe they fell, bruised a hip,
went into the doctors', took an x-ray,
and the doctors say, "Well, they could fall again,
"and if they do, who's gonna be there
"in the home to see it, and pick them up
"or bring them in or call 911?"
Many times, that right there is the first inclination
that the kids, who are 50 and 60, really get it,
that Mom and Dad need more supervision.
It's not just they're getting a little older
and a little forgetful, but they could trip over the carpet.
They could get up in the middle of the night
and their leg is asleep, and when they go to the floor,
one of the legs give out and they fall down.
And when they get back up, when they work their way
back up on the edge of the bed,
they crack a rib on the footboard.
That's exactly what happened to my mother.
That was the transition point.
She was doing pretty well and she was taking care
of herself for the most part,
but one night she was getting out of bed and she fell,
and as she was getting back up,
she leaned against and cracked her rib on the footboard.
A cracked rib at any age is hard.
When you're elderly, that's a really difficult one.
Really, she sat in a chair in the front room
for a couple of months, healing.
And that's what it came down to.
So, mobility issues.
Are they tripping, are they falling?
Is there more activities that they can't do?
Not just slowing down a little bit,
not playing tennis anymore but turn to pickleball,
but I mean really slowing down,
to the point where they need a cane,
a walker, or even a wheelchair.
So the physical activity.
The second sign is that they're lonely.
They're at home, they're alone, they're not engaged anymore.
You know, a lot of times, and you've heard this statistic,
don't retire, because within three years you're dead.
Hey, we're all gonna die, but it doesn't have
to be three years after you retire.
It's about our slowing down in the mind, the activities.
If there's nothing stimulating them,
if they're all alone at home, what's gonna stimulate them?
Reruns? The AMC movie channel?
I enjoy an Alfred Hitchcock movie myself once in awhile.
Doesn't mean I need to see it 58 times
in a row the same day.
So neither do they.
They need to be engaged.
And a lot of times, it just comes down to communication.
Sometimes they need to do something where they're giving,
they're part of a community where they're giving,
they can volunteer, they can do things and help others.
Maybe it's at the kindergarten.
Maybe it's at church.
Maybe it's something else that they can give and do.
But if you find that their social engagement
has dramatically decreased, they're quieter,
they're staying in, they don't leave the house anymore.
It could be the physical mobility that's a challenge,
so, that turns into the social constriction,
that social isolation.
So the need for community is probably even more important
than the physical, but we usually think of that secondarily.
Third one is: are they meeting their own needs
when it comes to medication, when it comes to food,
when it comes to taking care of themselves.
Those kind of personal functions are what we call
activities of daily living.
When they start to need help with those things,
well, you know that it's getting close to time.
Let's talk the obvious one: medication management.
Frankly, it can get a little confusing.
If there's six bottles of pills,
they all look the same on the outside,
their eyesight isn't so good,
they can't really see what's on the inside,
so they do their best, but those childproof locks are hard
for anybody, other than a child.
So they may have a hard time even
getting the medication out, so they don't take it because.
Or if it comes out and it spills,
then did they take it, did they not?
And they all look the same, so which one is this
and which one is that?
Medication management sounds simple to you and I,
with a vitamin here or there,
but for them, with a series of them,
in different times of the day and days of the week.
Medication management. Food.
You and I know that we eat when we're hungry.
Some of us eat when we're not hungry.
But sometimes they eat and they forget to eat.
Or they eat and forgot that they ate and they eat again.
Or, they're cooking their own food,
and they cook the food and leave it in the pot
and then the next day, they heat it up again
on the stove even though it sat overnight.
Not sanitary, not healthy.
Or, they're using utensils that don't make sense,
like a plastic coffee jug on the fire-burning stove,
the gas stove with open flame,
that's just a hazard, a death trap waiting to happen.
So those are the signs when somebody can't
take care of themselves.
Maybe they're not bathing the way they should.
Maybe their clothes haven't been cleaned.
They have two outfits that they wear,
one they wear and then they wash the other,
and then when they change that, they put it in the washer.
If they're not able to take care of themselves physically,
with bathing and brushing their teeth and so on,
or the food, either too much or too little.
Or here's another one: water, liquid, dehydration.
Seniors, many times, just simply stop drinking liquid.
Why? Because they don't wanna have to go to the bathroom.
It's a pain, it's a hard thing to get up and to go,
it may be a problem for other reasons too,
but that dehydration can set in.
All of these things are signs that it's time
for that senior to move into assisted living.
They may need just a little bit of help,
and they may be moving in a little bit early,
but frankly, I have never,
ever had somebody move into our home saying,
"I wish I waited. I wish I waited six months
"or a year longer."
I've had many people say, "I wish I moved Mom in sooner.
"I wish I brought Dad here a lot sooner
"because there's friends, he's comfortable,
"he's having fun, he's doing better."
We've even had some people move
into our assisted living home and get so good,
so healthy, that they moved home,
and that's a wonderful thing.
Now, there are signs; I gave you three, four, five,
but you know it in your heart when it's the right time.
And if you're looking for a place,
go see it and visit it, and see who's there
and see if it's a good fit within the community.
Three signs of Mom or Dad or a loved one
is ready for assisted living.
This is Gene from the Assisted Living Network
saying do good, and do well.
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