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How To Know When It Is Time for Assisted Living: 5 Signs To Watch For

Walker Methodist | Apr 17, 2024

When we were kids, our parents cared for us, taught us important life lessons, and ensured we were clean, well-fed, and appropriately dressed. But, as time goes by, there comes a point where we may need to take care of our aging parents. Balancing work, children, and other responsibilities while looking after our loved ones can become quite challenging, making it difficult to check in on them daily.

Nowadays, assisted living has become a popular choice for older adults, offering various options and amenities. It can be a great alternative to living alone, especially if you can find a place that allows independent living. But how do you know when it is time for assisted living? Here are five signs to look out for.

Signs It’s Time for Assisted LivingSenior man with cane

1. Worsening Medical Conditions

Health issues are not uncommon as we age, and some conditions worsen over time. As older adults begin to need help with daily living, an assisted living community is a great option. Licensed medical providers will be on hand around the clock to administer medication and provide assistance where necessary. And all care is customized to each person’s individual needs.

2. Difficulty With Daily Activities

Experts divide daily activities into two types: activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Assisted living communities can use these categories to determine the kind of assistance your loved one requires. IADLs cover tasks like handling money, driving, shopping, cooking meals, and caring for the house. On the other hand, basic ADLs involve walking, eating, getting dressed, and personal grooming. Assisted living is worth considering if your loved one consistently needs help with any of these activities.

3. Signs of Loneliness

More than 40 percent of older adults experience loneliness regularly. This unfortunate reality can lead to emotional and physical health problems. One of the best things about an assisted living community is that it allows its residents to interact with others. Plenty of group activities and transportation to local shops, churches, and other locations exist.

4. Frequent Falls or Injuries

Balance can become complicated for even the healthiest older adults. You're understandably concerned if you frequently get calls that your loved one has fallen or sustained injuries around the house. Assisted living communities can help with those daily activities that can lead to injuries, such as cooking, cleaning, and maneuvering around the house.

5. Constant Concern and Stress

No matter what’s going on with your loved one, if you are constantly worried, an assisted living community could give you the peace of mind you need. You’ll know the older adult in your life is well cared for, and when you visit, you should see a happier, healthier parent than you saw before. All of this will improve your quality of life as well as theirs.

Debunking Myths About Assisted LivingSenior woman walking with nurse

Debunking myths about assisted living allows individuals and families to make well-informed decisions about their long-term care options. By understanding the realities of assisted living, they can assess whether it aligns with their needs and preferences vs. resisting the transition based on outdated information and stereotypes. Here are a few examples to help your loved one acclimate:

MYTH: Assisted Living Facilities Are Depressing and Institutional 

By design, assisted living communities offer a home-like environment with many amenities and social activities to promote an engaging lifestyle for residents. They also offer a sense of community and connection that can benefit seniors who may otherwise feel isolated or alone.

MYTH: Assisted Living Means Giving Up Independence

Assisted living facilities are there to help seniors with their daily activities and medical needs, but they also want residents to have their freedom and choices. That's why residents usually have their own apartments or suites where they can bring their furniture and decorate as they like. They also get to join in on fun activities based on what they enjoy and can do, like exercise classes, arts and crafts, and going on outings.

MYTH: Assisted Living Is Too Expensive

Assisted living can cost nearly the same or less than similar care services at home. General costs for assisted living can range from a few thousand dollars per month to more than $10,000, depending on factors like location, level of care required, and amenities and benefits. Many resources are available to help pay for senior living, like Medicaid, veteran benefits, and social security benefits.

Why You Shouldn't Put Off Assisted Living

Senior reading

Please don't delay the conversation about assisted living because it may be awkward or complicated — doing so can lead to severe health consequences. By addressing it early on, you can plan, make informed decisions, and prioritize your loved one's well-being and peace of mind. Engaging in the conversation allows access to resources and support networks, ensuring a smoother transition and a better future for you and your loved ones.

Assisted living communities cater to the needs of aging adults, offering superior amenities compared to what they have at home while still promoting independence. With licensed professionals available, the level of care provided surpasses what daily check-ins can offer, providing valuable peace of mind for everyone involved.

Assisted Living in Minnesota and Wisconsin

At Walker Methodist, we've been dedicated to serving older adults since 1945. As a faith-based, non-profit senior living organization, we take pride in offering a range of assisted living communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Whether you need general, memory, or respite care, our knowledgeable and compassionate staff provides the best care possible. 

With a constantly evolving list of senior care options, we are committed to supporting the vibrant living experience of our residents. If you're exploring assisted living, we would be delighted to assist you in discovering the perfect options for your needs. Because at Walker Methodist, our mission is all about life and embracing every aspect of it.

Learn More About Assisted Living

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