How do you know it’s time?
I still remember the day I moved my Dad to Rapha Residential Care. As we drove away, tears streamed down my cheeks, not because it wasn’t the right decision but because I knew that I had closed a chapter in his life that could never be reopened. My brother and my husband thought I was crazy! Besides, this is my life’s calling and the signs were there. Lots of them! He wasn’t taking his medication right. We had been to the Emergency Room repeatedly, his driving was more than questionable, and he just didn’t seem to be the independent, strong provider that I knew as my Daddy.
Moving your loved one to assisted living is an agonizing decision, but what are the signs? How can we be sure it is time? There are many signs that it is time to find a safe place for your loved ones. Every situation is different but here are some common indications:
- Have you noticed weight loss or gain? A change in weight in either direction can be a significant indicator for multiple reasons. Check out the pantry and refrigerator. Are the items in date? Are there multiple bottles of the same salad dressing? Are there signs of fire in the kitchen? Are all the appliances working properly? Is it obvious that they are eating something? Seniors, especially those with dementia, will forget whether or not they have eaten. They respond by over eating or not eating at all.
- Is your loved one taking longer to bounce back
- Is your loved one more sedentary?
- Are they taking care of daily tasks necessary to live alone? Are they bathing? Brushing their teeth? Changing their clothes? Do they smell? Are they getting up and getting ready for each day? Are they staying in the bed?
- How’s their driving? Have you taken a ride with them lately? Do they tailgate or drift when they are driving? Do they keep up with the traffic? Can they judge when to go when they are at a stop sign? Are there dings or dents in the car? When they ride with you do you have to tell them to put on their seatbelt? Transportation is a necessity in our world if you want to live independently.
- What about the mail? Is your loved one opening the mail and taking care of the bills?
These are just a few of the signs that indicate your loved one may need additional help to live safely. It is often very difficult to make the decision to move your loved ones to assisted living but it can be the best decision you make. I can tell you that while my Dad’s dementia continues to increase, I can rest easy that he is fed, taking his medication as prescribed, properly dressed, safe and loved.
If you would like to explore assisted living for your loved one or if you just want someone to talk to about the options, I would encourage you to give me a call. I’ll be happy to discuss the quality of care and love we give and the dignity with which we treat our residents every day at Rapha.