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Recognizing when a senior should enter assisted living

January 25, 2013

Many seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible, but it's not always that easy. Whether due to a fall, chronic illness or mobility problems, moving to an assisted living facility is sometimes the best option for a senior's well-being. It can be a difficult choice for seniors and their families to make, but there are a few signs that could indicate that it's time to move.

There are certain events, such as an injury caused by a fall, that are easy to recognize, but others may require a bit more vigilance. For instance, if family members notice that there is uneaten food laying about or the house is in disarray, it may signal that their loved one is having trouble with the activities of daily living.

In some instances, the house itself may not be well-suited for healthy aging. It can be difficult to retrofit a house for an older adult who has trouble getting around, and installing grab bars in the bathroom can only do so much. However, retirement communities are designed with seniors in mind, and will likely be much better equipped to meet their unique mobility needs.

Families should also consider the level of social involvement that their elderly loved one is getting. Becoming isolated can raise the risk of a number of health issues, but most retirement communities or assisted living facilities offer a variety of social opportunities that can help keep seniors engaged.

Assisted living is often the right choice for older adults who are managing a chronic condition, whether it is Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or heart disease. Facilities have medical care on site so that seniors can enjoy a healthy lifestyle as they grow older.