When it comes to aging, there’s no set timeframe. Some older people live happily at home for their whole lives, and they’re still independent well into their nineties and beyond. Others start to struggle much earlier. One seventy-year-old might be running around playing with the grandkids, cooking meals for friends, going on trips alone, and even dating. Others might struggle to get out of their chair, forget things, and become very anxious at the idea of going out alone. We all age differently, and even those of us that do our best to stay fit and healthy can face unexpected challenges far earlier than we might have liked.
This lack of a set timeline can make it very hard for family members to know what to do for the best. Was that fall just an accident? A silly trip? Something that could have happened to anyone? A one-off? Or was it a sign that things are changing, and that your loved one needs more help and support? There’s certainly no set age for people to move into a nursing or care home, but there are some signs that we should all be looking out for.
Some forgetfulness is normal. We’ve all forgotten someone’s name, lost a distant memory, or misplaced something from time to time. It’s perfectly normal for this to increase as we get older, but it shouldn’t be commonplace. Even when we’re very old we should be able to remember people and places, and memory lapses should be slips, not the norm.
If your elderly relative is experiencing severe forgetfulness, the decision to put them into care isn’t the only one that you need to make. You’ll also need to find the right home. If you don’t know where to start, check out seniorcare-homes.com. SeniorCare Homes residencies are limited to eight residents, so they can offer comfortable and attentive care around the clock.
Falls and Injuries
Again, the odd fall is nothing to worry about. But, when these falls are happening regularly, and they occur when doing everyday things, it can be a warning sign. Another warning is when small falls and slips, which would usually be brushed off, are causing debilitating injuries.
Frequent Phone Calls
Confusion is often one of the first and most worrying signs that something is wrong. If you don’t live with your relative, this confusion can present in frequent phone calls. They may question everything, phone you upset because they are lost or confused, or because they are scared. If you have reached the point where you know that you have to be near the phone just in case, they might need more help with their day-to-day needs.
A Decline in Personal Hygiene, or Cleanliness of the Home
Another clear sign is a decline in hygiene and cleanliness. This might start with the occasional forgetting to wash hands or wash pots, but soon you may notice that they don’t smell very nice, or that they no longer take any pride in their home. It could be because they’ve forgotten to clean or how to clean, that they are depressed, or that their mobility has declined, and cleaning is difficult.
These changes can be very worrying, but you shouldn’t overreact. If you have started to notice the odd thing, speak to them about it, and talk about seeing a doctor. Sometimes, the changes are temporary. But, when the time comes, know that assisted living is usually in the best interest of the person in question and that living in care often improves their quality of life.