Is it Time?: Signs that you loved one needs more care

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Do you know someone or have a family member who just isn’t able to care him(her)self like he used to?

You may wonder if it’s time they find another living situation.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some “signs” that may indicate that the time is right for a move.  It can be a difficult transition, but a necessary one for the loved one’s safety and well-being.

(Please see our previous article on differences in long-term care terminology for further insights.)

Falls/Physical safety

  • Did your loved one have a fall? Are there bruises indicating that he may have done so?  Is it taking a long time to recover?  Are there numerous unsafe situations in her home, such as stairs or rugs?
  • Are appliances being left on or doors left open? Is his living area safe and secure?

Health, Self-care, and Hygiene

  • Do they have a condition that is causing her health to deteriorate?
  • Is he having trouble with tasks of daily living, like dressing, shopping, making meals, cleaning, and taking their medications properly?
  • Has she lost an unhealthy amount of weight? Does she seem more frail (if you give her a hug, for example.)
  • Is she keeping up her appearance? Is clothing, hair, and makeup (if applicable) neat?
  • Does he have strong body odor or other signs that he is not bathing properly?
  • Does she always seem to be wearing the same thing?
  • Is he having trouble with their activities of daily living (ADLs) on his own?
  • Is she eating properly? Is there food around that looks or smells old?  Does she have expired medications around?
  • Are tasks that were once easy for him now a chore?
  • Does she have a hard time getting around?

Socialization

  • Is the individual continuing to have social stimulation and relationships? Do they still get together with friends or talk on the phone?  One huge advantage living in a care facility is the wonderful opportunities for socialization.
  • Does he seem lonely?

Mental Acuity

  • Is she still attending to her business matters appropriately?
  • Are there pieces of unopened mail laying around?
  • Is there any suspicious mail lying around that may indicate that your loved one is being taken advantage of? Are there stacks of papers piling up?
  • Is your loved one noticeably disorganized?

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