Ten signs that mean it’s time to look into assisted living for seniors.*
The vast majority of those looking into assisted living for seniors do so in a crisis situation, brought on by a sudden change in health, housing, finances or family circumstances.* Many of these last-minute placement issues could be avoided if loved ones kept an eye out for these ten signs and started the search for senior care early. Start looking for these signs in your aging loved ones now, and you will have plenty of time to find the senior care option that’s right for them.
Signs That It’s Time to Look Into Assisted Living for Seniors
1. Decrease in Attention to Personal Care
Unbrushed hair, dirty clothes, odor and a lack of personal grooming are all signs that your loved one may require some help in the bathroom or around the house. As people age, these everyday tasks can become tedious and difficult due to loss of motor control, arthritis, pain or cognitive impairment.
When It’s Time to Look Into Assisted Living for Seniors
While these ten signs can indicate a senior’s readiness for assisted living, there is no hard and fast rule to follow. The most important thing is for you to know your loved one well, and take part in his life so you’ll be aware if anything gets amiss. You should always take noticeable changes in health, self-care, safety or cognitive ability seriously. Speak to a physician or geriatric care manager if you have concerns.
Start Your Search for Senior Care
When you start to see these signs, take the time to begin researching senior care options in your area. It’s never too early to get educated and start planning this important move. We make the search for senior care easy by providing free consultations with experienced elder care advisors. Simply call the toll-free number at the top of this page and an elder care advisor will be on the other line to help you determine what’s best for your loved one.
- Remove potential fall hazards. These include furniture that could slip away if a person leans on it for support, extension cords and other wires or cables that could trip someone, and clutter on the floors of rooms and hallways. Loose carpets and throw rugs are also hazards.
- Minimize risk of injury. Replace glass tables with solid furniture that has rounded, not sharp, edges and corners. Place a soft mat by the bed to cushion any falls. Place childproof covers on electrical outlets.
- Store away certain items. Pay particular attention to those that may pose a danger to the Alzheimer’s patient or may exacerbate confusion. This would include such items as alcohol, medicines, dangerous tools, guns, plastic bags, and chemicals. You might also want to place important documents or bills in a safe location, as well as valuable, breakable items.
- Pay attention to entryways. Mark the edges of the front steps with reflective tape or consider replacing the steps with a ramp. Make sure handrails are available in either case. Patch cracks or uneven surfaces on walkways and remove hoses or other tripping hazards.
Safety Tips for the Kitchen - The kitchen demands particular attention to protect an Alzheimer’s patient. Here are some things you can do to make the kitchen a safer area for your loved one:
- Place childproof latches on cabinets and drawers. Also, put locks on cabinets and drawers that contain potentially hazardous items such as household chemicals or cleaning products.
- Lock away knives and other blades or sharp kitchen tools. Your loved one may not have the recognition or awareness to properly use those things and could end up harming themselves.
- Remove the knobs from the kitchen stove. Alternatively, you could purchase safety knob covers from your local hardware store to prevent your loved one from operating the stove and oven.
- Install a drain trap to catch items accidentally dropped down the sink. You also might want to consider removing or disabling the garbage disposal, which could cause serious harm to an Alzheimer’s patient.
Safet Tips for the Bathroom – The bathroom is also a prime area of concern for the safety of Alzheimer’s patients. To make your bathroom safer, you should:
- Remove the lock on the bathroom door. That way, the patient can’t become locked in the room.
- Install grab bars and rails around the bathtub, toilet, and sink. To further help prevent a fall, place a non-skid mat in the bathtub. If the person’s coordination is especially poor, place a bath seat in the tub.
- Keep medications in a locked cabinet. You should also lock away all cleaning products.
- Lower the temperature of the water heater. Bringing it down to 120 degrees will prevent burns from tap water used in the bathroom and kitchen.
- Remove electrical appliances from the bathroom. If the person wants to use a hair dryer or electric shaver, have them do so outside the room and away from water.
* Connecting Families to the Right Senior Residence
* For Immediate Needs and Long Term Planning
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Golden Years Living Solutions provides FREE assistance to families that are looking for senior residences. We know how stressful and difficult it can be to find the right residence to meet your needs so don’t go through this process alone, let our team of Senior Living Advisors help you now!!! We work with each of our clients to assist them through the process in choosing a senior residence in Westchester County, New York City, Nassau County, Suffolk County and throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We provide information regarding various senior living options (including care levels provided, amenities, activities, costs, room availability and promotions) based upon the location, budget and preferences provided to us by the prospective resident and their family. These residences include: 55+ Retirement Communities, Independent Living, Assisted Living, Residential Care, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Skilled Nursing Care and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care.
Unlike other companies and what sets us apart, is that Golden Years Living Solutions provides personal service to each family. We are available to meet with you face-to-face to discuss your care and lifestyle needs and concerns. Upon your request, we can schedule tours of the residence and escort you on the tour as well.
We are proud to help seniors and their families select a senior residence. Our team welcomes the opportunity to provide assistance during this important process and looks forward to serving as a resource to you and your family. Our service is provided at no cost to you or your loved one since the residences reimburse us for our referral services.
To get started, please contact us at (914) 437-8675 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so that a Senior Living Advisor can contact you and assist you with your search.
It’s not always easy to tell when a loved one needs more assistance. The following may be warning signs that may indicate its time to explore assisted living options for a senior citizen:
- The refrigerator is empty or filled with spoiled food or your loved one is losing weight. This may be a sign that food shopping and food preparation is more difficult.
- You notice frequent bruises. This may be a sign of falling or mobility and balance problems.
- Your parent wears the same clothing over and over again or neglects personal hygiene. This can be a sign that doing laundry and bathing is becoming more challenging.
- The house isn’t as clean and tidy and is in disrepair. Maintaining a home or apartment alone may be to much of a burden.
- Your loved one forgets things, including doctor’s appointments and when to take medication. This may be due to memory loss.
- Your loved one seems to be depressed. Depression is common in seniors who are isolated and home alone a lot.
An elder law attorney is a lawyer who concentrates his or her practice in legal matters of seniors. Elder law attorneys are skilled in addressing a wide range of needs for seniors. Among the issues they may be called upon to address are:
- Financial and health care planning for seniors
- Estate and Tax planning
- Transfer of assets and asset preservation and protection
- Medicare and Medicaid planning
- Issues affecting older workers
- Surrogate decision making, including guardianships
For information about Elder Law Attorneys in Westchester County or in your area, please call us today at 914-437-8675.
Many people who care for an elderly parent may not realize that they might be eligible to receive money under the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) if they serve as a home care provider.
Who Can Use the Program?
County caseworkers and nurses assess each individual for his/her CDPAP eligibility.
To be eligible for CDPAP, an individual must:
- Be Medicaid eligible;
- Be eligible for home care services, personal care services, or private duty nursing;
- Require some or total assistance with one or more home care, personal care, or skilled nursing service;
- Have a stable medical condition; and
- Be self-directing or have a designated representative who is willing and competent to assume the roles and responsibilities that go with the program.
Since the parent will assume employer responsibilities (i.e., to recruit, hire, train, supervise and terminate) s/he must be capable off performing these duties. Directing the home care provider (in this case, the parent’s adult child) and completing required paperwork are required under the program.
While the parent may have a tremendous amount of discretion as to whom s/he hires as a home care provider, there are some rules that the New York State Department of Health has put in place. Home care providers may not be a parent, spouse, or designated representative. However, any other adult relative who does not reside with the parent, unless such residence is necessary because of the amount of care the parent requires, may be a home care provider.
See Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program for additional information.
For many people, nursing homes conjure up less than desirable living arrangements. Fortunately, there is a movement to try to make nursing homes feel less institutionalized and more “resident focused” according to a recent New York Times article.
The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act seeks to prevent residents of nursing homes from facing abuse or neglect, and nursing homes across the country have been adopting various strategies to improve the quality of living of their residents.
One community in New Jersey has recently built “Green Houses,” which look nothing like traditional nursing homes. Rather, they are small arts and crafts-style houses accommodating 10 residents who enjoy large living and dining areas and outdoor space. These communities generally allow residents to interact more with each other, thereby diminishing loneliness and boredom.
While no extensive study has been done to determine whether the “Green House” model improves care for residents, one study suggests that these residents experience fewer bed sores than those in traditional nursing homes. Also, Green Houses accept patients on Medicare and Medicaid, making them an option for low-income elderly persons.
Many people are unaware of the fact that residents of an assisted living residence, or their responsible parties, may be eligible to deduct up to 100% of their assisted living fees and certain other personal care, depending on the type of services and the level of care required.
The services (including the rental cost of an apartment, meals and care) offered by an assisted living residence may be 100% tax deductible as medical expenses so long as a licensed healthcare provider has certified within the previous 12 months that the resident meets certain conditions.
Families should consult an attorney for more information about this benefit.
According to the 2011 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the median annual costs for a one bedroom unit at an assisted living community is $43,920 in New York, $59,250 in New Jersey and $53,850 in Connecticut. The highest median is in Alaska with a cost of $66,000. The lowest median is $29,040 in the state of Missouri.
Visiting an elderly parent during the Holidays offers not only a great time to spend with a loved one, but also an excellent opportunity to see how they are doing and determine whether they can continue living independently without any assistance.
Some things to consider whether it might be a good time to start planning for transitioning the parent to a new form of residence include these signs-
- temperature in the home is not appropriate for the weather or the parent is not wearing appropriate clothing
- piled up mail with unpaid bills
- prescriptions are not being taken
- personal hygiene has deteriorated and signs of incontinence
- the fridge is empty or filled with spoiled food
- the home is untidy or is not in it’s usual condition.
It is advisable to keep track of these potential warning signs to ensure that a parent remains in a safe environment.