When is it time for assisted living?

Moving your loved one into assisted living can sometimes be one of the most stressful decisions you will face. We’ve come up with a list of key indicators you can be on the lookout for to know if it might be time. Harmony can help match make to the most appropriate communities in your area to make this transition as easy as possible. Assisted living communities can help your loved one thrive in their golden years and assist them with the activities of daily living they may need a bit more help with lately.

Recent Falls

Every year, around 3 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms for accidental falls. Not only will assisted living facilities have prevention measures in place to lower the risk of falls, there will be watchful eyes on your loved one a lot more frequently than if they were to live alone. So in the event of fall, the likelihood of them being attended to quickly very high.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Trouble completing activities of daily living can be one of the key indicators that it might be time for the family to consider assisted living as a viable option.

  • Ambulating: The extent of an individual’s ability to move from one position to another and walk independently.
  • Feeding: The ability of a person to feed oneself.
  • Dressing: The ability to select appropriate clothes and to put the clothes on.
  • Personal hygiene: The ability to bathe and groom oneself and maintain dental hygiene, nail, and hair care.
  • Toileting: The ability to get to and from the toilet, using it appropriately, and cleaning oneself.

Declining Health

Chronic health conditions and worsening or declining health problems could mean it’s time to start looking into assisted living for your loved one. A weakening immune system, as evident by prolonged recovery times from illnesses or injury, could also indicate a need for more care.

Forgetting Medication

Nurses and caregivers in assisted living facilities can make sure that your loved one is taking the correct medications at the right times. Forgetting and/or over consuming medications is a common mistake aging seniors make if they’re alone. The watchful eye of a trained professional in an assisted setting can prevent this issue.

Warning signs to look for could include a stockpile or expired medications and pill boxes that are not current.

Poor Eating Habits

Lacking the energy or ability to grocery shop or have groceries delivered can lead to a lack of proper nutrition. Not only that, but cooking a nutritious meal for one can also be a challenging task for our seniors. Weight changes can be an indicator that your loved one is having trouble in this area.

Assisted living can provide three meals a day, snacks, fruits, and drinks. They can also cater more to a special diet than you can find with frozen meals cooked at home. Community dining rooms also give important opportunities for socialization.

Neglecting Hygiene

Noticing changes in the way your loved one cares for themselves is another tip that they might not be doing so well alone. New body odors and wearing dirty clothing are good clues to look for when assessing your loved one. These can all point to someone having a hard time bathing, which can increase risks of infection and mental declines.

Decrease in Mobility

A loss of mobility can make it difficult for seniors to maintain independence and increases the chance of having a dangerous fall.

Gave up Driving

Without the ability to drive around on their own, and in areas lacking adequate public transportation, an assisted living can bring many of the essentials directly to your loved one. Most assisted living facilities also offer transportation to residents in order to get to medical appointments.

Neglected Home

Noticing things like dishes piling up, constantly dirty bathrooms, empty pantries, and general neglect can be keys to understanding that owning a home may be more than your loved one can currently handle.

Neglected Pets

Immobility and cognitive declines can make taking care of pets difficult. Some assisted living facilities allow pets and can help with their care.

Mood Changes

Aggressive behavior can sometimes be connected to increased confusion or dementia which may make supervision necessary in some seniors. Even if the mood changes aren’t caused by dementia or increased confusion, it could mean that your loved one is ready for a change.


Is there anyone who regularly checks on your loved one or visits their home? Have they stopped participating in social activities that used to bring them pleasure? An open conversation might be a good idea to see if there are any problems that might make assisted living the best option.

Concerned Neighbors

If this is happening talk about what behaviors they’re observing. Friends or neighbors sometimes see your loved one more often or at more vulnerable times and they can be a good insight into what’s going on with your loved one.

Caregiver Burn Out

This is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Caregiving for a family member around the clock can take a physical and emotional toll on you. If you are experiencing caregiver burnout a temporary or permanent move into assisted living may be the best case scenario for everyone involved.

Medical Opinions

Your loved one’s doctor or other medical professionals that may be providing care to them can sometimes be the best guide on determining if it’s the right time for additional care. Harmony can work alongside the medical professionals caring for your loved one to make sure you and your family find the most appropriate assisted living facility.