Posted October 31, 2017


Considering senior living in chicago? Identifying signs and evaluating when to stay home and when to seek alternative living arrangements is key though not always easy.
It is tough to know when it is time for a loved one to go to assisted living, and seniors may be reticent, reluctant, or even resentful at the thought of losing their independence. When making this difficult decision, let safety be the guide and the benchmark that indicates a need for more support. There could be some informal support systems that can make it possible for seniors to live autonomously, and Senior Living Experts can connect you with the resources and networks that make this a viable option.

When it comes to senior living in Chicago, evaluating when to stay home and when to seek alternative living arrangements is not easy

A loss of independence or freedom is tough for anyone to give up, especially some seniors that may fear it is the beginning of the end. Don’t let loved ones look at supported or alternative living situations in this way; there are many perks and some seniors may find it surpasses the isolation, costs, and access issues surrounding staying in their own home. The important takeaway for caregivers and loved ones is to give seniors space and respect to make their own decisions, and to have the strength to intervene when safety and well-being are at risk; the integral point for seniors to remember is that needing a bit of assistance or support does not necessarily mean that they are unable to continue living independently.
Some signs for caregivers and loved ones to look for that may indicate that it is time for a change in living arrangements include:

Behaviors and habits

Sudden changes in behaviors or habits can be a sign that a senior is struggling. Watch for things like isolation, loss of weight, or difficulty sleeping to indicate that your loved one could use some help.

Grooming and hygiene

An inattention to personal hygiene, wearing the same clothes for several days, or poor grooming could also be a sign that a senior is having difficulties. Offer assistance, but don’t beleaguer the point as it could cause to humiliate or embarrass your loved one.

Missed appointments

If a senior misses appointments, it could stem from difficulty in transportation. Some seniors simply are not comfortable behind the wheel, while others may have a scary driving experience that has made them reticent. Assistance in getting to-and-from engagements is a welcome reprieve for many older individuals.

Lack of food or necessities

Is the refrigerator well-stocked? An empty fridge could be a sign of difficulty, either from getting groceries or in affording them. Ask senior providers about supplemental food sources, if money is an issue.

A fall or injury

Falls and injuries should not be taken lightly. It is estimated that every 11-seconds, a senior is treated in the emergency room for an injury stemming from a fall. When you notice a bruise or wound on your loved one, try to ascertain if the living conditions are as safe as they could be and intervene.

Unsafe living conditions

When a senior displays difficulty maintaining the home, it could be helpful to bring in some support. Many may prefer to streamline their life, while others may insist on staying-put due to sentimentality or fear of losing autonomy. Many municipalities offer programs to update and refurbish the homes of elderly citizens to make their living conditions safe; ask a case manager for more information.
Pay attention to these signs to offer your senior more support and an overall improved quality of life. Some of these situations can exacerbate and result in a risk to your loved one, so keep an eye out for signs that a little support is merited.

Network to find a supportive community or assisted living for you or your loved one

Check with online resources to find services to assist senior clients in maintaining independence whenever possible. This may include assisted living, residential communities, or acute-nursing care when warranted. It is important for seniors to provide caregivers and family members with information pertaining to their wishes and what to do when they are unable to live on their own. This includes engaging in open communication surrounding the uncertain future, as well as filing an advance directive that will guide and instruct others in the event the senior is unable to express their wishes or make these decisions later-on.

Assisted living not for you? Consider some alternative approaches for senior support

To preserve autonomy while maintaining safety, look at some in-home supports to help the senior client on an everyday basis. This may extend to things like accompanying the client to appointments, giving them rides, cleaning the house, preparing food, or administering medication. It may be that just a little extra support sustains the client in their own home at this time. Other options include respite care, which can give both the senior and their in-home caregivers a break, while also serving as a soft-transition from a hospital, injury, or crisis back to their own home. Respite may involve a few hours, or even a few weeks, and is an option that is widely available, typically offered by assisted living facilities with a physician’s referral or recommendation.
Don’t let living arrangements compromise your loved one’s quality of life; reach out to Senior Living Experts online for a needs assessment to determine the best level of care and living situation for your parent, relative, or loved one. The support professionals will connect you with services and resources in the Chicago area that preserve autonomy, maintain safety, and provide solid options for seniors.

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