Recently, millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the biggest living generation in the U.S. According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 72.1 million millennials in 2019 compared to 71.6 million baby boomers. Nevertheless, the number of the boomer population is still large—and old.
As this generation of adults starts to grow old, more and more become in need of special care. The youngest boomers in 2020 are 56 years old. During this age and older, people can start developing several conditions, such as dementia, which impairs their memory, reasoning, and other thinking skills.
Because of this, caring for the older adult in your life can be more difficult as they age. This is why plenty of families decide to move their elderly loved one to an assisted living facility. But how do you know when it’s time to do so?
1. When the elderly loved one starts to get aggressive
Unfortunately, aggression is one of the most common symptoms of dementia and similar conditions common among elderly adults. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, aggression can come from physical discomfort and other factors. Because of poor communication, it’s difficult for dementia patients to convey their pain. This makes them frustrated, which can escalate into anger, at which point they can get violent. If you don’t know how to handle people that behave this way, you might get seriously hurt.
2. When their medical needs escalate
As the elderly grow older, their likelihood of developing chronic medical conditions increases. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, more than 50 million Americans aged 50 and over have at least one chronic medical condition. This is not to mention the potential for medical emergencies, such as slipping and falling, which older adults are prone to. At their age, elderlies need more medical attention, something that can be difficult to provide at home. For this, either a hospice or nursing home is more equipped to handle them.
3. When activities of daily living become difficult for the elderly
Activities of daily living or (ADLs) are skills a person needs to live independently. This includes dressing, practicing good hygiene, managing their medication, cooking, and other relevant activities. As older people become more forgetful or start to lose some of their mobility, doing these things on their own will be next to impossible. In assisted living, they always have someone to look out for them and make sure they can function properly.
4. When there’s no one to take care of the elderly
Isolation is not recommended for the elderly, especially if they suffer from mental health conditions. Being alone can affect their overall health and result in depression or them developing bad habits. Despite this, more than 11 million seniors still live alone. If they are cared for at an assisted-living facility, they can have their privacy. But they will also be with some companion so that they can be more social and active.
One of the most challenging decisions adults make is sending their senior loved ones to assisted living facilities or nursing care homes. However, if any of the above scenarios occur, know that this decision will be better for them.