Pacifica Senior Living Blog

Signs it's Time to Move Your Loved One to a Senior Living Community

Jan 3, 2024 3:59:46 PM / by Carly Dodd, Pacifica Senior Living

Senior Living communities are a great option for individuals who need a little extra support. There are many reasons someone may prefer to move to an assisted living community, including needing assistance with the activities of daily living, seeking additional in-house care, or they may be looking for a community lifestyle where they can enjoy an active social life.

Sometimes, however, the decision is not so simple, and family members or loved ones may be in a position to encourage a senior to make the move. Knowing when it is time to make the move - or encouraging your loved one to make the move - can be a stressful process, but there are several signs that can help you know when the time has come.  

Many Americans lament that they should have made the move sooner, and one of the most common trends in the industry is that families and friends wait too long to find a community for their loved one. It is much easier, less stressful, and families are provided more choice when you can decide to make the move on your own terms, rather than when the need has become more urgent.

Here are some of the tell-tale signs it may be time for a senior living community:

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Do they need assistance with everyday activities?

One of the easiest signs to spot is whether or not your loved one needs help with the activities of daily living (adls). This can be anything from bathing, dressing, grooming, or toileting, as well as medication management. If your loved one is showing signs that they need assistance with any of these, an Assisted Living community is the perfect fit. While some may choose to take on these responsibilities themselves - assisting their loved one - the time as well, as physical and emotional toll it can take, can be exhausting.

Similarly, home care options can be limiting or costly. Senior Living communities offer the perfect balance of independence and care, so loved ones can enjoy their freedom while also having care services on-site so both health care and personal care assistance is available whenever they need it. And there are a wide variety of senior living options to choose from, that go far beyond traditional nursing homes. Communities offer varying levels of care, from fully assisted living facilities, to hybrid communities, memory care homes, short-term respite care, or skilled nursing facilities. You can find the type of senior housing that works best for you and your loved one. 

Is their home messy, cluttered, or generally not well maintained?

It can become harder and harder to keep up with home maintenance as we age. Many older adults find home upkeep to be a draining task, whether it is general maintenance, or the task of keeping everything clean and tidy. If you’ve noticed your loved one’s home is becoming increasingly cluttered, or that cleanliness has declined, it could be time to consider senior living.

Community living removes the burden of home upkeep. Lawn maintenance, snow clearing, general cleaning, vacuuming, and in many cases linen laundering and bed making are part of the benefits of moving to a senior living community. Residents no longer have to worry about home maintenance chores.

Has your loved one lost or gained weight? Are they struggling with cooking or nutrition?

Another sign that it may be time to think about senior living is if your loved one has had noticeable weight changes. Whether they have lost or gained weight, a drastic change is often an indication that they are not getting regular, healthy meals. Older adults may lose interest in cooking, or eating rounded meals, or may not have access to convenient grocery options.

Senior living communities offer chef-prepared meals with nutrition and flavor in mind. Most communities offer three meals a day, where residents can choose from a menu of options. Healthy, well balanced meals will ensure proper nutrition, while a variety of enticing choices keeps meals interesting and fun. Residents no longer have to worry about grocery shopping or cooking, and can simply enjoy amazing cooking every day. Community-style dining areas are also a great place for residents to spend time with loved ones or interact with new friends.

Is your loved one's health declining?

Whether they seem to be getting sick more often, have had a recent fall, or maybe just have more difficulty getting around, your loved one may benefit from the support of assisted living. In-house caregivers provide reassurance and care, so your loved one is always taken care of.

Residents undergo health screening and assessments that ensure the care teams and staff are aware of any ailments or concerns, allowing each resident to receive personalized care that meets their needs. Beyond simple medication management, communities or senior living facilities will help coordinate doctor visits, in-home therapies or exercise classes, and ensure your loved one’s health is well looked after. 

Is your loved one lonely or feeling isolated?

Another common issue for older adults is loneliness. If you’ve noticed your loved one seems lonely, depressed, disengaged, or has expressed how much they miss spending time with family and friends, it may be a great time to bring up the option of a Senior Living community. Oftentimes older adults find it increasingly difficult to get out and about to visit friends or drive to social events, or they may not have as many friends and loved ones close by. Community living is ideal for keeping older adults engaged, and offering a vibrant social environment that can help improve mental health.

Living alongside peers and other adults in the same age range helps foster friendships with neighbors and fellow residents. On top of this, good senior living communities have full calendars of daily activities, clubs, events, and outings for residents to enjoy. This way, assisted living residents can pick and choose how social they want to be.

The convenience of having games nights, happy hours, or themed events right in their own homes make it easy to get involved, to the point where even the more introverted residents often come out of their shell and become active members of their community. Activities are usually tailored to fit the needs of the residents, including independent residents, assisted living residents, or adjusted activities for those who are living with Alzheimer’s.

Senior Living communities will often have scheduled outings as well, where residents can enjoy transportation that takes them right from their doorstep to points of interest in the surrounding area. These planned outings let residents experience the city or town in which they live alongside other residents for maximum convenience.

Aside from building friendships with fellow seniors, residents come to know staff members and care providers, building close bonds. In many communities, especially where team members have worked at the community for many years, the atmosphere is very similar to that of a family.

If you’ve noticed any of these signs, it may be a good time to start the conversation about moving with your loved one. Senior Living communities are created to remove the burden from loved ones or family caregivers, offering support and assistance right in the comfort of a new home. From managing wellbeing and care to offering home maintenance and a social, caring environment for all, these communities and care facilities are an excellent option for anyone needing a little extra support. they can even help reduce living costs as the majority of long-term care services are provided right in the home!

Pacifica Senior Living has over 96 communities from coast to coast offering independent living, assisted living and memory care options, and even skilled nursing care. If you think it might be time for your loved one to make the move, reach out to a community in your area! Our friendly staff are on hand to answer any questions, provide info, and help you along your journey.

Tags: Moving, Budgeting & other Resources