Retirement homes provide a lot of value to seniors. However, there are times when the care they offer is not enough. If your loved one has a serious medical condition or memory issues, it may be time to consider residential care. It provides loving, personal support to seniors who need extra help taking care of themselves. If you are worried about the health of a family member, there are several signs a loved one needs residential care.
They Are Having Trouble Eating
There may be several reasons a loved one is not eating well. First, they may not have the energy to cook. For older adults, even the effort to lift pots and pans, prepare ingredients, and carry trays can be tiring. As a result, many seniors wind up relying on fast food and microwave dinners.
Unhealthy eating habits could also be caused by memory problems. Seniors might forget to prepare meals or think they have eaten when they have not. In some cases, they might forget to drink water as well and become dehydrated. Memory problems also make cooking dangerous. Besides the danger they might drop something, your loved one could leave the stove on and start a fire.
Sudden weight gain or weight loss is usually the first sign someone can no longer feed themselves. When this occurs, residential care can be the best solution. Our staff not only prepares healthy meals every day; they also take time to sit with residents and help them eat.
They Are Socially Isolated
When seniors become forgetful, they find it hard to remain social. In a retirement home where most people are independent and high functioning, a person who cannot follow conversations or is always asking people to repeat themselves will have a difficult time fitting in. They will not be able to participate in card games or other activities. Eventually, the other residents will stop paying as much attention to them and suddenly, they might find themselves spending all their time alone.
By contrast, residential care is a small and intimate community. Residents live together with their caregivers, like a family. Each one receives personal attention, and our staff creates fun activities for them, based around their unique interests. If you notice they are becoming lonely and withdrawn, it may be one of the signs a loved one needs residential care.
They Require Extra Assistance
Not every assisted living facility is equipped to care for people with serious medical issues. A typical community might have as many as 200 residents and only 10-20 caregivers. With such a low care ratio, they cannot afford to spend a lot of time assisting one person. Some facilities only accommodate people in wheelchairs if they can get in and out of it on their own. If they cannot, the facility normally askes the family to hire an additional caregiver out of their own pocket.
Residential care, on the other hand, is centered entirely on its residents. We assist them with all their needs, whether it is showering, dressing, eating, or going to the bathroom. They are not stuck sitting by themselves. The caregivers plan games and check in with them throughout the day, to make sure they stay active. When you find that your loved one requires more and more help to complete their daily tasks, it may be time to consider residential care.
It Is Not Safe to Leave Them Alone
One of the biggest signs a loved one needs residential care is you cannot trust them to stay safe on their own. Perhaps you are afraid they might wander away and get lost. In other cases, seniors have been found lying on the floor because they fell and there was no one around to help them.
In residential care, seniors have 24-hour attention. Our Verona Court homes have no more than six residents at a time and two full-time caregivers watching over them. With such a low care ratio, we can look after the needs of every resident day and night.
They Have Frequent Mood Swings
Another one of the serious signs a loved one needs residential care is rapid mood swings. When a person becomes forgetful, their behavior can change all of a sudden. In the medical field, this is called “sundowning.”
A smaller environment is better able to cope with this type of behavior. Caregivers learn to recognize the warning signs and calm residents before they become upset. Our administrators are also nurses and front-line medical providers. They monitor the resident’s condition and report back to their doctor, so they can adjust the resident’s medication, to avoid future incidents.
They Have Hygiene Problems
Bad hygiene is another one of the signs a loved one needs residential care. When a person’s memory declines, they sometimes forget how to clean themselves. They will recognize soap and toothpaste but won’t know what they are supposed to do with them. As a result, body odor, greasy hair, long fingernails, and dirty clothes are major indicators your loved one needs help.
Their Home is Becoming Messy
Like cooking, housework takes more effort than most people realize. Running a vacuum cleaner or wiping windows becomes a lot harder when people enter their 70s, 80s, and 90s. Dirty homes not only attract rats and insects but also increase the risk your loved one might trip and hurt themselves.
Recognizing the Signs a Loved One Needs Residential Care
Deciding a family member cannot look after themselves is never easy. However, it can be the best way to ensure their physical, emotional, and mental health. Residential care is not like a retirement community. It is more like a family, where every person’s needs are given the attention they deserve.
If you are thinking about transferring your loved one to residential care, please contact one of our directors at Verona Court. They are ready to answer any questions and guide you through the process.
Lewis Jackson writes about technology and healthcare. His work provides practical insight into modern medicine and healthy living.