July 5, 2010

Cereal for Supper?

beckyBy Becky Lee Hinton
Director of Marketing
The Fountains Senior Living Community

As our older loved ones age and perhaps experience a decline in health and cognitive ability, how do we know when they are ready to enter Assisted Living? Sometimes the signs are huge and obvious, and sometimes they’re not. Quite often we may turn a blind eye to these signs until there is a devastating event like an injury due to a fall or other accident. It is a harsh realization that our aging parents can no longer care for themselves. To determine if your loved one is ready for Assisted Living, these are some of the signs you should look for.

• Weight loss and loss of appetite.
• The inability to plan for and prepare healthy meals, having cereal for supper.
• Traditionally simple tasks are now labor-some.
• Difficulty getting around and decreased mobility.
• The housework goes undone, the dishes and laundry pile up, and the bed is unmade.
• Difficulty managing their medications.
• Difficulty managing their finances.
• Poor personal and dental hygiene.
• Disheveled personal appearance, wearing the same clothes day after day.
• Lack of interest in family or favorite hobbies
• Isolation, loneliness and a need for socialization.
• No longer able to drive or to navigate around familiar streets of town.
• Unable to manage home maintenance, lawn care and snow removal.

If you recognize three or more of these signs, your older loved one may be ready for Assisted Living. It is better to look into Assisted Living options carefully and leisurely and not hurriedly as in response to an accident or illness where a previously active senior suddenly can not return to their home to live. Often, seniors who flounder at home will flourish and thrive in Assisted Living.

Assisted Living communities such as The Fountains afford residents a great deal of independence and the ability to direct the activities of their day. The twenty-four hour nursing staff provides a great deal of care for all of the activities of daily living. Residents enjoy an extensive social calendar full of entertainment, stimulating activities and outings that provide plenty of opportunities for socializing and making new friends. The highlight of The Fountains residents’ day is enjoying the delicious, healthy meals.

A close friend shared her experience in helping her parents make the transition to Assisted Living. She watched her father’s health decline as he was the caregiver for her mother. In retrospect, she recognized their need for Assisted Living 2 years before actually making the move. She sited many of the signs from the list, including the fact that they were eating cereal for supper.

If you would like more information about The Fountains Assisted Living Community, Please call Becky at (563) 332-5775 to schedule your personal tour.