“The right time” is not always easy to recognise. The reason why it is so tricky is because every situation is different. Every family has a different perspective on aged care and how to best manage the transition. Aged Care Decisions’ placement support service helps hundreds of families each month make the transition to aged care.
Our team has compiled a list of 5 key indicators that it could be time to transition to care:
1. Memory Loss and Forgetfulness
Everyone can forget things sometimes and as we age this can become a more frequent occurrence. Simply forgetting things is not a reason to go into aged care, but forgetting critical things is. If your loved one’s forgetfulness or memory loss means that they are not taking their medication correctly or that they forget to eat, then this is a prime indicator that aged care would be beneficial.
2. Chronic Disease Management
Managing a chronic disease such as diabetes or kidney disease is difficult for anybody. An indicator that it could be time to consider aged care would be that the daily requirements for adequately managing the chronic disease are becoming more and more difficult. For example, if an elderly person with diabetes has been monitoring their glucose levels and managing their insulin for years but have recently stopped regular testing as it is getting too difficult, then this may be a sign that they need more frequent care.
Daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills, personal hygiene and personal health care can become overwhelming as we age. These daily tasks can often lead to a constant state of exhaustion and confusion. If your loved one is struggling with day to day activities, then it may be time to start looking into home care. We often find that elderly people have a very determined attitude and want to remain independent as long as possible, which makes accepting home care difficult. But, making sure our loved ones are happy and healthy and looked after is the main goal of aged care.
4. Isolation and Loneliness
As daily activities become more difficult, some may also struggle with maintaining social and community connections. If your loved one used to have an active social life but now doesn’t leave the house except for medical appointments and essentials, then it could be time to discuss getting help around the home or the move to residential aged care.
5. Home Care is no longer enough care
Our most common reason for making the move to aged care is when home care is no longer meeting the support requirements for the elderly person to live independently. This can happen gradually or can be brought about by a fall or illness. If further home care support cannot be arranged, then the move to aged care is a reasonable next step to ensure the safety and care of your loved one.
The decision to move to aged care is often not clear cut, but it is important to think about your loved one’s safety and wellbeing above everything else. Our 5 key indicators can help you understand what to look out for as your loved ones get older. In our experience, getting your loved one to tour aged care facilities can be a great opportunity to dispel the myths and enable them to feel positive about the move.
If you would like more information about the aged care transition, home care or a customised report of aged care options near you, the Aged Care Decisions team would love to help. Get in touch by calling us on 1300 775 870 or by filling in your details here.