How do you know when your parent needs assisted living

How can you know if the time is right for you to receive support? 

Getting the timing right with aged care can sometimes feel very difficult, and it may be tricky even broaching the topic with loved ones in the first place. However, there are some straightforward ways to gauge whether aged care could make life easier.

What is aged care like?

While many people feel that accessing aged care support means they could lose their independence and even their identity, the opposite is often true. Whether you begin to receive at-home support with daily tasks, or move into a modern residential aged care home with round-the-clock care, you can live a rich, fulfilling life and find support at the same time. Quality aged care can actively support your independence and the life you want to live. 

When you know this, it can make a transition to aged care a much more positive experience.  

Frequent signs that it may be time to move into aged care

So when is it right to consider getting some help? While these signs are not set in stone, here are some of the common reasons that someone might think about accessing or moving into aged care in Australia.  

Falling, or having accidents more frequently

Falls can become more common in older age as our balance, eyesight, hearing and reflexes tend to change over time. Some conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and thyroid issues can also affect balance and stability. If you or a loved one have been falling or are worried about falls, there are several options. This could include installing mobility aids at home, or moving into residential aged care that is ideally set up with mobility equipment and care staff.

Having trouble with everyday tasks or routines

We all have our daily routines, from cleaning our homes, to preparing food, to showering and laundry. If you or a loved one are having difficulty with some of these frequent daily tasks, which can be due to physical changes like flexibility or strength, then a move into aged care could provide 24/7 support if and as it’s needed. Care teams won’t suddenly do everything for you, but can work with you to support you in the specific ways that suit best. 

Becoming more forgetful

Forgetfulness can be a normal aspect of ageing, but it can be understandably concerning if you or a loved one are starting to forget important things like turning off the stove or keeping the front door locked. Of course, everyone has a different baseline memory, and the people close to us can often be the first to notice changes. If these cognitive changes are pronounced, the right residential aged care can provide dementia specific care that is safe and supportive. When should a dementia patient go to a nursing home or aged care home? Speaking with your GP and family and friends can help when making this decision.   

Feeling lonely or isolated

Isolation can often become an issue for older people as children grow into adulthood, friends move and family circumstances change. A move into residential aged care can often unlock surprising new opportunities for socialising, as a social network is basically built right into the environment! If you or a loved one are finding it hard to stay connected or are feeling lonely, consider the benefits of a varied lifestyle program and welcoming atmosphere like you’ll find at every Aurrum Aged Care home.

Medical problems requiring 24-hour care

As Australians live longer lives we also tend to have aches, pains and illnesses that we need to manage, be it joint pain or chronic conditions like diabetes, ALS or Parkinson’s disease. A residential aged care environment can provide 24/7 nursing and care support for these conditions: from help with physical mobility, to assistance managing and taking medications. It can also be very reassuring to know there will be a fast response for any urgent medical needs. 

Where to start 

If you or a loved one are having any of the experiences above, then a free My Aged Care assessment is typically a great place to begin finding help. This government-funded assessment can help you narrow down the best type of aged care support for your needs and find out if you are eligible for government-subsidised care.

What to expect in aged care

If you’re wondering when to help a parent into assisted living or when to enter into aged care yourself, it helps to know what to expect. One of the best ways to do so is to book a tour at an aged care home in your area, so you can experience things like: 

  • The 24/7 access to health care, including medical and allied health professionals 
  • The quality of nutrition and food culture
  • The comfort and space of the built environment
  • The activities and lifestyle programs, and ultimately,
  • How residents enjoy living in the aged care home.

Moving into aged care is an important step

Long gone is the expectation that someone will decide when to ‘put’ an elderly parent in a nursing home. Instead, the person who is to receive care should be at the very centre of this decision, and have control and choice over how they want to receive care. It’s important to remember this when starting the discussion with your loved ones. Trusting your intuition, speaking openly and honestly about any of the signs above, and working together with your trusted health professionals can all be a big help as you decide how and when to find care. 

Find support for your aged care journey

There’s help to be found, and at Aurrum we’re here for you every step of the way. If you would like a conversation about when to move to assisted living, or would like to book an obligation-free tour at any of our locations in NSW and Victoria, you can contact our team on 1800 287 786. We’re here to make aged care a positive experience for you and your family.