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  What is Assisted Living?
  Choosing Assisted Living
  Benefits of Placement Services
  Seniors and Kids
  Checklist for a Visit
  When Is It Time for Assisted Living
  Costs of Assisted Living
  Veteran's Benefits
  Deciding on Assisted Living
  Caring For Aging Parents
  How To Know When It's Time For Assisted Living
  Not A Nursing Home



When Is It Time for Assisted Living?

When you have elderly parents or relatives, it can be difficult to decide when it is appropriate to get involved and suggest a move to an assisted living facility. It is inevitable that as they age, sooner or later they will not be capable of managing the tasks of daily living as they once were. It is never easy to make a move, but the transition to assisted living is generally easier if it's done sooner rather than later.


Assisted living is an exciting option for seniors who need some help with activities of daily living yet want to retain as much independence and privacy as possible.

Meals, laundry and housekeep are standard as are a variety of activities and outings.

Assisted living facilities are licensed and regulated by individual states, which explains why there can be differences in terminolgy and services in different areas of the country.

Making the decision while the senior is still capable of participating in the decision will go a long way in making it a successful transition. The more cognizant the senior is, the better they will be able to adjust to their new surroundings and benefit from the services and amenities offered by the senior living facility.

What are some signs that it is time to seriously consider assisted living?

Personal Hygiene
Wearing same clothes multiple days
Bathing less frequently with personal hygiene suffering

House is not clean and they refuse to hire a housekeeper
Laundry and housekeeping are a burden
Unable to determine when items are no longer needed and should be trashed
Unable to use heating and cooling system controls

Keeping spoiled or outdated food in the home
Not bothering to cook for one person, skipping meals
No longer able to cook or prepare meals

No longer getting out for walks or other exercise

Medical Appointments
Forgetting to schedule regular checkup appointments
Missing an appointment that has been scheduled
No longer able to communicate effectively with the doctors
Not able to understand and follow the instructions given by the doctor

No longer understands the purpose the prescribed medications
Forgetting to take medications resulting in missed dosages or over dosages
No longer able to order medications in a timely manner
Keeping medications that are expired or no longer prescribed

Seldom leaves their home
Spends time in only a few rooms in the house
Losing touch with friends and becoming isolated
Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed such as going to church
Showing signs of depression such as crying or sleeping a lot
Loss of spouse, relatives and long-time friends

Memory loss
Repeating questions or statements, multiple phone calls with the same questions
Leaving the stove on, frequently misplacing items

No longer able to pay bills and balance checkbook
Forgets to pay property tax or insurance bills
Is easy prey to advertisers, solicitors or scams

Becoming increasingly paranoid or fearful of others
Afraid to be alone at night
Becoming more dependent on family members
Feeling neighborhood is not as safe as it used to be

Safety concerns
Stairs, steps and clutter make it more likely to fall
No help nearby if fall or emergency occurs
Difficulty getting in and out of tub or on and off of toilet

If you have noticed a number of these signs, it is time to consider a safer environment for your loved one. If you wait, you may be facing this decision under duress. A senior who has had a serious fall, a long-term hospitalization, a stroke, or a significant loss in memory will have a more difficult time to transition to assisted living. Recovery after trauma of any kind is easier if it does not also include a change in housing. Many times, after any of these setbacks, the senior is unable to return to their old home and a decision must be made with little time to research the best options.


Learn as much as you can about all the senior housing options that are available in your area. Everything you read and each facility you visit will help you to get closer to determining your own need. There are adult family homes, retirement communities, board and care homes, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities and other options. With all these options, and maybe because there are so many choices, it can be overwhelming. There's nothing wrong with getting help.

A few of the services offered by assisted living placement services are:
1) Determining if Assisted Living is Right for You
2) Determining the level of care needed
3) Locating the home or facility best suited to your needs
4) Helping you to negotiate the lowest possible price for you and your family
5) Helping you with finanacial planning so that your resources can be used wisely to cover the costs involved
6) Ensuring that the facility you choose is able to handle any special needs that you may have.

There are a number of placement agencies that will be more than happy to help you sort through the maze and make the best choice for your loved one. This is their field of expertise and they are happy to share the knowledge they've gathered with you. A few of our favorites are A Place For Mom, Elderlink, and Assisted Living. In Southern California and Southern Arizona, one of our favorites is Assisted Living Placements. Most referral agencies (also called placement agencies) will provide their services free of charge.