When you are with your loved one this holiday season take note of various things.
Has the person lost weight? Gained weight?
How is their hygiene? Do they wear the same clothes day after day?
What is in the frig? Is the food old and is there food that you would expect?
Drive with them to the grocery store if they still drive to see how they do.
Are they able to carry groceries from the store or is the weight becoming an issue?
Notice if they are concerned about getting to their car. Many times, garages are detached in older homes and there is ice and snow to deal with during this time of year.
Do they repeat things, or do they seem confused about some task you asked them to do, like getting carrots out of the frig for example?
Are they taking their medications as they should be?
How is the care giver doing? Sometimes, being a care partner takes a toll. Their health should be factored in.
From my experience it is better for the individual with cognitive decline to make a move earlier vs later. As cognition declines, structure and routine becomes more and more important. For a person with diabetes and other health issues it is especially better to move before there is a crisis. If the person moves sooner, they can become familiar with the setting, the people and adjust to their new environment more easily than if you wait. And often their health improves as they eat better and socialize with others.
The other advantage to moving earlier vs staying in the home longer with home care, is to retain financial assets. This gives you more choice in the options available. Home care can eat up assets and then there are fewer options available in facilities.? Senior communities that do accept Medical Assistance called Elderly Waiver reserve a portion of their units for their residents that have been there the longest but want people to come in with at least two years of private pay funds.
Remember to think first about what is best for your loved one. A move is never easy, but it can be easier than if you wait, and chances are your loved one will live a longer life.
You can’t make someone move, if you speak in terms of being concerned about them vs pressuring them to make it move it is often better received. If you need help to start the conversation, Choice Connections is happy to be an advisor and help you navigate this difficult terrain.