Signs it’s time for assisted living – for both the senior and the caregiver

The decision to hand over the care of a senior loved one or parent is never easy. When it comes to recognising the signs it’s time for assisted living, it’s equally important not to miss signs in the caregiver.  


Warning signs in seniors


Sidney Katz developed a tool for measuring the level of care a senior needs. According to, how it works is through charting activities of daily living or ADLs. The Index assesses the level of assistance needed by way of measuring a senior’s ability to perform the following activities independently: 


  1. Bathing 
  2. Dressing 
  3. Toileting 
  4. Transferring 
  5. Continence
  6. Feeding


Here it is online: Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living


Outside of ADLs, recognises the following as general indicators it’s time to seek professional help:



  • Chronic conditions


A condition or disease is defined as chronic when it requires ongoing medical attention and affects a person’s ability to perform activities of daily living, says AARP. As we age, we’re increasingly vulnerable to chronic diseases, such as mental illness, high blood pressure and diabetes. It’s no surprise then that seniors with conditions such as these need more medical attention. In much the same way, the potential for serious falls increases as we age. Whether it be a Retirement Village, long-term care or at-home nursing, if you find yourself fearing for a loved one’s safety, it may be time to start considering the more hands-on approach of an assisted living facility. 



  • Financial decline


It’s not uncommon for aging to affect our ability to work with numbers. Unfortunately, neither is it unusual for seniors to fall victim to financial fraudsters. Before bills start piling up, or worse, someone you love loses money, this article for The New York Times recommends looking out for the below warning signs of financial decline.  


  • Taking longer than usual to complete everyday financial tasks
  • Reduced attention to detail in financial documents 
  • Decline in everyday math skills
  • Decreased understanding of financial concepts
  • Difficulty identifying risks in a financial opportunity


Source: National Endowment for Financial Education


It’s never too early to start the conversation about future financial needs, especially as your loved one nears retirement. Assisted living could be the solution you need to ensure their finances are properly managed. 



  • Loneliness and a lack of motivation 


Loneliness can have serious health effects. If your loved ones are exhibiting signs of isolation, such as increased irritability or loss of appetite or interest, it may be a good idea to start looking into assisted living. Residents at our Healthcare Centres are encouraged to relax and interact with others in our inviting communal areas and peaceful garden courtyards. In fact, we designed these outdoor areas specifically for relaxation and recreational activity. Attractive and spacious, they invite long-term residents to take part in our comprehensive activity programmes. Click here to read more about the importance of socialising for seniors. 


Click here for a comprehensive breakdown of what long-term care means to us, including options, what we offer and a breakdown of costs. 


Warning signs in caregivers


Burnout can occur when we forget that, in order to take proper care of others, we need to take care of ourselves first. The symptoms of caregiver burnout or stress can be confused with the symptoms of depression. These include withdrawal from family and friends, loss of interest, feeling irritable, as well as changes in normal eating and sleeping patterns. 


If you are caring for a senior loved one, we recommend taking AARP’s quick caregiver stress test. How you score might be the wake-up call you need to accept professional help. 


Further resources:


  1. Are You Putting Off a Move to Assisted Living? (A Place For Mom)
  2. Recognizing Caregiver Burnout (WebMD)
  3. Seniors and Financial Decline (Highgate Senior Living)
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