2 Clues That Your Elderly Loved One Is Ready To Move To A Senior Independent Living Facility

If you have an aging parent or other senior you love, then you may have a good idea of clues to look for that signal they would be healthier and happier living in a nursing facility than in their home alone. Seniors typically move into a nursing home when they are experiencing health problems that they need daily treatment for, are developing dementia, and/or are experiencing mobility problems. However, if the senior you love is still relatively healthy, mobile, and has been lucky enough to not develop dementia, then you may wonder when to suggest that they make a move to senior independent living facility. While no two seniors are alike, here are two clues that it may be time for your beloved senior to move into an elderly independent living facility and how the move will benefit them. 

1. Their Spouse Recently Passed Away

If your elderly loved one recently lost their spouse, then you likely recognize that they need all of the emotional support they can get as they go through the process of grieving. You may also wonder "what comes next?" for them. As seniors age, their social circles become smaller as more and more of those they consider friends pass away. With fewer of their peers around, elderly couples become much closer and truly become best friends, and when one passes, it can take a huge toll on both the mental and physical health of the other. In fact, during the three months after the passing of a spouse, the surviving senior has a 66-percent higher chance of passing away due to many factors, including loneliness and unhealthy lifestyle changes. 

If your elderly loved one recently lost their spouse, yet they are healthy enough to live a relatively independent lifestyle, then moving to a senior independent living facility can be extremely beneficial to both their physical and mental health. 

How will they benefit from the move? First, they can easily meet other seniors at the facility where acquaintances can become great friends very quickly. Studies find that one of the keys to staying healthy in old age is having an active social life. Not only will making new friends help support your loved one's mental well-being, but socializing with these friends can help them ward off dementia and even lower their chances of early death. 

In addition, senior independent living facilities have staff that organize fun events where your loved one can mix and mingle with other seniors and maybe even find a new love interest. Other organized activities can include exercise classes targeted to the needs of seniors who may not be able to work out strenuously but can greatly benefit from getting their heart rates up a bit, stretching, and performing gentle muscle-building exercises. Healthy meals are often provided, which can be a great aid to a senior who never cooked at home because their spouse did all of the cooking before they passed away. 

2. They Have Begun Neglecting Home Maintenance and Cleaning

If you used to visit your senior loved one and always see a generally neat and tidy home when you got there, but now it is often disorganized and dusty, then that is a clue that a move to an independent senior living facility may be in order soon. Another clue is a yard that used to be mowed frequently now being covered in long grass and even home repairs that your loved one seems to be neglecting. 

What does it mean when a senior begins neglecting their home? There can be multiple reasons for this. Depression triggered by loneliness and lack of social interaction can lead a person of any age to start neglecting the tidiness they were once proud to show off. If your senior has arthritis or another chronic pain condition, than it could be interfering with their desire and/or ability to perform work around the house that they know is needed. 

The first thing you should do when you notice your senior loved one has begun neglecting their home is ask them if they have been experiencing any new health problems, and if so, urge them to visit the doctor for an exam. If their answer to the question is "no" and you don't notice any other signs of a previously undiagnosed health problem arising, then suggesting they make a move to senior independent living is the best next step. 

How will they benefit from the move? If your loved one is experiencing depression, then living in the social, supportive environment of a senior living facility can help them begin to feel happy once again. If they simply don't have the energy to maintain their home any longer or cleaning causes them too much pain, then senior living will also be hugely beneficial for them; they will no longer have to worry about performing any home maintenance, and they can arrange for a housekeeper to clean their senior apartment as often as they wish. 

If you have an elderly loved one, then you may know the signs that a move into a nursing home would be best for them, but you may not know when a senior would benefit from a move to a senior independent living facility. Remember these two important signs and consider any other signs your senior may be showing that they could benefit from making the move.