Many of us will, at some point in our lives, have to make decisions about long-term care for a loved one. Often, as that point draws near, we have a little trouble feeling sure about the timing. Does the situation really warrant the level of care these facilities offer? So how do you know when it is time to look for a Montgomery long-term care facility?
Ideally, your search for a long-term care facility will begin before your situation turns into a crisis, giving you time to plan ahead and review care options carefully. Ensuring that this happens means keeping a careful eye out for telltale signs that issues are beginning to develop that may make home life difficult or unsafe – before these issues create a crisis situation. Warning signs to look for include:
Physical changes – Watch for significant weight loss, declining strength and/or stamina, increasingly sedentary behavior, poor balance and/or falls. Other changes that may indicate a lessening ability for self-care include less frequent bathing, clothing being worn for several days and or a decline in personal grooming habits, such as hair care and/or shaving.
Mental/cognitive changes – Pay attention to any signs of mental deterioration, such as serious memory lapses, including confusion as to names, dates or locations. Watch for signs in the home that forgetfulness is an issue, such as scorched pans that indicate things being forgotten on the stove, water damage from a faucet left running or prescriptions piling up as your loved one forgets to take medications as usual.
Lifestyle deterioration – Has the condition of your loved one's home been going downhill? Perhaps he or she is having trouble keeping things as clean as they used to be, keeping up with repairs, paying the bills or keeping the refrigerator and pantry stocked with food.
If you have noticed some of these issues lately, or they've been present for some time and are getting worse, it's probably time to start looking into long-term care options for your loved one. Your first step is to get an official evaluation of your loved one's health issues and care needs. Taking your concerns to his or her primary care doctor can help you get that process started.
If that evaluation shows that there is a need for placement in a long-term care facility, your next step will be to look into facilities in your area to choose one that meets your loved one's needs. Ask friends, family members and health professionals for recommendations, check Medicare's nursing home compare site for quality ratings, and visit any facility you're considering to check things out for yourself. Take your time and do a lot of comparison shopping to find the right facility – one that you feel confident will provide the high quality care your loved one needs and deserves.