Dear Donna,

My mom used to be very sociable. She loved people and was the life of the party.

After she turned eighty, however, she completely stopped going out. We can barely convince her to attend a family birthday party. I think she should move to assisted living where she can be around more people her own age.

How can I tell if it’s time for my mom to move to assisted living?

Sharon from Saline, MI

How to Tell When It’s Time for a Move to Assisted Living

Dear Sharon,

Many adult children struggle to know when their aging parents need assistance. Although isolation is one sign your mom or dad can benefit from assisted living, it’s not the only determinant. Here are a few other ways to tell if a senior loved one can benefit from moving to an assisted living community.

3 Signs It’s Time to Move to Assisted Living

  1. High risk for falling

Falling is a leading cause of injury among adults over 65 years old. Some seniors are so afraid of falling they avoid leaving the house altogether. While this might make them feel safer, they are usually increasing their risk of an accident.

By not leaving the house, they reduce their movement. This can prevent them from moving the muscles needed to sustain their physical health and balance. Not only does this increase their risk of falling, but it also reduces their ability to recover from a fall.

If your loved one is at risk for falling, they might benefit from moving to a community where they can have access to a medical professional.

  1. Medical conditions

Nearly 80% of seniors have at least one chronic medical condition; 68% have two or more conditions. Older adults with medical conditions typically have a harder time managing their health independently, so they often require assistance.

A few instances when your mom’s or dad’s medical condition can make them good candidates for assisted living include:

  • Recovery from illness or injury
  • Trouble managing medications
  • Increasing or worsening chronic health conditions

Assisted living can benefit seniors with medical conditions by having someone available to monitor their health and help them manage their medications.

  1. Trouble preparing nutritious foods

Difficulty eating a healthy diet is another sign that your loved one may benefit from assisted living. There are many age-related changes that can make it difficult for seniors to eat healthily. For example, reduced mobility can make it hard to cook and grocery shop. This can cause them to forgo fresh foods in exchange for foods that are full of preservatives.

A healthy diet is crucial for seniors to maintain their health and avoid malnutrition. Here are a few signs that your loved one may have trouble getting enough nutrition:

  • Expired foods in the fridge
  • More “convenient meals” like frozen dinners and canned goods than fresh foods in their kitchen
  • Noticeable weight loss or weight gain

Assisted living can help because they have team members who are dedicated to providing nutrient-dense meals for residents each day.

The Process Happens Gradually

Determining whether your loved ones are ready to move to an assisted living community takes time and careful consideration. I hope this helps!



Heritage Senior Communities

If you are having trouble deciding if it’s time for your aging parents to move to an assisted living community, please feel free to contact us. Heritage Senior Communities, including our Linden Square Assisted Living Center, can help you determine if it’s a good fit.