Perhaps the biggest question that seniors and their families have about assisted living is when it is time to seriously pursue this kind of long-term care. Sometimes, it can be difficult for seniors to assess when it is no longer safe for them to live independently, or for friends or family members to decide when an elderly loved one needs help with day-to-day tasks. Here are just a few of the many possible signs that could indicate a need for assisted living.

  • The senior recently had an accident of some sort: Whether it was a fall or a car accident, incidents that leave an elderly loved one injured-regardless of the seriousness of the injury-could indicate a need for assisted living. As we get older, the chances of accidents and injuries recurring increase, and you want to know that someone is going to be there to help if an older loved one has another incident.
  • Kitchen red flags: Is there spoiled or moldy food in the fridge? Are there dirty dishes sitting in the sink? Are there multiples of the same item in the fridge or pantry? Do you see a bunch of takeout containers in the trash? All of these signs can indicate that it's time for assisted living-whether because a loved one has lost the energy to keep the house clean, because they can't remember what they have and have not bought at the store recently, or because they've lost the physical or mental ability to cook their own meals.
  • A messy house: A messy kitchen will normally be the tip of the iceberg if a senior has lost the energy to clean up the house. If there's clutter collecting everywhere, if the bathroom is grimy and smelly, or if mail is building up on the kitchen counter, then your elderly loved one may no longer be able to handle taking care of their own home.

These are just three common signs that an elderly friend or relative might need help with their day-to-day living. However, know that there are dozens of other signs that you should watch for as well, including signs of dangerous driving, abandoned hobbies or friendships, noticeable changes in hygiene, slow recovery from illness, and more. Assisted living can help to resolve all of these issues, taking the pressure off a senior to maintain their home, cook meals, open mail, pay bills, or drive.