While most people want to remain living independently for as long as possible, there sometimes comes a point where assisted living is necessary. If you are concerned about a family member or another loved one and aren't sure if they should still be living at home or not, here are some signs to take into consideration.

A Decline in Ability or Desire to Complete Daily Living Tasks

While it isn't necessary to insist that your elderly aunt cook herself three meals a day, it is reasonable to expect she should eat appropriate foods in sufficient quantities. If your loved one is no longer able or willing to do their own laundry, clean their home or get adequate nutrition, an assisted living facility that offers an independent lifestyle may be just the right solution.

Failing Cognitive Abilities

The Alzheimer's Association defines dementia as a decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. Dementia, Alzheimer's and other cognitive problems can be difficult to narrow down, and some people may hide or deny their symptoms. You may have trouble distinguishing what is normal. In general, look for forgetfulness that is unusual. For example, it's not at all uncommon to forget where you put down your keys. It is not normal, however, to forget what keys are for or how to use them.

Increased Depression and Feelings of Loneliness or Despondency

If the loved one's spouse has died, all their friends have retired elsewhere or the family has all grown up and moved away, he or she may be dealing with a very isolated existence. This can especially be problematic if your loved one can no longer drive and is restricted to their home much of the time. If they are battling depression and loneliness, open up a discussion about assisted living. He or she may be all too happy to go where there are activities and companions to be found, such as at the Dunwoody location of Sunshine Retirement Living.

An Inability to Maintain Their Own Safety

For those who can no longer get in and out of the bathtub, sweep the snow off the front steps or see well enough to take their medication, assisted living is likely the right choice. While family and friends can help with these issues, any part-time caregiver who can no longer help puts the family member at risk. If he or she can't handle the routines necessary for safe independent living, it's time for assistance.

If you are concerned about a family member or loved one and are wondering if it may be time for assisted living, consider these signs. Don't be afraid to open a dialog with them to see what their preferences are. Together, you can come to a safe and mutual agreement.

Author's Bio: 

A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.