How to know when it is time for senior living?

When is it time for senior living? While your loved one might think never, if you have a feeling it may be sooner than later it’s certainly worth a closer look. There are, in fact, signs that can help you recognize whether your loved one needs more help that can be provided at home. Beyond that, there are also signs that they might benefit from opportunities to eat better, to be more active, and to be more engaged in life as well. Here’s what to consider when it comes to whether senior living can help your loved one to live their best life.

The Full Picture

Many families feel like they need to wait for a big ‘aha’ moment that tells them without a doubt it’s time for senior living. However, more often the signs are gradual. And they’re not all related to physical health. It’s important to consider all aspects of your loved one’s wellbeing including social, emotional and intellectual as well. To get the full picture, ask yourself these questions about your loved one.

Nutrition and Health

  • Have they suddenly lost or gained weight?
  • Have you found stale, expired foods in the pantry or excessive amounts of certain food items?
  • Do they rely on packaged meals or take-out instead of cooking fresh meals for themselves?
  • Do they have dietary restrictions/requirements that are hard to navigate at home?
  • Have they had a recent health scare or had trouble recovering from an illness?
  • Do they have a hard time getting in and out of the car, navigating stairs and/or easily moving around furniture?
  • Are their chronic health conditions getting worse or harder to manage at home?
  • Do they exercise regularly?

Safety at Home

  • Have they left their home unlocked and/or opened the door to strangers?
  • Have you noticed your loved one wandering?
  • Have they left appliances on or had kitchen fires?
  • Does your loved one get disoriented in familiar places on occasion?
  • Have they fallen or are they more at risk because of eye conditions, balance, medications or issues in the home like poor lighting, lack of grab bars or too many stairs, for example?

Daily Tasks

  • Does your loved one have trouble with housekeeping, laundry, shopping and/or other chores?
  • Are they struggling with home maintenance and/or is it hard for them to maintain the yard?
  • Do they need help to shower, dress, use the bathroom and/or manage their medications?
  • Have they forgotten to pay bills and/or open the mail?
  • Has your loved one fallen victim to scams?
  • Are they still taking good care of their pets and/or plants?


  • Are you aware of accidents, car damage and/or close calls while your loved one was driving?
  • Are you concerned about your loved one driving too fast or too slow, tailgating, drifting across lanes or confusing the gas and brake?
  • Are they easily distracted when driving or have they gotten lost on the way home?
  • Are they keeping the car well maintained?
  • Has your loved one run out of gas?


  • Does your loved one have a variety of social opportunities available to them?
  • Are they avoiding activities which they previously loved?
  • Do they have active friendships?
  • Does your loved one have hobbies they enjoy? Do they have opportunities to participate in these hobbies?
  • Do they have ample opportunities for mental stimulation and purpose?

Surprising Benefits of Senior Living

Keep in mind the questions above are meant to serve as a guide to help you recognize when it might be time for senior living. If you answered ‘yes’ to a few questions, it doesn’t necessarily mean your loved one needs to move right away. Rather that you and your loved one should begin considering the benefits it can offer.

For many families, the reality of senior living isn’t quite what they expect – and they’re pleasantly surprised by how active, fun and engaging the lifestyle is for residents! For example, our senior living communities support your body, mind and spirit through our Signature Whole Life LivingTM program in which our residents:

  • Eat better with healthy, fresh, and made-from scratch meals including gluten-free, vegetarian and diabetic options
  • Feel better with a complimentary on-site certified personal trainer and fitness center
  • Think better with our Stay Sharp lifelong learning programs
  • Live better with regular opportunities to pursue purpose

It’s a program that meets your loved one where they are, catering to their needs, connecting them to community, treating them like family, and making sure they always feel at home. Whole Life Living truly is the way of life in our senior living communities because we believe that healthy living is happier living!

For more information, contact a GenCare LifestyleTM community near you, or schedule a tour today!

Have Any Questions?

We can help you navigate the process and find the perfect community for you or your loved one.

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