Nursing homes have come a long way from what they used to be. The facilities for aging adults today are highly regulated, more sophisticated, and high quality. The care and treatments offered are held to a high standard to ensure that loved ones everywhere can continue living their best lives with the support they need.

Of course, the biggest concern is knowing when it’s time to move your loved one into a nursing home. So, what’s the average age of nursing home residents, and what are the signs that it’s time? Keep reading to learn more.

What Is the Average Age of Nursing Home Residents?

Statistically speaking, nearly half of all aging adults that live in nursing homes and assisted living communities are at least 85 years of age or older. Few nursing home residents are younger than 65 years of age, and the majority of residents are women — most of which are either widowed, divorced, or never married.

What’s more, only 38.5% of all nursing home residents are above the age of 85. 

However, age isn’t the deciding factor when it comes to whether or not to move your loved one into a nursing home. 

 9 Signs It’s Time to Consider Care for Your Aging Loved One

smiling elderly man and caregiver at nursing home

Despite the common age of nursing home residents, plenty of aging adults are able to live in their own homes and remain functional well throughout their golden years. So, how do you know when it’s time to start considering a nursing home for your loved one?

These are the most common signs:

1) Frequent Falls or Injuries

As we age, living independently becomes increasingly difficult. Simple tasks like cooking and cleaning suddenly become dangerous, as do stairs, uneven floors, and sharp edges.

If your loved one is starting to suffer from falls while no one else is around, or if they’re showing up bumped, scraped, bruised, or burned more often than not, it could be time to consider a nursing home. 

2) An Emergence of Phone Calls

In some instances, aging adults will have difficulty coping with being alone, which can lead to frequent phone calls. You may start expecting evening calls from an anxious or confused loved one, and you may even start to become nervous when you don’t have your phone on you just in case

Unfortunately, increased phone calls (especially at night) tend to be a sign of dementia-related issues, especially if they involve an agitated or confused loved one on the other end of the line. These phone calls can disrupt your everyday life and routine and even cause burnout, which is when you’ll know for sure that it’s time to find a nursing home facility that offers memory care services or a memory care facility.

3) Personal Hygiene Is Neglected

If you’re noticing that your loved one’s personal hygiene is starting to dwindle, then it’s time to sit them down and ask a few hard questions, such as:

  • How often do they bathe, and if they’re having trouble doing so
  • If they’re having difficulty getting dressed or undressed
  • Are they sleeping in their bed or upright in a chair in front of the TV 
  • Are they eating enough, and are they having trouble cooking or grocery shopping

It’s common for aging adults to become defensive when it comes to these types of struggles. However, if they’re having trouble carrying out everyday activities, then a nursing home will be far safer for them.

4) Their Home Is a Mess

Have you visited your loved one and noticed that dirty dishes are stacking up near the sink, food in the fridge is spoiling, laundry is left undone, and so on? They could be having trouble managing the daily upkeep of their home alone. 

No one should have to live in a home they can’t manage on their own, and a nursing home can provide the support they need to maintain a clean space and more.

5) Mobility Changes

young caregiver playing domino with senior woman and man

If your loved one is unable to get around like they used to — trouble getting out of bed, sitting on the toilet, walking, and lifting things — they may require assistance. Even with a cane or a walker, they may still need help, and one of the major benefits of a nursing home is having  trained staff and specialized equipment to help maintain mobility.

6) They’re Neglecting Their Medication

Unopened medication or medication that’s piling up is a serious red flag. Forgetting or refusing to take medication comes with serious consequences, and you can’t be there at all times of the day to make sure your loved one stays on track. 

Moving into a nursing home means that your loved one will stay on schedule with their medications since they’ll have the trained staff to watch over them and administer medication. 

7) Their Eating Habits Have Changed

If your loved one goes from eating healthy and nutritious meals one day to depending on microwave dinners — or no food at all — they may be having difficulty. They may not be able to shop and cook for themselves anymore, or they may forget to eat, which means they need help.

Nursing homes will ensure that your loved one receives balanced and healthy meals each day, plus snacks, without having to worry about cooking.

8) Issues With Continence or Using the Toilet

Sometimes aging adults start having trouble getting themselves on the toilet or to the toilet in time to use it properly. They also sometimes experience accidents throughout the night due to poor bowel control or mobility.

If your loved one is experiencing these issues, a nursing home can provide them with the support they need when it comes to using the bathroom and remaining accident-free.

9) You’re Experiencing Caregiver Burnout

If you’re the primary caregiver for your aging loved one, tending to their needs each day can become extremely stressful and tiring — especially if you’re not a trained professional. 

There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you can no longer take care of your loved one, as it can negatively impact your mental health and relationship with your family. Not to mention, it can interfere with your personal life and your own family.

asian elderly man at nursing home talking to the nurse

Find the Right Nursing Home for Your Loved One

Your loved one deserves the attention and support they need during this challenging time in their life. Getting them help through a nursing home doesn’t mean you’re casting them aside or are a bad daughter or son. It simply means they require professional care that you’re not equipped to offer.

Sunflower Communities can provide your loved one with the attention and care they require while ensuring they maintain their independence and take advantage of a better quality of life. Call us today to learn more about the communities we offer to aging adults and the services we can provide.