Walking was the most-cited activity of daily living that tipped off family members of a loved one’s need for assisted living or another type of care in a newly released survey by Caring.com.
When YouGov, on behalf of the senior living review and referral website, queried approximately 1,500 people about conversations leading up to a move to assisted living, 18.2% of poll participants said a loved one’s difficulty walking was the first indication they saw that the family member might wish to consider assisted living.
Housework, cited by 13.1% of respondents, and transferring and driving (each cited by 12.1% of respondents), also were frequently mentioned ADLs or instrumental ADLs that needed attention.
Discussions about assisted living often begin around the holidays when adult children return home and notice a physical or cognitive health decline in a parent, Caring noted.
“Most people tend to notice that a loved one has a hard time getting around or just keeping up with basic chores during the holiday season,” Caring Chief Digital Officer Jason Persinger said. “With so many family members coming together, it’s a popular and ideal time to discuss senior care options,” he added.
More than 45% of those surveyed, however, said conversations with loved ones about assisted living are difficult. Of those who said so, 52% said the difficulty stemmed from the fact that their loved ones didn’t think help was needed. An additional 30% of respondents said disagreements about the type of care needed arose. Disagreements about costs also were a factor, Caring said.
The survey found that 88% of people talked about assisted living services with at least one family member; for 33%, it was their mother, whereas 26% of people had a conversation with siblings. Some respondents said they consulted more than one family member.