Senior Physical Health

Our Comprehensive Guide to Healthy Aging

Our Comprehensive Guide to Healthy Aging

In this article

Get expert tips and insight into promoting health and wellness at every age

It’s been said that age is just a number, not a definition. Still, as we age into our retirement years, it can start to feel like that number has begun to define you as a person.  

Maybe you have an aging loved one whose health and wellbeing concerns you. As time goes by, you see it becoming more and more difficult for them to do the things they once did and enjoy the things they once enjoyed.  

Maybe they’ve lost their energy or zest for life. They get winded and dizzy taking the stairs, or standing up from their chair, and they no longer socialize with friends and family like they once did. Maybe they’ve even started to show signs of becoming forgetful.  

If you love someone and notice these changes, it can be concerning and even frightening to imagine what comes next.  

For many, senior living provides an ideal next step—to ensure safe living and enhance quality of life in a community of peers.  

But how do you know when and if your loved one could benefit from a move into senior living and care? 

Writer and senior living expert, Elizabeth Daghfal, tackles this complex question in her article about healthy aging, identifying potential issues, and making an action plan for senior living that works for you.  

Read her insights here— 

This resource will help you know:

1. When it’s time for some assistance and what type of senior care to look for

2. How to find the assistance and community needed

3. Action steps to make it happen

Step 1 – Identify Care Needs

One sign that it might be time for senior care is that you are getting burned out from care-giving. Other signs are listed below and may mean that your loved one now needs more help than you can provide.

The symptoms are broken down by level. As you read through the descriptions below, in which level are most of your concerns found?

Level 1

Your loved one: 

Level 2

Your loved one:  

Level 3 

Your loved one:  

  • Uses a wheelchair or hospital bed 
  • Needs help getting around (e.g. getting up from bed or getting to the bathroom) 
  • Wanders away from home or gets lost 
  • Sees or hears things or people that aren’t there 
  • Needs assistance with clothing/getting dressed 
  • Repeatedly removes clothing or wears extra clothing 
  • Needs assistance showering  
  • Hits or slaps people or has inappropriate sexual behaviors 
  • Is unable to make decisions (due to confusion, etc.) 
  • Has had 3 or more falls in the last 12 months 

In what level were most of your concerns found? (Read this article to understand the acronyms used in talking about senior care.)

Level 1 – RCAC or Home Care. 

Level 2 – CBRF (Assisted Living)

Level 3 – CBRF (Specialized Assisted Living), Nursing Home 

* A full nursing evaluation is necessary to determine appropriate level of care. 

Step 2 – Identify Resources

Wondering if assisted living is the right choice?

Assisted living communities offer amenities, services, and care in a setting with the comforts of home.

They serve seniors who require assistance with:

They usually provide the following services:

  • dining services
  • housekeeping
  • personal laundry
  • health and wellness
  • social and recreational activities

And they offer care in the areas of:

  • dressing
  • bathing
  • grooming
  • continence assistance
  • medication management
  • mobility
  • memory loss

If you feel overwhelmed, you have resources to support you:

  • Which friends or family members have some experience in this area?
  • Your local Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) has many free resources and knowledgeable people to help take the confusion out of aging. 
  • Your loved one’s doctor or a local gerontologist (elder care specialist) can be a wealth of information. 
  • A local priest, pastor, rabbi, or other religious leader can provide care, spiritual guidance, and may be able to share their personal experiences with various local senior communities. 
  • Frontida Assisted Living can also help you sort through what you’re going through, what your next step should be, and how to find a community that meets your needs. 

Step 3 – Create An Action Plan

Once you are familiar with what you need, it’s time to create an action plan. Finding senior care doesn’t usually happen overnight. Finding the right fit takes time and dedication. This checklist may help you organize your thoughts and the steps you will need to take:

Helpful Resources

Need other helpful information on senior living? Check out these articles. And come back to check for more…

Caring for the Elderly

Overcoming Caregiver Burnout

What Self-Care Really Looks like for Caregivers

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Your Parents Are Aging

Decluttering Your Parents’ Home (Without Kicking Anyone to the Curb)

4 Helpful Books You’ll Want to Read as You Care for Your Elderly Parents

7 Tips To Freshen Up Your Old Caregiving Routine

Helping an Elderly Loved One Get Through All the Holiday Parties Without Burning Out

Traveling with Seniors

Seeing 2020 through Grandpa’s Glasses

Handling Grief

Handling the Grief on Mother’s Day When You’ve Just Lost Mom

Surviving Father’s Day When You’ve Just Lost Dad

Working Through Grief So It Doesn’t Bog You Down

When You Can’t Be There to Say Goodbye

Good Times with the Senior(s) you Love

Ways to Honor Our Veterans

How to Stay Connected When You Can’t Be Together

Great Gift Ideas:

Getting to Know Them

Activities throughout the Year

Memory Loss

Recognizing Memory Loss

How to Stop Memory Loss from Ruining the Day

How Dementia Affects the Body

How to Make the Best of Memory Loss

5 Steps to Following Directions – and Why Dementia Won’t Let Grandma Do It

Types of Dementia

Emotional Health

How To Spot Signs of Depression

How To Help a Loved One with Anxiety

When Fear Is Turning Grandma Inside Out

The Danger of Loneliness

Top 10 Emotional Needs that Are Still Important for Seniors

Physical Health

Recognizing the Unexpected Signs of UTIs in the Elderly

5 Tips To Be Sure the Elderly Are Safe in the Summer Heat

How to Survive the Unexpected Stay in Rehab



Meal Safety

Dietary Tweaks

Preparing For Assisted Living

How to Know When an Aging Loved One Needs Help

How To Know When One Fall is Too Many 

How to Start the Assisted Living Conversation

Decluttering Your Parents’ Home (Without Kicking Anyone to the Curb)

What NOT to Pack When Moving to Assisted Living

How to Help Someone Adjust to Assisted Living

Make Your Loved One’s Room Feel More Like Home

Long-term Care Insurance Part 1

Long-term Care Insurance Part 2

Assisted Living Information

Understanding Wisconsin’s Assisted Living Options

Assisted Living Tour Tips

Understanding the Pre-assessment Process: What Nurses Ask and Why They Need to Know

8 Tips To Find The Best Assisted Living

Top 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Research Assisted Living

Assisted Living Terms/Lingo

How to Choose Assisted Living Without Getting Into A Family Feud

We work hard to provide quality posts to help you and your loved ones. Ready to talk with someone at Frontida Assisted Living? Sign up for a tour today!

Elizabeth Daghfal
• 7 min read

Elizabeth Daghfal is a writer, teacher, speaker, and community volunteer. When she isn't teaching or writing-- Who are we kidding? Her husband and five kids say she's ALWAYS teaching and writing. She has a passion to help people who are struggling and is happy to say her shoulders are drip-dry. Born and raised in the South, she now lives in Wisconsin and loves it--except for the fifteen months of winter. Read more about her at