Does My Parent Need Assisted Living?
The decision to move a parent or loved one into an assisted living facility is never an easy one, especially if they are independent and like doing things on their own. They’ve probably lived in the same house for the last several years, even decades and have many fond memories of living there, raising children, seeing their grandchildren at holidays and more.
The decision can be just as hard on you determining your parents future. You may see your parents the way you remember them, vibrant, strong and able to take care of themselves while providing for others. Admitting that your parent or loved one needs assisted living is also admitting that you are getting older also and recognizing your own mortality.
While it’s never easy to tell if its the right time for assisted living, recognizing the signs that your parent needs help may mean its time to talk about changing their living situation.
8 Signs Your Parent Needs Assisted Living
1. Parent appears depressed
For many, coming to grips with getting older is difficult, and for many can result in depression. There isn’t any one common reason, losing a spouse, not being able to do things that they once enjoyed, dealing with daily aches and pains, and the frustration of not being able to remember things well add up. At an assisted living center trained professional have experience with diagnosing seniors with depression and therapies to help them enjoy life again.
2. Parent is losing weight
You notice that your parent looks frail or their clothes start to look baggy and loose. There can be several reasons why a parent loses weight, depression is a leading cause in the elderly, medications that cause vomiting, cancer, and other diseases. Whatever the cause may be, an elderly person who loses weight unintentionally is at a higher risk for infection, depression and eventually death. Caregivers at assisted living homes have experience with the nutritional needs of the elderly and can help.
3. Neglected Hygiene
Ignoring basic hygiene like bathing and shaving is a sign that these tasks have become too difficult. Wearing the same clothes repeatedly is also a sign that changing and doing laundry is also a challenge. All assisted living facilities provide assistance with these basic tasks making residents lives easier.
4. Parent is increasingly forgetful
Does your parent miss appointments frequently? Most seniors suffer from some degree of memory loss, but if it becomes habitual it could become an issue.
5. Forgetting to take medication
For the same reason they forget other things, not remembering to take their medication is an even more serious result of memory loss. They may forget to take their medication, but what could be even more dangerous is forgetting that they have taken their prescription already, and taking it a 2nd, 3rd, or more times which could result in an overdose.
6. House is dirty/in disrepair
Maintaining a home and a yard is ongoing work. If your parents home is dirty or unkempt and basic repair is in need this could be a sign that the work is too much and they can longer handle it.
7. Frequent injuries
Your parent may be having trouble with balance or lacks the strength to hold themselves. These mobility issues result in more falls which lead to frequent bruising and injuries. Seniors will often try to cover them up so it may be difficult to notice. Assisted living facilities have security systems in each room so seniors can alert caregivers if they have fallen.
8. Strange behavior
It’s not uncommon for seniors to become confused or disorientated. It becomes difficult for them to realize what is the time, or time of year. This will lead to strange behavior like leaving their home late at night or wearing clothes that are inappropriate for the weather. Caregivers at assisted living facilities will be there at all times so a temporary moment of confusion won’t lead to anything that could cause harm to your loved one.
If you recognize even a few of these signs in your parent they may be ready for assisted living. It is possible that they may object, even strongly to changing their living situation. In the same way that they had a responsibility to raise you safely despite what you thought was best, you now have the same responsibility to make sure that your parent is taken care of and safe.