Approaching the subject of moving into assisted living with your parent often is a difficult conversation. After all, you want them to maintain their independence as long as possible.
No matter how uncomfortable, starting the conversation can be a must. As family members, we don’t know when the timing is right. Often, these signs are right in front of us, but we overlook them. No matter how difficult, sometimes it is necessary to consider senior living for the safety and health of your loved one.
Here are some signs that your loved one may need extra help:
- Household chores left undone. Was mom’s house always perfect, and now it’s not as tidy anymore?
- Lack of hygiene. When you visit dad, can you tell he hasn’t showered recently?
- Forgetting medications. Do you notice that your parent missed pills from the reminder box for the past several days?
- Snacking or not eating properly. Are they eating cereal or soup at every meal?
- Forgetting to pay the bills. Keeping up with due dates and a bank account can be overwhelming to the senior who is forgetful, is having trouble with eyesight, or is experiencing arthritis.
- Isolation or withdrawing from family or friends. Sometimes, with dementia or failing physical health, your loved one may not call you like they used to, or not enjoy church or other social gathering with friends.
In an assisted living community, household chores such as cleaning and laundry are handled for residents. Staff can remind or assist with getting dressed or showering. One of the most needed features is assistance with medications. This can bring a peace of mind to the adult child as well as the parent. Three nutritious meals are served daily; snacks also are provided. Daily interaction with others combats depression and loneliness, and promotes physical and mental well-being. Activities are offered to residents to give physical and cognitive stimulation.
I have always heard “you can wait too late” about moving into an assisted living community. This can mean many different things. But, over the years, I have come to understand the value a senior living community can provide a senior who is struggling at home alone to get everything done. Don’t fail to recognize the signs. It can be a hard conversation, but many times a necessary one.