Every family situation is different and there are signs that may help you decide to move your parent to assisted living. Here are some questions to help you decide if it is time to move an aging parent or if they are okay at home.
1.Not Enough Family To Help
Does your parent have family living close by (within 20 minutes) If not it may be time to look for a place closer to family members who can help if the need arises? If all of their children live out of town it will be a hardship in the event of a crisis. Or the situation could be that there is enough family close by but they are unwilling or unable to help.
If your aging parent has an older home there may be a lot of repairs and maintenance.
“Every week mom had chores for me to do! I think she forgets that I have my own home to take care of also, “complained Jim.
Assisted Living may not be needed at all. Moving mom to an independent living apartment could solve those maintenance issues. Furthermore, meals and transportation will also be covered. If she needs a little more assistance, hire a homecare company to help out.
2.Sudden Weight Loss
Has mom or dad lost weight lately? This could be due to depression, a medical condition or just the fact that it takes too much effort to cook and clean. It is important to take them to the doctor to rule out any problems. Also, review their medications for side effects. Bringing in help at home from an Agency like SYNERGY HomeCare can help. Having someone around to talk to and do activities with may alleviate the depression your loved one is experiencing. Additionally, a homecare provider can go shopping and even cook meals. This could help your aging parent remain in their own home a bit longer.
3.Socialization is Important
Does your parent have a strong social community? Are they active in groups, church, and other organizations? If they used to be very active but now do not want to participate, this is a red flag. And something may be wrong. Often those with dementia or someone who is depressed will pull away from any social activities.
“Dad stopped attending his poker games with friends. He made a lot of different excuses. But I noticed that he wasn’t going much of anywhere. I brought him to the doctor for a full checkup. It was discovered that he was having problems with hearing. Dad was embarrassed because he seemed to constantly misunderstand what people were saying. “It made me feel stupid!” he told me.
“Now that we have that problem solved Dad is getting back to his old self. I also talked him into letting me hire a homecare company to check on him a couple of days each week. They buy groceries and cook a few meals to put in the freezer for him. He grumbled at first. But he really likes his companion, Shondra. And it gives me peace of mind. While Dad may have to go to an assisted living home one day, that day is not today. We are happy to be able to keep him in his home a while longer.”
4.Does your aging parent have a chronic disease?
Someone with a chronic disease may have more challenges coping with day to day activities. If they do not seem to be coping well this is another red flag. Depending on what is going on and how much assistance someone needs assisted living may be the best choice.
Does your parent need care around the clock 24/7? Or do they just need assistance for a few hours a day? Weigh the differences between hiring homecare and moving to assisted living. Also, take in mind that someone needing a lot of assistance may not have all of their needs met in an assisted living facility. Even with a move, you may still need to bring in a home care company to assist.
5.Is your parent lonely?
If they are calling you multiple times a day they are probably lonely and may even be depressed. Moving to an independent or assisted living facility will give them the social interactions that are such a vital part of life. These large facilities always have some kind of activity going on. No matter what your mom’s preferences are she will be able to find something she likes to do. Many people who move also report that one of the best things is, they no longer have to eat alone.
Loneliness has been linked to both depression and dementia. In fact, social interaction is one of the recommendations from the Alzheimer’s association to maintain brain health. It is important to have strong social connections. Getting your aging parent out and around groups of people could help them to stay healthier longer.
6.Safety is A Big Concern
Is the area where your parent’s home is located still safe? The home you grew up in may have been in a wonderful neighborhood but things change. Unfortunately, criminals often prey on the elderly. Check the police reports to find out what is going on in your parent’s neighborhood. If this is a concern do not hesitate to move them. The elderly are often vulnerable and may fall prey to scam artists, thieves, and other unscrupulous people.
7.How many medications are your aging parents taking?
Do they seem to have a system for managing the medication or do you notice multiple bottles strewn around? Ask your parent how they remember to take their medicines. Make sure the answer they give you sounds logical. Taking medicines at the wrong time, forgetting to take a medication or doubling up on a medication can all have dire consequences. It is really important that medications be taken correctly. This reason alone does not warrant a move to an assisted living facility. Medications can easily be managed at home with electronic pill dispensing machines that are on the market. Add a home care companion to remind mom to take the pills that have been dispensed and the problem may be solved.
These 7 reasons may help you decide if a move will be needed or not. Adding home care may be all that is needed. Consider independent living apartments and add a little extra assistance on the side.
If you think it may be time to move your aging parent explore both independent and assisted living to see what the right choice may be. Also, consider what support they may need to stay in their own home.