The Top Signs It’s Time to Move Your Parent to Assisted Living
The decision to move your parent into assisted living is never an easy one.
Moving your parent into a senior home can initially cause you to feel both guilty, sad, and stressed.
The move isn’t easy for parents, as it involves giving up their independence and adapting to a different lifestyle.
But, as tough as the decision may be, it is often times for the better. Once you move your parent to an assisted living facility, both of you will quickly realize the advantages it brings.
But, the big question really is, when is the right time to move your parent? It’s not always easy to figure out when a parent needs assisted living or not. There’s a chance your parent may need it at the age of 65, and there’s a chance that they may not need it until they’re 90.
Also, while this type of living is a permanent solution for some, others may just need it on a temporary basis.
With so many different factors coming into play, how do you know if it’s time to move your parent into assisted living?
Read on to learn the top signs that the time has come.
1. Experiencing Difficulty With Basic Tasks
If your parent is having difficulty performing basic tasks, then it may be time to move them into assisted living.
Basic tasks include things like doing laundry, tidying up rooms, making meals, and paying bills. While it may not seem like a big deal at first that your parent’s place is a little messy or that they no longer cook as much, this can snowball into bigger issues.
Soon, they may start neglecting more important things, like taking medication or taking care of their basic health.
Not doing basic tasks can also be a sign that your parent is in physical pain. It can be difficult to move from room to room getting things done if you are in pain.
No matter what, don’t ignore these little signs. If your parent is having trouble completing basic tasks, it’s time to start thinking about assisted living.
2. Significant Weight Changes
While it’s not uncommon to lose some weight as you hit your senior years, significant amounts of weight are usually a cause for concern.
Oftentimes, weight loss at this age is a sign that your parent is struggling to cook meals, or that they’re forgetting to eat altogether.
It may also be a sign that there’s a larger, underlying health problem at hand, such as cancer or depression.
On the flip side, a significant amount of weight gain may also be a sign that your loved one needs assisted living. Weight gain may be a sign that your parent is injured and can no longer move like they used to, or that they’re suffering from a serious disease like diabetes.
It can also be a sign that your loved one has dementia, as when someone doesn’t remember eating, they may indulge in snacks and meals throughout the day.
3. Social Life Isn’t the Same
As we grow older, friends pass away, and in turn, our social circles tend to grow smaller.
But, socializing is just as important as ever as an elderly person. If you believe your parent isn’t getting the amount of socializing time they need, then it may be time to move them into assisted living.
Ask yourself: Does my loved one get together with friends for lunches, group events, or other activities? Do they talk about having social events lined up on their calendar?
Or, do they spend their days not leaving their house? And when you ask them what they’ve been up to, they have nothing to say?
If you find yourself answering “no” to the former and “yes” to the latter, then that’s a big sign that your parent may need assisted living.
While the lack of a social schedule may not be a serious medical condition, it can quickly lead to one. Being isolated days on end can lead to depression and severe loneliness. Depression can quick physical physical problems as well, like loss of appetite and trouble sleeping.
This is why assisted living is often the perfect antidote for someone who is isolated and depressed. In assisted living communities, you are surrounded by others, and there are always social activities scheduled throughout the day to keep one occupied.
4. Driving Issues
Going for a drive with your loved one is one of the best ways you can figure out whether or not it’s time for them to move into assisted living.
While it may seem like a strange idea, there are a lot of things to look out for by taking a small trip to the store and back.
For example, you can check to see if your loved one remembers to buckle their seatbelt when they get in the care. You can also look for if their car has any dents and scratches that weren’t there before and that they haven’t yet mentioned to you.
Also, make not if your loved one is tense, preoccupied, or distracted. For example, they may turn off the radio in order to concentrate, or they may avoid taking certain turns or avoid driving down certain streets that they know are busier.
They also may show signs of dangerous driving, like tailgating, drifting out of the lane, going well below the speed limit, or reacting slowly to lights.
While driving may not even be a necessary part of your loved one’s day, it can still be a huge indicator as to whether or not they could benefit from assisted living.
Assisted Living: Is it Time to Make the Move?
As you can see, there are many signs you can watch out for that will indicate whether or not it’s time to move your parent into assisted living.
If you do decide that it’s the right time, be sure you carefully broach the subject and don’t spring them with the news out of the blue.
When talking to a parent about assisted living, it’s very important to let them know about the benefits these facilities offer. Click here to learn all about the benefits of assisted living.