Taking Care of Elderly Parents: Signs It May Be Time to Talk With Mom & Dad About Senior Living
When it comes to taking care of elderly parents, there comes a time when the family must consider senior living.
Although all generations may protest, eventually certain signs point to the fact that it is time for everyone to ask for much-needed help.
It’s hard to know when it is the right time to move Mom and Dad out of their current living situation. Here are a few signs that you should all start thinking about a place that might be better suited to their needs at this stage in their lives.
1. Neglecting Self-Care
Is it harder for your parents to take a shower and wash their hair? Does Dad need help with shaving? Have they fallen while taking care of their basic needs, like going to the bathroom?
One of the biggest advantages to senior living is that there is assistance available for basic self-care.
Senior living facilities offer different kinds of assistance, depending on what your relative requires. If they require minimal help, they may still benefit from the security of such features as special call devices in bathrooms, which summon help in an emergency.
Some facilities have beauty parlors where residents can get haircuts and shampoos, and even manicures.
Your relative may be neglecting self-care because they are afraid of falling, or because they are suffering from memory loss. Living in an assisted living facility gives them this important help and will also help boost their self-esteem.
2. Housekeeping and Yardwork Too Strenuous
Does your dad have trouble starting the lawnmower? Is your family home too big for your parents to keep clean anymore?
Sometimes signs that a parent should consider senior living include their increasing inability to take care of their own homes. If they have a bad back or poor eyesight, it may not be safe for them to try to vacuum, garden, and dust.
It’s also not hygienic for the elderly to live in a place that they have trouble keeping clean.
Senior living facilities let others take care of that kind of work. Your parents will have the leisure to pursue hobbies they enjoy, without the worry of keeping their environment clean and tidy.
They will be happy to live in a place where the snow is shoveled, the lawns mowed, and the carpets vacuumed for them!
3. Nutritional Concerns
Like cleaning, cooking gets more difficult as one ages. This can be a problem because as people get older, their need for nutritious food increases.
It’s hard for some seniors to get to the grocery store, much less carry bags of produce home. They may prefer the convenience of ordering in pizza every night, but that may be bad for their weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Another advantage of moving to senior living is that these facilities offer meals tailored to your relative’s specific medical needs. If Mom needs to reduce her sodium, the cooks can pay attention to that as they prepare her lunches and dinners.
Many places serve high-quality meals of a wide variety, which will appeal to your parents’ palates in addition to giving them well-rounded nutrition to help their bodies and minds.
4. Memory Deterioration
It can start slowly: lost keys, a slip of the tongue. Mom forgets her best friend’s name. Dad leaves on the stove too long and burns his soup.
Memory slips may indicate early signs of Alzheimers or dementia. If your relative is showing symptoms, it is important that they reside in a place where there are staff available to tend to these specific needs.
Even seniors without Alzheimer’s may exhibit signs of memory loss. They may need assistance in remembering their medication schedules, without which they could suffer serious health issues.
Senior living facilities often offer various levels of care, so that your relative can live in relative independence while they are able. They can then more smoothly transition to greater care as their needs increase.
5. Social Isolation
If your parent is living alone, they may become more and more socially isolated. Loneliness itself can cause health risks to older adults.
As we age, it is harder to drive to events, and we become more reliant on family giving rides.
It can be harder to hear, making trips to restaurants or the theatre difficult. Many older people start staying in more and more, which can lead to depression, increased alcohol consumption, and other dangerous behaviors.
When someone moves into an assisted living facility, they have the opportunity to meet others their age and socialize. There are frequent social gatherings, like movie nights, performances, chair yoga, and bingo.
Your relative may be invigorated by the new relationships and activities they discover at assisted living. It can be so much more fun than staying at home!
6. Increased Medical Needs
As your loved one ages, they may need more medical attention. Their medications may need to be adjusted more frequently. They may require physical therapy or hearing aids.
Instead of you having to take your relative to numerous medical appointments, many assisted living facilities have doctors and nurses either on staff or on call. Podiatrists and hearing specialists may visit the place once per week.
You and your family will have more peace of mind knowing that professionals are looking out for your parents’ medical needs.
7. Too Much for Family to Handle
Families nowadays live farther apart than ever. Many members of the “sandwich generation” are taking care of little kids and their parents at the same time!
It can be expensive, stressful, and time-consuming to try to attend to your parents’ growing needs while holding down a job, taking care of your children, and trying to stay sane! It can also cause family rifts if one sibling bears more of the burden than others.
By choosing a senior living facility for your aging relatives, you can minimize family strife and the stress of trying to manage on your own. Let professionals who know how to handle these issues give you a break.
Taking Care of Elderly Parents: It Doesn’t Have to Be a Burden
Taking care of elderly parents does not mean you have to tend to their every need.
Sometimes you will take care of them better if you delegate certain responsibilities to people who are trained to handle the challenges of aging. Moving Mom and Dad to a senior living facility may be the best thing for you and them.
For more information on the best options for your family, contact us.