8 Signs Your Parents Need Assisted Living
Placing a loved one in an assisted living environment can be an emotional experience. This process often begins with significant deliberation about whether or not your parent needs to be in that environment. Assisted living centers are advantageous for many reasons, but they also can be expensive. Furthermore, you may want your parent to remain independent for as long as possible. As you analyze the situation to determine if relocating your parent to an assisted living facility is the right move to make at this time, consider these warning signs.
They Are Increasingly Forgetful
Everyone has forgetful moments, but you should look for things that are not usual for your parent. For example, losing car keys is one thing, but walking aimlessly through a parking lot for 15 minutes to find the car is another thing. Repeating stories within a few minutes of each other and forgetting where they are going once they are behind the wheel are a few of the many other warning signs that forgetfulness has reached a concerning level.
They Have an Inability to Tell Right from Wrong
Having run-ins with the law is not normally considered a warning sign for the elderly, but this actually can become problematic. Consider that an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s is the inability to tell right from wrong on a consistent basis. Keep in mind that this can be portrayed in other ways beyond getting in trouble with the law.
You Are Concerned About Their Ability to Complete Daily Tasks
Being able to take care of themselves independently is understandably an essential requirement for your loved one to live at home alone. You may notice that your parent is not looking as well-groomed as usual. Clothes may be wrinkled or obviously dirty, and hair may be uncombed. Opening the refrigerator may reveal an inadequate amount of food, and basic household items, such as toilet paper, may be depleted.
They Are Having Trouble Managing Their Finances
Over time, many adult children increasingly help a parent with his or her finances even though he or she could do these tasks themselves. However, if you reach the point where he or she is unable to pay bills or to make financial decisions, this should serve as a warning sign. Independent living means that he or she should be able to manage money reasonably well without needing assistance.
They Appear to Be Increasingly Depressed
Depression in the elderly is common, and it can reach a critical level. When depressed, an older adult may cry frequently or shy away from doing things that were once enjoyable. He or she may even prefer to do nothing more than sit around all day, or he or she may struggle to get out of bed.
They Cannot Care for Their Home
While your loved one may pay for some household services if they are affordable for his or her budget, home care and maintenance are critical. He or she needs a safe, clean environment to live in. If you notice that the trash can is always overflowing or that a pile of laundry seems to get bigger each time you visit, these are signs that assistance may be needed.
They Are Not Attending Doctor Appointments
Older adults must keep an increasing number of doctor appointments over the years. These appointments are essential for their superior healthcare. If you receive phone calls from time to time telling you that your parent has missed appointments, it may be time to relocate your loved one to an assisted living facility. This holds true with his or her ability to take medications responsibly and to otherwise follow a doctor’s instructions.
Making the decision to relocate an older parent to an assisted living facility is easy to do in many cases, and this is most commonly when the warning signs are severe. However, you may be one of many people who have noticed only mild versions of these warning signs. You ultimately must make a judgment call about when the right time to relocate your parent is. If you notice these early warning signs and decide not to move your parent into an assisted living facility yet, it may at least be time to begin exploring the options so that you can act when the time comes to do so.