30 Apr Is Your Dad Or Mom Ready For Assisted Living? 10 Signs To Watch For
Watching your dad, mom, grandparents, or other elderly relatives advance into their golden years can be really tough, particularly once you notice that everyday tasks begin to challenge them. Whether it seems like they’ve aged overnight or even if you’ve been aware of subtle changes for years, at some point, the tables may turn, and you may find yourself responsible for taking care of your loved ones. And if you’ve ever found yourself wondering “Is my dad or mom ready for assisted living?” then you’re in the right place.
As you think about the changes in behavior you’re observing, you may be asking yourself how you can know for sure that what you’re seeing is alarming enough to warrant considering an assisted care facility, and is not just typical conduct that occurs as we age. Moving your loved one to an assisted living facility is an emotional decision that can be tough on you and the entire family, so it’s helpful to have a clear list of changes to look out for to help you feel confident in making that decision.
Here are 10 signs that your parent or loved one may be ready for assisted living.
They can’t complete everyday tasks. Referred to as Activities of Daily Living — or ADLs — the key everyday tasks that are used to measure cognitive and physical functioning are bathing, dressing, toileting, walking, transferring in and out of bed, and eating. If your loved one has difficulty with any of those activities, it may mean that they need additional care. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, over 70 percent of people who live in assisted living need help with at least two of those activities.
Mail and bills pile up. If you notice mountains of unopened or un-dealt-with mail or find bills that aren’t paid, it might indicate that your parent is having trouble managing their finances or keeping up with written communications.
They’re rapidly losing or gaining weight. Any drastic change in weight may be cause for concern. Your parent could have a medical condition that’s being untreated. Dementia may also cause them to forget they’ve eaten (so they eat again), or forget to eat at all. Changes in appetite and taste buds can also cause them to opt for less healthy food.
Their personal hygiene is lacking. If your parent doesn’t seem to be keeping up with their usual bathing and other self-care, they could be finding it harder to do or forget to do it.
The housekeeping has fallen behind. Some people are neater than others, but you know what your parents’ house is usually like. If you find a dirty bathroom, dishes piling up, dust bunnies appearing and other signs that your parent isn’t taking care of their living space in the way you’ve come to expect, something might be up. Especially if they never downsized from the bigger family home, they might be finding it difficult to handle all the work that goes into keeping a home in good shape.
They can’t be trusted to call a doctor or tell you if something’s wrong. Most of us don’t want to be a bother to others, and aging adults – who are using to taking care of themselves – are no exception. If your parent isn’t visiting doctors on their own when necessary, perhaps because they’re scared, or intimidated, or unable to drive. should report issues to you so you can help.
It’s unclear if they could handle an emergency. What if there was a fire or power outage? Would your parent know what to do to stay safe? It’s important that if they’re living on their own, they can do what’s necessary to protect themselves.
They’re lonely. If your parent is elderly, there’s a good chance that some of their family and friends have passed before them. And as they age and have a harder time getting around, they might struggle to have a strong social circle. But studies show that it’s important to have good friends, particularly late in life. One recent study even found that as adults, friendships are more likely to contribute to happiness than family, and also that those friendships help them stay healthier physically and emotionally. If your parent feels lonely, he or she may thrive in a setting where they are surrounded by peers and potentially new friends, such as an assisted living facility.
They become aggressive. As people age and deal with early stages of dementia or lose some independence, they may act out in anger and frustration. If you find that your loved ones respond aggressively or inappropriately to simple questions or offers of assistance, you may want to consider consulting a medical professional or third party to intervene and assess his or her mental wellbeing.
Caregiving has become too much for you. Yes, you read that right. This one is about you! Don’t forget that you have to take care of yourself first before you can adequately care for your family member! If your parent’s needs have become too much for you – whether physically, emotionally, or mentally – it may be time to make a change.
And finally, talk to a professional. Have your parent evaluated by a doctor and voice your concerns with them. They can help you understand what your parent is going through and what the best course of action may be.
If you and your family have decided that it’s time for your parent or another relative to move to an assisted living facility, Binefit Storage and Moving can help you make the transition easier. Our storage solution is perfect for situations where belongings need to be safely stored away, but can also be recalled at a moment’s notice. Contact us today at 313-312-9815 to learn more about valet storage.