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  • 17Aug

    Is it time to talk assisted living with your aging parents?

    Making the decision to put your parent in a nursing home or assisted living facility is not an easy task. In fact, it is one that will impact both you and your parents emotionally. Talking to a parent about their deteriorating condition or decreased ability to care for themselves is a delicate topic, one that often isn’t perceived well. Though they may believe they’re well enough to care for themselves in their home, as their child it becomes necessary to pay attention to the signs that you may need to suggest otherwise.

    Three Areas of Concern

    Though there are a lot of signs that your parents need help with their day to day activities, there are three areas of concern you need to be focused on. This includes their physical health, social life, and financial circumstances. If these areas of their lives are in disarray, getting them help is ultimately the best decision. Let’s look deeper into these areas:

    old_personPhysical Health

    The most obvious signs that your parents aren’t able to care for themselves or that they need a little help would be their overall physical appearance and health.

    • Does your parent have pre-existing medical conditions? – Is your parent currently suffering from a pre-existing medical condition? Does this medical condition make it hard to get around? Does it present challenges from doing the day to day things like eating, getting dressed, and taking a shower? If so, are these medical conditions short-term and manageable or is it long-term and more severe? For instance, a mother who sometimes slips and falls due to vertigo may be able to stay in her home if she has medical alert necklace to contact emergency assistance should she fall. However, if your mother suffers from dementia, which can sometimes lead to slip and falls, she would obviously need assisted living.
    • Has your parent’s physical appearance changed? – While you parents may not want to be forthcoming about their health you can see some obvious signs they need help from looking at them. Do they seem to be losing weight? Has their personal hygiene taken a back seat? Has mom stopped tending to her hair and makeup? While there can be justifiable reasons for your parents change in appearance or neglect to their own personal care, if it is ongoing, this could be a sign that they need assistance.

    Social Life

    A healthy social life is important for everyone, but it is especially important for the elderly. As they age and friends and family members pass on, they need friendship and companionship even more. Loneliness can quickly lead to depression, mental health issues, and heart problems for the elderly.

    • Does your parent still socialize with friends? – Do your parents still engage in activities with their friends and family members? Are they actively engaging conversations, meeting up with others, and attending functions? If you ask about friends and they are reluctant to mention friendships, this is a surefire sign it’s time to get them into an assisted living facility where they can be surrounded by other seniors.
    • Have they stopped going out? – Have your parents stopped going out of the house? While it is common for elderly to travel less, too many days cooped up in the house can lead to depression.

    Financial Status

    What do your parent’s financial circumstances look like? Decreasing finances as a result of their own doing is dangerous and should be looked at as a sign they need to get some additional help from an assisted living facility.

    • Are bills going unpaid or being misplaced? – Managing the finances is important and it’s something your parents have been doing since before you were born. Therefore, if you notice bills going unpaid or being misplaced, this essentially means that your parents may need help with their finances. This could be early signs of dementia, or it could just be old age forgetting to take care of business.
    • Is money missing? – From thieving relatives to con artists trying to scam the elderly into coughing up cash over the phone, there are a lot of signs that your parents are not managing their money properly. If you notice large sums of money missing you need to get control of their accounts and get them some assistance.

    You might dread having to discuss the possibility of assisted living for your parents, but if you’ve noticed any of the above signs the time to act is now. These are all usually signs that it’s time to get them some form of help before their medical condition, social circumstances, or finances get worse.

    Anna L.

    It’s all about health!
    I have academic background in drugs related Chemical Technology, as well as extensive professional experience in pharma and medical companies. My main area of interest is everyday life medicine. The goal of my articles is to give people informative answers to the questions that bother them, to dispel doubts and some common misbeliefs and also to inspire everyone to keep healthy lifestyle.

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