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8 Signs It's Time to Move a Parent to Assisted Living

Making the decision to move a parent into assisted living is not easy. However, it can improve your parent’s quality of life and peace of mind. Here’s what to look for.

Posted on May 11, 2022 by Luisa Rollenhagen
Assisted Living min

Being witness to aging parents can be emotionally challenging, and managing healthcare for their twilight years can be stressful. In the interest of giving your parents everything they need to age comfortably, it might be a good idea to discuss assisted living options with them, especially if you're struggling to provide them with adequate care.

8 Signs It's Time to Move a Parent to Assisted Living

Knowing when your parent needs extra help is the first step to providing adequate care. So we've put together a road map with some crucial signals to look out for when deciding whether it's time to seek help.

1. Decline in Health

If their health has worsened to a tipping point and they're finding even the most basic tasks difficult, it could be time to intervene. Frailty is a typical symptom of old age that causes complications in living. If they're going to the doctor more frequently and appear excessively tired, it could indicate deteriorating health. In certain circumstances, they may simply notify you that their health is deteriorating and that they’re finding it challenging to complete simple tasks such as going to the supermarket or walking the dog.

2. Changes in Personal Hygiene

If your parent neglects personal hygiene, it might indicate that they can't manage alone. They may be too feeble to care for themselves appropriately. It may be that your parents are having problems remembering to brush their teeth, shower, or change into clean clothes. Professionals in assisted living facilities are equipped to help your parents with these needs.

3. Noticeable Weight Loss

While it's normal to lose some weight as you get older, severe weight loss is cause for concern. Weight loss at that age may indicate that your parent is straining to prepare meals for themselves or are forgetting to eat. It might also mean more significant, underlying health issues, such as cancer or depression.

4. Isolation

Social isolation is a significant concern for the elderly, especially if they've already lost a companion. Even if they're in reasonably good health, it's possible that this could spiral if they're completely isolated and spend most of their time alone. Socialization is vital for human well-being, and having a robust social support network is linked to longer life – even more so than a balanced diet. If you’re unable to ensure your parent isn’t spending all of their time alone, an assisted living facility could provide them with the social support they need.

5. Worsening Symptoms of Dementia

Does your parent forget things more than usual? Are they missing appointments, failing to take crucial medications, or paying bills? Is there an abundance of unread mail lying around the house? Are some of your parents' prescriptions passed their expiration date? Is your parent prone to forgetting to switch off the oven or stove? While some memory loss symptoms are harmless, others can be hazardous and even fatal. This is where more vigilant monitoring by professionals can come in handy and can even be life-saving.

6. Falls

Transferring your parents to assisted living may be the safest choice if they've been reporting an increase in the number of minor incidents or exhibit unexplained injuries.

Other inexplicable cuts and burns on your parents might result from incidents or falls that they can't recall or aren't telling you about. Again, the security of round-the-clock care in an assisted living facility provides can make life safer for your parents.

7. Failing To Take Medication

If your parent is showing signs that they're neglecting or forgetting to take their medication, it could be a sign that they require extra help. Medication can be crucial in maintaining health in older people, and neglecting to take it can result in a worsened medical condition. To avoid this, it could be worth considering assisted living.

8. Inability to properly care for their home

Another indicator is your parents' ability to maintain their own homes. Do you notice any differences in cleanliness when you visit your parents at their home? Having a messy house may signify worsening health; receiving some assistance through assisted living may be the solution.

Another thing to check for is whether they can operate the household appliances. For example, do they remember to switch off the burners after cooking?

Getting Help When It's Needed

The decision of when to move your parents into an assisted living facility is never easy. However, if they need help, it's better to provide it as early as possible. Many assisted living facilities adapt to their clients’ independence and allow them to live autonomous lives, with just an extra bit of care. By paying attention to the signs, you'll be able to make a timely decision to ensure their safety and comfort.