Moving your aging parent from their home to assisted living is a complicated and often emotional decision. While your parent may insist they can remain living independently, there comes a point where their current living situation may no longer be safe or healthy. Here are some signs that indicate your parent could benefit from moving to assisted living.
Recent accidents or falls
Has your parent recently experienced a fall, or are you worried about their risk of falling? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.8 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries each year. Falls often occur at home and may be caused by hazards such as uneven steps or detached throw rugs. If you’re concerned about the safety of your parent’s home, it may be time to consider moving to an assisted living facility that has safety features in place to prevent falls.
New or worsening health conditions
Some older adults move to assisted living after developing a health problem, or when a chronic health condition gradually begins to worsen. In assisted living, older adults and their families can have peace of mind knowing the community has emergency alert systems and nurses on-site 24-hours a day. Many older adults benefit from moving to a continuing-care retirement community, which gives residents the option to seamlessly transition to the next level of care when their needs change. This type of community allows older adults to age in place in the comfort and familiarity of the same location throughout their retirement years.
Changes in eating habits
Be on the lookout for any unusual changes in your parent’s eating habits, such as skipping meals or eating unhealthy foods. If your parent struggles with grocery shopping or preparing meals at home, moving to an assisted living community can help. Residents in assisted living have access to on-site dining services, where they can enjoy fresh and nutritious meals prepared each day. Many facilities also have registered dieticians on staff to help seniors make healthy choices.
Difficulty with daily tasks
One of the main reasons older adults move to assisted living is for extra support with daily activities and tasks. If you notice that your parent has difficulty with some of the tasks necessary for living independently such as grooming, dressing, household chores, driving, or managing medications, assisted living may be the right choice for them. In assisted living, older adults receive just the right amount of support with daily activities while maintaining as much independence as possible so they can continue living life to the fullest.
Signs of isolation and loneliness
Older adults living alone may be prone to loneliness and isolation, which can lead to poor health outcomes and even depression or anxiety. If you notice changes in your parent’s personality and social life, talk to them about the advantages of moving to assisted living. With friendly neighbors and fun hobbies, social activities, and events, moving to an assisted living community gives older adults endless opportunities to create new friendships and make the most of their retirement years.
If you’ve identified one or more of these signs in your older parent’s lifestyle, it may be time to talk to them about finding an assisted living community to address their needs. Although helping your parent move into assisted living can be a difficult decision, it can also be one of the best decisions you make to improve your parent’s safety, health, social life, and overall wellbeing.