It’s very hard to watch an elderly parent’s physical and/or mental health decline. If he or she is living alone in their long-time home, there are legitimate concerns for their safety. The parent-child relationship is reversed, but it’s not a comfortable realization.
There are eight signs that signal it’s time to seriously consider assisted living.
1. Not Taking Care of the Home
Has the home been neglected? Look for lots of clutter, dirty dishes, piles of laundry, dying houseplants and spoiled food.
2. Neglecting Personal Grooming
When someone is having difficulty functioning, they often begin wearing dirty clothes and bathing infrequently.
3. Personality Changes
It’s normal for an older person to slow down, but withdrawing from social activities and hobbies can be a sign of depression. Many older people are very lonely, especially if they lost a loved spouse and their children don’t live nearby.
4. Safety Concerns
Someone with health or mental issues is more likely to fall or have accidents. Medications can be taken improperly, a very dangerous situation. The stove or oven could be left on for long periods. Handling boiling liquids could result in serious burns.
5. Poor Nutrition
Many seniors suffer from poor nutrition. Many older people have tiny appetites and cooking a meal is too much work. Look for signs of weight loss. Check the cabinets and freezer for stale or expired food or oddities such as unusually large quantities of cereal.
6. Cognitive Difficulties
Look for signs of confusion, repetition of the same comments, unwise decisions, inability to follow directions and a need for repeated reminders. Ask neighbors if they have seen any unusual behavior.
Have there been any unexplained damage to the car or traffic tickets? When riding as a passenger, does he or she drive very slowly, drift into another lane or tailgate?
8. Struggling With Finances
Look for piles of bills, collection letters and overdrawn bank accounts. Check for unusual withdrawals or charitable contributions that could indicate a scam.
It’s common to deny that a loved one is no longer able to live in their home, but that time may have arrived. At caring.com, you will find a wealth of helpful information on assisted living. There is a listing of assisted living facilities near you so that you can compare costs and options. Find the perfect place where your loved one can live happily and safely.