For many people, imagining their parents needing help with everyday life isn’t easy. Mom and dad are the ones who take care of us when we’re young. They make sure we’re clean, healthy, and safe. Along the way, they teach us the skills we need to foster those aspects on our own.
As parents age, their physical, mental, and cognitive abilities may decline. When that happens, they may become unable to carry out certain tasks that once came naturally. At some point, elderly assisted living may be necessary. By some accounts, an estimated 70 percent of Americans will ultimately need assisted living, and that figure is expected to grow in the years to come.
Discussing Assisted Living with Loved Ones
While the need for senior living is common among elderly citizens, family members often disagree about whether it’s truly necessary. Mom or dad may insist they can continue to live independently even though they’re struggling more and more with basic tasks. On the other hand, siblings may argue that aging parents simply need solid routines as opposed to assisted living.
Whether it’s parents or siblings who are fighting against the prospect of assisted living, bringing up the subject and finding a satisfactory resolution may be difficult. Certain measures can help make the situation a bit simpler. Consider using the following points when navigating the topic with family members.
Explore the Warning Signs that Parents Need Help
Regardless of who is resisting the notion of assisted living, it’s important to understand all the warning signs that aging parents need help. When visiting your parents, keep an eye out for unusual developments. One of the indications of declining physical or mental health is increasing dirt and clutter. If your parents were once meticulous about keeping a neat, clean home but their house has become messier, they may need extra help and supervision. That’s only one signal.
Declining hygiene could be a sign that aging parents are no longer fully able to take care of themselves. Perhaps mom or dad’s hair is dirty or you detect body odor that may indicate a parent isn’t bathing as often as he or she should. It could be that an aging parent is wearing dirty clothes or has piles of unwashed laundry building up.
Unpaid bills could be a sign of the need for memory care or that mom and dad aren’t managing money as well as they once did. Maybe your parents’ utilities are being disconnected or they’ve received threats of disconnection. If matters haven’t quite reached that point, stacks of unopened mail, including notices from the utility companies, could indicate that mom and dad are neglecting their bills.
Significant Weight Loss
Watch for significant weight loss as well. That could be an indication that mom or dad isn’t eating properly or doesn’t have enough food in the house. This could also be caused by forgetting to eat or even not being able to go to the supermarket among other issues. Weight loss could be a sign of serious health problems, too.
Those are some of the more noticeable signs of declining health and the need for extra care for seniors. Other possible red flags include aging parents not taking their medications or continually repeating themselves. Mom or dad may begin to disassociate from loved ones or forget important appointments as well.
If any of those issues arise, it may very well be time to discuss the need for assisted living. Make a list of the warning signs your aging parents are exhibiting, and use them to facilitate a conversation with parents or siblings about assisted living. These points will help strengthen your case and could convince those who are resisting that it’s time for a change.
Making Sure Aging Parents Are Taken Care of
Orchard Parks at Victory Lakes is an assisted living community in League City, TX. We offer memory care, assisted living, and an array of services designed to meet the needs of our residents. From helping with everyday tasks to social events and outings, we make every possible effort to ensure our residents are happy, healthy, and safe.
Talking to aging parents and other loved ones about assisted living may be difficult and uncomfortable. If the time has come to get help for mom and dad, though, it’s a topic that needs to be discussed. Use the warning signs of declining physical, mental, and cognitive health as a guide to determine whether mom and dad need extra help, and let them aid you in convincing parents or siblings that assisted living is the best solution.