Everybody wants to know that their elderly parents are safe and well, especially if they live alone. It can be hard sometimes to adjust to the role of caregiver to your parents when you have always looked to them for support, but as they age, they will rely on you to help them more and more. Visiting them regularly and checking in with phone calls are all great things to do, but there could come a time when they need more hands-on care that you might not be able to offer them by yourself. If you have started to notice any of the following signs when you visit your elderly parent, it might be time to consider the option of assisted living.
What Is Assisted Living?
An assisted living facility is designed to offer care for senior citizens who can no longer live independently. They will be provided with a private room or apartment to live in, and there will be full-time carers on-site to help with basic daily tasks and simple healthcare routines. Usually, there are also organized activities where residents can socialize with one another and have fun things to fill in their time throughout the day. Frontier Management https://frontiermgmt.com is a good example of an assisted living provider if you want to learn more about what they can offer.
At any age, it’s important to maintain a balanced, nutritious diet to keep yourself healthy. If you have started to notice that your elderly parent has lost weight (or gained), and they don’t appear to be preparing meals for themselves properly anymore, this can be a cause for concern. This is even more prevalent if they have a health condition that can be exacerbated by a certain diet, such as diabetes, for example. If they are struggling to manage their diet and feed themselves properly, they might need someone to manage their meals for them.
Mismanaging Their Medication
If your elderly parent needs to take medication regularly, they must stick to the guidelines set out for them by their doctor. They might occasionally forget to take their pills, and while this isn’t good, it could happen to anybody. However, if this is becoming a regular occurrence or they are purposefully avoiding taking their medication, this is something that needs to be addressed immediately. At an assisted living facility, your parent will have carers who can help them to manage their medications daily, so you can have peace of mind that their healthcare issues are being kept under control.
Decline in Hygiene
Another indicator that your parent might not be able to look after themselves anymore is if you notice a decline in their hygiene. This might be due to poor mental health, or it could be because they struggle to stand in the shower or get in and out of a bath. If they have had a fall in the past, this might have made them afraid that they will slip and have another accident. Poor hygiene can be embarrassing and make them feel like they have lost some of their dignity, so you must find them the right support so they can live comfortably and can wash regularly.
They Are Struggling to Get Dressed
If you also notice that they are struggling to dress, this is another sign they might need some extra help to manage their daily routine. You may notice that they are still in their pajamas when you turn up at the house or that they are waiting for you to ask you for your help to do the buttons up on their shirt or put on trousers. For them to be able to get out of the house and get on with their day, they will need someone there who can help them get dressed in the morning.
They Are Finding Household Chores Difficult
Keeping the house clean and tidy is necessary to not only be comfortable but to contribute to good health. Dust, mold, and other dirt and grime build-up, if left untreated, can in some cases result in the resident developing illness. A senior citizen might start to find household chores difficult to manage, especially things like vacuuming a staircase or cleaning hard-to-reach places like the top of a bookshelf. Moving items of furniture around to clean under could also become an impossible task for them, and attempting this could heighten the risk of injury. If you notice that your parent’s house is beginning to look untidy and dirty, it could be because they can no longer manage these basic household tasks. You might want to consider hiring a domestic cleaner to help them out, but if this is a problem combined with other things on this list, you might need to look into assisted living as an option.
If your parent has expressed that they are feeling lonely, don’t ignore this. Loneliness and depression are common problems that can affect senior citizens, and this can be a very upsetting thing to go through. If your elderly parent can still live independently, a retirement community might be the best option to combat their loneliness. However, if they are struggling with any of the above points as well, an assisted living facility can also offer them the opportunity for more socialization and to make new friends.
You’re Struggling to Cope with Caring for Them
It’s a very noble thing to step up and take on the role of carer for your elderly parent, but the reality is that it can and likely will take a toll on you. If you are not trained as a professional carer, there will only be so much you can do for them, so looking into moving them into assisted living could help if you are feeling overwhelmed. You can always hire a carer to come and give you a couple of days off a week if you prefer, but if they require a certain level of care full-time that you can’t provide, this might not be the most practical option.
If you have noticed a few of these signs when visiting your elderly parent, you might want to sit down and have a discussion about assisted living. Remember to be respectful of their feelings, as, at first, they might not be receptive to the idea. However, it should be explored together to make sure that they are getting the best support and can remain safe and healthy.