When to Consider Assisted Living for Aging Parents
There’s a lot to think about before making the decision to move into an assisted living facility. This goes double if you’re considering moving a parent into assisted living. While it’s crucial you talk with them about assisted living, get their opinion and try to make decisions with their wishes in mind, there may come a time when an aging parent is no longer safe living at home alone. In those situations, it’s tough to make the decision to move them into a place with adequate care—especially if they’re against the idea.
Fortunately, there are things to watch for that will let you know whether or not assisted living is necessary for your parent. This week, we’re talking through the four most noticeable signs that your parent might need the aid of a Lincoln, Nebraska assisted living facility.
Not Eating Enough/Enough of the Right Foods
Lack of nourishment is a problem for many older people for a myriad of reasons. Whether they have a hard time getting to the store, difficulty remembering to cook for themselves, occasionally skip meals or only make a few dishes which don’t contain all the nutrients needed for healthy aging, lack of nutrition affects more older adults than you may think. Even protein, the basis of nearly every hearty Nebraskan meal, is lacking in many older adults.
If you’re worried about an aging parent not getting the right nutrition, take a look around their kitchen for an idea of their eating habits. If you notice a fully stocked fridge and pantry with a decent amount of fruits, veggies and other healthy options, don’t worry too much. However, if you notice the fridge or pantry looks sparse, the food is expired or poor in nutrition, it may be time to talk with them about getting some assistance.
Experiencing a Bad Fall/At Risk for a Fall
When a parent experiences a fall that leads to serious injury, there are a lot of emotions flying high. However, it’s important to note that just because a parent had one bad fall, it doesn’t mean they necessarily need assisted living. Think about the cause of the fall first. For example, if a parent fell while putting Christmas lights up on the house, that’s different than falling in the hall on the way to the bathroom because they forgot their walker. Take into account the level of your parent’s mobility as this will play a factor in whether or not they need assisted living care.
It’s also important to note that a parent who has experienced a fall may not heal as quickly as they once would have. Assisted living may be necessary for even just a few months to ensure a safe, speedy recovery.
A serious sign that an aging parent may need assisted living is if they get lost while walking or driving, or if they sometimes forget where they are. This could be a sign that they require specialized memory care services.
Similarly, if a loved one starts forgetting to take medications, they may require memory care services. Forgetting important medications can be dangerous in many cases, so talk to them about the possibility of getting help as soon as you notice what’s happening. It could also be a sign that your loved one is struggling to manage the activities of daily living.
Personal Hygiene/Cluttered or Dirty Living Spaces
If personal hygiene starts to decline, your parent could be having issues they are embarrassed to bring up. For example, individuals who have trouble bathing or showering may feel embarrassed to ask for help and simply forgo necessary hygienic practices. Talk to your loved one if you suspect personal hygiene may be an issue but be tactful. It’s important to bring up issues of hygiene delicately as you don’t want to upset your aging loved one.
Similarly, a once clean living space that is now cluttered or dirty could be a sign that your parent is struggling with daily chores and may need assistance. If a parent is having trouble cleaning up after themselves, they could be at risk for bigger issues down the line, so it’s important to talk to them early about issues around the house.
The Waterford is here to help you find your perfect Lincoln, Nebraska assisted living facility. Our goal is for residents to maintain their independence while also receiving the quality, professional help they require. View our locations online or call us to schedule a visit if you or a loved one is considering assisted living.