Should a Parent Go into Assisted Living? How to Gauge How Necessary It Is – The roles begin to reverse between parents and kids as their parents get older. It’s difficult to watch them struggle, but as grown-up children, we do what we can.
However, how can you tell when the time has come to strongly urge them to move into an assisted living facility? In this article, we provide practical answers on how to gauge their level of need and when a move is necessary.
Lack of Social Contact
Everyone has a social circle that they rely upon for a shoulder to cry on, and the occasional ‘tough-love’ talk too. For elderly parents, this circle is one that regularly shrinks in size as many of their friends pass on.
While it can be saddening for them to experience this, it becomes all the more important to stay in touch with the friends who remain. After all, as much as their family loves and appreciates them, oftentimes, we live too far away to visit every weekend. So, their friends’ network matters for more regular contact and get-togethers.
When seeing that they’re no longer going out very often to meet friends and they’ve not been visited recently either, then that’s cause for concern. It doesn’t take long for them to feel lonely and alone at that point.
Housekeeping is Being Skipped
When visiting and discovering that the home hasn’t been cleaned in weeks, it’s unfortunate.
Rather than believing them to be lazy, get to the bottom of why this is. Most seniors care for their home and so there’s likely one or more reasons for the situation. It could be a run of poor health leaving them in bed much of the time, insufficient strength to push the vacuum around, or to access the difficult-to-reach spots.
Memory issues can create confusion over medication.
We’ve probably all had days where we cannot remember if we’ve already taken that vitamin pill or not. For a parent, if their short-term memory is starting to fail them, then this could result in medical errors. Either not taking their medication consistently enough or taking too much because they’ve forgotten they’ve taken it already, is common.
Use a pillbox to separate the medication for each day of the week. If you can get there weekly, this can be set up for the following week while you’re present. Otherwise, they will need the presence of mind to organize it correctly themselves. When they’re unable to, that’s a major problem.
When they’re not bathing often, the laundry isn’t getting done, and they’re struggling to eat properly, then their level of life management skills, personal care, and hygiene are declining. These are frequent areas where a parent may struggle and then need to accept that an assisted living facility might be a good idea for them.
Facilities like Bella Terra, an assisted living Jackson NJ center, have people to help with bathing, washing clothes, and cooking healthy meals for residents. There’s also a busy calendar of events where it’s possible to make new friends through organized group activities.
For sons and daughters of aging parents, it’s difficult to judge the best time to suggest a move to a facility that’ll better support their needs. Yet when they’re no longer able to manage their affairs, the decision is clear.
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