How to Know When Your Parents Need an Assisted Living Facility
Nobody likes the idea of having to move into an assisted living situation, but as people get older it often becomes a necessity. Most people look up to their parents as they grow up, and the idea that they may one day not be able to live independently is difficult. Parents and their children may deny that any kind of assisted living is necessary, but this denial will only end up doing more harm than good in the long run.
If you have elderly parents, chances are that they will be able to live independently for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, chances are just as good that they will need some kind of assistance as they reach the ends of their lives.
Here are some signs that your parents might need some level of assisted living.
Changes in Weight
Weight changes can happen for a number of reasons. A person’s metabolism often changes as he or she gets older, so some weight loss or gain might occur even in the healthiest of people. However, extreme weight loss can also be an indicator that people are unable to leave the home to buy groceries or feed themselves. Weight gain and weight loss may also be an indicator of memory loss. Many elderly people simply forget to eat, or they might forget that they’ve already eaten recently and prepare another meal for themselves. Keep an eye on your parents’ weight; extreme changes could be an indicator that they need assisted living.
Poor hygiene may also be an indicator that an elderly person can no longer live independently. If you notice that your parents have developed really bad body odor, bad breath or that they are often wearing dirty clothes, it may be because they are unable to take care of themselves.
Falls and Mobility-Related Injuries
One of the biggest reasons why people need assisted living is because they are no longer as mobile as they once were. Many mobility issues can be solved by adding handrails, non-skid floors and other accommodations to the home, but if your parents are still suffering fall-related injuries it may be time to consider an assisted living facility.
Dementia is another major reason why people need to be checked into assisted living facilities. Obviously, not everybody will be aware of their own dementia or behavioral changes, so it’s up to you to pay close attention to your parents as they get older. If you notice some serious changes in mood or behavior, it might be time for some kind of intervention. If you can’t keep a close eye on your parents or their behavior, you might want to talk to those close to them. Ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve noticed any changes in their behavior that would be alarming. If things change too much, you should consider assisted living, especially if those behaviors cause them to become more confrontational or violent than they’ve been in the past.
Serious Financial Issues
Sudden and serious financial issues such as neglecting to pay bills or paying the same bill twice, participating in obvious scams and excessive gambling can also be signs that a parent needs assisted living. Forgetting to pay bills or paying bills twice could be a sign of memory loss, and excessive gambling and falling for scams is definitely a sign of poor judgment and a possible sign of dementia. While you don’t need to pry into your parents’ finances if there is no cause for alarm, you should keep close tabs on their money if you suspect they are suddenly being irresponsible with it.