Even though it isn’t always possible, most seniors would rather live at home with a home health nurse or other aid, rather than living in an assisted care facility. It’s a very difficult thing to decide whether your aging parents need to accept senior care outside the family home. Emotions can often be high around this decision, especially if you feel your parent needs help and they insist that they are fine and need no help at all.
There are a few signs that can help you determine when it’s time to talk to your loved one about specialized senior care and what that might look like. Many of these signs just happen as they grow older, but often these same signs can lead to injury and other issues if they are ignored.
Here are a few signs to help determine when you should consider senior care living:
• If you notice that the refrigerator is either empty of has food that is out of date.
• Unusual weight loss or weight gain that can’t be explained
• If you suspect falls, even if they’re minor. You may also notice bruising on various body parts
• If you notice personal hygiene has been neglected
• Laundry is stacked up or the same clothes are being worn for days
• Unable to responsibly manage medications
• Not keeping appointments with doctors
• Neglecting lawn care or other housekeeping tasks
• Behavior that you find odd and nothing makes sense
Choosing the Right Senior Care Facility for Your Parents
Before you talk to your parents about the idea of senior care, be sure to meet with the rest of the family so you can approach them as a united front. Get the input of everyone involved and make sure each person feels heard. If there are doubts about your loved one transitioning into a senior care facility, be sure to talk through them or it could cause the entire process to be derailed.
You should also talk with your parent’s physician. You may need to have your parent with you during this meeting unless they have signed an agreement that lets their doctor share their medical information with you. Ask if the symptoms you have noticed could be due to something such as a medication change or even a diagnosis you aren’t aware of.
Start the conversation with your elderly parent by telling them how much you love and care for them. Then explain how you have found some ideas that could make their life much easier and pleasant. Let them know that you don’t want them living closed up and alone all day in their home when they could be in a wonderful environment where they can see their friends, socialize, share meals together and even go on outings that would allow them to have a lot of fun.
To close, remind them that you aren’t forcing them to do anything and this decision is theirs to make. This will allow them to feel like they have control. Take them on tours of a few places and ask them what they liked and disliked about each place. Getting their input and what makes the feel safe is the best way to reach the decision together. Ultimately, you want your senior parent to know that your main goal is for them to be happy and healthy.
For more information on caring for your senior loved one in their home, your home or assisted living facility, contact us!