How do you know it’s time for assisted living? Have you noticed your parents beginning to struggle with the tasks of daily living? Maybe their home isn’t as well kept as it used to be. Or the food in their refrigerator is often expired.
There are several signs that your loved ones could use a helping hand. The earlier they’re recognized, the sooner steps can be taken to ensure your parents are able to continue to live and age well.
If assistance is only needed with a few tasks, increased visits from family and friends or contracting for in-home care services may be enough. But if their daily needs are beginning to increase or if it’s becoming unsafe for them to live at home, your family may want to consider whether it might be time for assisted living.
A community can be the perfect solution for those who need daily assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming or managing their medication. Also provided are healthy and delicious meals, a wide variety of activities, fitness classes and social events.
Residents have their own private home and maintain their independence while being reassured that someone is there if help is ever needed.
Consider the following 5 indications that may signal your parents could benefit from the advantages of community life:
As your parents grow older it may become more of a challenge to plan, shop for and prepare meals. Preparing healthy meals requires time and effort that they may struggle to find.
Personal mobility issues, no longer driving or having limited access to transportation may make it harder to shop for groceries and necessities.
Signs to look for: your parents may lose or gain weight. Instead of healthy cooking, they may begin eating fast or processed foods, more snacks or even skipping meals altogether.
Your parents may begin finding it more difficult to manipulate buttons and zippers or keep their clothing in good repair. Getting into and out of a tub can become dangerous and frightening for those who are not steady on their feet and could easily lead to slips and falls. Grooming challenges can include not being able to comb their hair or shave.
Signs to look for: Clothes that aren’t buttoned properly or have buttons missing, not bathing as often as they once did or generally having an unkempt appearance.
As your parents grow older and the basic daily tasks become more difficult, keeping up with the mail is often one responsibility that they might ignore. They may not even open their bills if they’re worried about finances or are struggling to keep up to date with bank balances. As bills become late, they may become overwhelmed and not know what to do.
Signs to look for: Stacks of mail or bills that may be marked unpaid or past due on the envelopes. As time passes, the mail might no longer be opened.
Is their home clean, or are there piles of magazines, books, clothing or clutter beginning to accumulate? These signs can point to an inability to keep up with basic housekeeping.
If your parents are wearing clothes that are stained or wear the same clothes often, they may not be able to handle the laundry, climb any stairs if required or carry the loads to be washed.
Signs to look for: Wearing clothes that aren’t clean or haven’t been laundered recently. The house is becoming more cluttered including unwashed dishes in the sink and on counters.
Were your parents once active and looked forward to participating in activities with others? Were they committed to their faith community or looked forward to social events?
As we grow older, it can be more difficult to get to different activities or it may become easier to stay at home. But as the risk of becoming isolated rises, so do the risks to their physical and mental health.
Signs to look for: They stay at home more, are not socially active and no longer talk about friends or other interests. They may sound and appear lonely.
If you’re beginning to notice any of the above signs, it may be time to initiate a conversation about whether your parents could use additional care. Although it can be difficult, it’s important not to put it off or give in to the misguided hope that it will somehow get better on its own.
There are many resources available to help your family have successful and productive conversations when considering assisted living or other care options. The first step is to learn as much as you can about what is available and begin having discussions with your parents about what they’re experiencing and what type of help could be best.
If your family is considering assisted living, we hope you will visit one of our Ingleside communities. We believe you’ll find it’s even easier for your loved ones to live an enriched life when they take advantage of all the benefits we offer, including:
For information on Ingleside’s Westminster at Lake Ridge senior living community located in Lake Ridge, Virginia, please call (703) 420-7105 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.
For information on Ingleside at King Farm senior living community located in Rockville, Maryland, please call (240) 414-8557 with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.
For information on Ingleside at Rock Creek senior living community located in Washington, DC, please call (202) 846-2651with questions or to schedule a personalized tour today.