When trying to figure out if your parent can remain safely at home or it’s time for assisted living, there are several signs that you need to look for. You need to check your parent’s housing situation, what their medical needs are and the status of their health. Plus, sometimes the burden of caregiving becomes too much for the caregiver to bear. It can lead to exhaustion and illness of the caregiver; the caregiver can become worn down from supplying the needs of the elderly parent.
Signs to look for
Some of the signs that your parent may need to be moved into assisted living can be red flags. For instance, did your parent have a bad fall? With age, accidents do happen, but reoccurring accidents are something to look for. Or, perhaps, a chronic health condition that your parent may have and it’s worsening. If you aren’t capable of handling this increase of a medical condition, the assisted living may be the only option.
When you hug your parent, do you notice a weight loss or frailty? The weight loss could be from your parent not eating correctly or not remembering to eat at all. If you see the loved one is frailer, are they having difficulty getting out of a chair, or unbalanced when they walk or not walking steadily? Also, check their appearance if they look unkempt with stained clothing or wearing the same clothes for days at a time.
Another issue may be not dealing with money properly. Are there unpaid bills or shut off notices in the mail? Or perhaps, the mail isn’t opened at all and just lying in a scattered pile on the table. Do you notice letters from charities thanking for donations? If your parent is having memory problems, they may not remember donating once and donate again. Or, they could be a victim of a scammer who has managed to get money out of them.
Some other signs that assisted living may be the best option is what condition the kitchen is in. If you open the refrigerator, check to see if there is expired products or food which is stale. Check for sour milk or a significant amount of the same item, such as six mustards. This usually means your parent can’t remember how many they have at home from one store trip to the next.
Plus, look to see if there have been signs of a fire, such as the bottom of pots charred or burnt potholders. Check the knobs of the stove for charring or a discharged fire extinguisher. If you see a smoke detector taken apart, it may be because it keeps going off when food is burned. Be sure to ask what happened and why, accidents do happen, but if they’re consistent, there could be an issue.
Deciding to place your parent in an assisted living facility can be a difficult choice, but it may be the right one for your parent under certain circumstances.