Six Clues That Senior Living Assistance is Needed

May 05, 2015

mother-and-adult-son-1At some point in our lives, all of us need to rely on someone else in order to ensure our survival. Aging parents, and the adult children who love them, may find it difficult to acknowledge this reality. If you are uncertain about whether your senior parent needs living assistance, here are six unavoidable clues that it’s time to make a proactive move.

Increasing care needs

Physical problems, also referred to as functional limitations, gain prevalence as the years progress. With these come an increasing inability to perform routine, critical daily activities such as cooking food and eating, bathing, dressing, and paying household and other expenses. A decrease in mental acuity, also known as cognitive limitations, may play a role in a senior parent’s ability to engage in these and other necessary activities as well.

Safety concerns

Worried about your senior parent’s ability to remain injury-free in or outside the home? Your concerns are understandable and valid. For seniors, falls are among the top threats to safety. Equally frightening are injuries resulting from residential fires. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the 65-and-older crowd is one of the top age categories at greater risk of sustaining fire-related injuries.

Dementia

Dementia sufferers are battling a brain disorder that produces alarming and progressive symptoms. The disease systematically robs them of their memories, ability to think or communicate clearly (if at all), or capacity to care for themselves. Dementia may also trigger mood swings and alter a patient’s personality and behavior.

Caregiver stress

Unsure about what constitutes stress? New or unrelenting illness, depression or feelings of hopelessness, and unexplained and/or increasing rage are a few signs of stress. Individuals who participated in a study titled “Evercare/National Alliance for Caregiving Study of Caregivers — What They Spend, What They Sacrifice,” revealed that they struggled with a host of problems, including difficulty sleeping (49 percent) and increased financial worries (43 percent).

Physical changes

Though hard to accept, aging can take a toll on the body. The changes that older adults may experience, even on a minimal level, are likely to trigger concerns about the need for living assistance. Challenges for seniors include:

  • Immediate memory, such as being able to identify objects by name
  • Auditory loss
  • Greater degree of frailty
  • Reduced sleep
  • Decreased appetite and level of energy

Isolation

If your parent’s social connections are dwindling, it may be necessary to discuss senior living assistance. Evidence of trouble include:

  • Diminished activity levels, such as abandoned hobbies and canceled club memberships
  • Dormant friendships, resulting from a lack, or absence, of outings with acquaintances or companions
  • Shut-in existence, fueled by your parent’s inability – or unwillingness – to leave the residence

If any of the above six signs are present, it’s likely the right time to pursue assisted living options for your beloved senior parent.

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