Do you have a senior-aged parent who is currently still living on their own but you’re beginning to question if that’s wise? It’s a situation that happens to millions of people across the country. Even if your parent is still in relatively good health it doesn’t mean that independent living is the ideal solution for them any longer. But how do you know the time is right to discuss a move to an assisted living home? It is often a very sensitive topic to bring up and you want to be sure you do it in the right way.
So, if you’re struggling with this very issue and unsure of how to proceed, here are some red flags that it could be time for your senior parent to make the move and some tips on how to go about it.
1. Your Parent Requires Assistance with Their Daily Routine
One of the most obvious red flags is that your parent now requires assistance with their daily routine. This means help with cooking, cleaning, getting dressed, grooming/bathing, and even mobility. Chances are you can’t be there every day offering them help.
2. Your Parent Has a Worsening Health Condition
Not every health condition warrants a move to assisted living, but if they have one that is affecting their mobility, physical health, or even their mental health – assisted living may be best. Sometimes what may seem like a temporary health issue or one that may not be a big deal worsens over time, so you need to be willing to adapt and be flexible.
3. Your Parent Feels Lonely
Here’s a red flag that you may not even notice, but it’s important to read the signs. If your senior parent has recently lost their partner or has been on their own for a while – loneliness can set in. With that can also come depression, which is a more serious matter. This isn’t the way most people picture their parents living out their golden years – sad, alone, and depressed – so assisted living can be a great option.
These facilities are known for their social, recreational, and physical activities. Your parent will become part of a community of other seniors, building friendships and dispelling any type of loneliness.
4. Your Parent Would Benefit from Stress-Free Living
Another thing that assisted living does well is relieving the stress your parent may currently feel. It can be a lot of work to maintain a house and if they are on their own and suffer from any sort of mobility issues, pain and inflammation (arthritis), and other issues – then it can be overwhelming. If they have outdoor space, their responsibilities increase significantly, adding to their stress.
5. Speak to Your Parent About How They Feel
If you are starting to question whether your parent should stay on their own, you must be honest with them and talk to them. Perhaps they share the same feelings but weren’t sure what to do about it. At the very least it opens the door to communication on the issue.
6. Take a Tour of an Assisted Living Facility
Part of making your parent feel more comfortable and informed in the decision-making process is to book a tour at an assisted living facility. These facilities aren’t like they were in the past, and many of them feel like an apartment or condominium complex filled with recreational activities, opportunities to socialize, and amenities that make daily routines and living much smoother and easier. Many of these places even allow and encourage residents to view their apartment as a blank slate so they can customize it and make it feel like a home.
Some of the features you may come across in these facilities can include:
- Individual temperature controls
- Private bathrooms
- Walk-in showers
- Large spaces to allow your parent to stretch out and feel comfortable
- Different floor plans to suit their needs
Established assisted living facilities such as McKnight Place senior apartments are usually happy to offer tours of the place as well as the grounds. This is a great way for your parent to see for themselves what life would be like, get a feel for the community and the residents, and figure out if it’s a good fit. It can instantly quell their fears, anxiety, and stress, and make for a much more pleasant experience moving forward.
If you do arrange a tour, be sure to create a list of questions that you and your parent want to ask. No question is too small and these facilities are used to chatting in-depth with family members and potential residents.
7. Assisted Living Can be a Wonderful Option
While some seniors do perfectly fine living on their own, many could benefit from some help and company. Learning which signs to watch for and having open discussions with your parent is the best plan.