For the 40% of people over sixty-five who experience age-related memory impairment, occasional moments of forgetfulness are normal. If you’ve noticed your senior parent misplace an item that was just in their hand or forget what they were about to say from time to time, there is likely no reason to be concerned. However, when these moments occur more frequently, or if your parent is having difficulty taking care of himself and completing daily chores, it may be time to consider transitioning them into a senior living community.
If your parent is exhibiting any of the following behaviors, then living alone may no longer be the best or safest situation for them:
- Being physically or emotionally aggressive towards family members or caregivers.
- Spending most of the day alone at home and unable to get out and run errands or see friends.
- Living in an unkempt home or having difficulty tidying, cleaning, and keeping up with laundry.
- Disregarding major home repairs.
- Showing disinterest in cooking, grocery shopping, and forgetting to eat regular meals.
- Failing to pay bills on time.
- Neglecting personal hygiene or having difficulty using the bathroom on their own.
- Forgetting to take medications on schedule.
- Wandering away from home and getting confused about where they were going.
- Refusing to go to the doctor for scheduled appointments and routine exams.
- Health problems that are worsening and require more regular attention from professional caregivers.
- Experiencing frequent trips or falls.
Identifying that your parent can no longer live alone and realizing that they need caregiving beyond what you’re able to give is difficult. Thankfully, there are many resources available to assist you in the decision-making process. Involve your family members, your parent’s doctors, and financial advisors. Next, consider what to look for in a senior living community and the type of community that would best suit your parent. Finally, set up a time to tour the community of your choice, and be sure to ask lots of questions.
The change won’t be easy but will ultimately improve your loved one’s quality of life and put your mind at ease!