The decision to transition to assisted living is rarely an easy one. It’s an emotional decision for everyone involved, which can sometimes cloud reason. Sometimes the signs will be obvious, like their physician recommends it. Barring that, here are a few signs that you should consider assisted living.
Take in the big picture.
Forgetfulness and small mishaps might be forgivable on their own, but cumulatively they might be an unmistakable sign that assisted living is necessary. Take note of the frequency and severity of episodes like forgetting to take medication, reduced mobility, falls or accidents, noticeable weight changes and general neglect of the home or personal grooming.
Chronic illnesses become unmanageable.
This is a decision that can be guided by their doctor. If your parent doesn’t have a physical coming up, you may have to reach out to their doctor for advice.
Frequent or serious lapses in judgement occur.
This can include many things, such as leaving the water running, the stove on, the doors unlocked all night or keeping/eating expired food.
Difficulty keeping up with bills is apparent.
You may notice overdue notices or phone calls about nonpayment. Alternatively, they may pay bills twice or donate to the same charity more than once in a short period of time.
Mood swings are evident.
People experiencing early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s are prone to quick bouts of anger and aggression. A noticeable change in demeanor of any kind is definitely a red flag.
Confusion and disorientation is present.
Changes in behavior might coincide with increased incidents of cognitive decline. Symptoms include becoming lost or disoriented in familiar surroundings, especially in the home; repeating stories and questions; changes in speech such as frequently laboring to find the desired words; and difficulty planning or organizing.
Depression and low energy is noticeable.
If your parent didn’t exhibit these signs when they were younger, this should be cause for concern. The same goes for if they have stopped doing activities or hobbies they once enjoyed.
Car damage is found.
Inquire about new dents and scratches. You should be especially concerned if they weren’t aware of them.
How to handle the transition
If you’ve resolved to transition your parent to assisted living, there are professionals that can help guide you through the process. The right guidance will make this lifestyle change easier for all involved.