As our loved ones age, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to take care of themselves. For many of us, this means having to make the difficult decision to move our parents out of their home and into an assisted living facility. We all know and agree moving your parents out of the home they know and love can be a tricky and emotional subject to navigate, but it is important to do what is best for our aging parents. If you see it’s becoming problematic to take care of themselves or their home, then it may be time to move them into a safer environment. It can be difficult to tell when you should begin pushing them to move into an independent senior living community, assisted living facility, or nursing home, especially if they do not think it is time. When senior adults are having trouble with activities of daily living, deciding whether they just need a little help around their house or they need to be moved can be difficult.
Here are some signs that it may be time for your elderly parents to move out of their home and into an assisted living community.
For many seniors, isolation is an issue that can lead to additional problems the longer it persists. According to the U.S. Census, over 11 million seniors live alone, and given a lack of mobility and other factors that hinder seniors, they can very easily isolate themselves. Isolation occurs when seniors stop participating in hobbies and social activities with family and friends and can be detrimental to their overall mental and physical health.
One of the biggest ways isolation is dangerous for seniors is that it can easily spiral into depression. When seniors feel a lack of community, they can become depressed. This depression can lead to more serious conditions like dementia and heart disease. Seniors who are isolated may also develop unhealthy habits to fill their time or due to a lack of motivation. They may begin drinking, smoking, mismanaging their medication, or unhealthy eating habits.
Isolated seniors also have a higher mortality rate, according to a study by Nature. Humans need to be social, and isolation can very quickly decrease an individual’s ability to live longer. If your parents live alone and have begun isolating themselves from friends and family, it may be a good idea to explore the possibility of moving them into a retirement community where they will be with other people.
As individuals get older, they naturally have more trouble completing daily tasks such as cleaning. This can be due to pain, reduced mobility, exhaustion, or lack of motivation. Clutter and uncleanliness are not only a sign that your parents are having trouble taking care of themselves, but it also puts their health and safety at risk. Dust, mold, over-expired foods, and more can be serious health risks, especially to a senior. Likewise, an increase in clutter around the house makes them more likely to fall down and become injured.
In some cases, your parents may vacuum less because it hurts them and the solution to this could be as simple as a housekeeper or help from the family. However, if your parent’s motivation to keep their home clean is declining, this could be a sign that they are ready to move into a senior community or nursing home.
Just as motivation to clean the home may decline, so can motivation to keep themselves clean. Signs like infrequently clean laundry, messy hair, dirty nails, and a bad odor can all be signs that your parents are having trouble keeping up with their personal hygiene. Nearly 80 percent of falls occur in the bathroom, especially during bathing, so your parents may be avoiding cleaning themselves because they are afraid to do it alone.
However, ignoring these important daily tasks can also be a sign of memory loss, confusion, and an overall lack of motivation. When seniors are not taking care of themselves properly, it can lead to greater health risks and susceptibility to illnesses. If your parents are avoiding bathing and other hygiene because they cannot remember or don’t care anymore, it can be a tell-tale sign they are ready to move out of their house and into assisted living.