If you think your senior parent might need to move to assisted living, it’s likely that you’re right. As many as 70% of Americans will need some form of assisted living in old age. But it’s understandable to want your parent to be able to live at home as long as possible. If you’re not sure if it’s time for assisted living, here are a few signs to look for.
5 Signs Your Aging Parent Might Need Assisted Living
1. Increased Difficulty Performing Everyday Tasks
The #1 sign that it’s time for assisted living is increased difficulty with everyday tasks. Assisted living is for older adults who are mostly independent, but may need some help with their activities of daily living (ADLs) like grooming, hygiene, eating, dressing, etc.
If your parent ever asks for help with these kinds of tasks or shows signs of having trouble with them (i.e. their hygiene isn’t good anymore or they never seem to get dressed), it’s probably time for assisted living.
2. Social Isolation
Social isolation is rampant among older adults. Many seniors live alone due to the death of a spouse or other life change. As the years pass, more friends inevitably pass on or move away, leaving them with few or no friends they can regularly spend time with. Although this is a common experience, it’s definitely a cause for concern, especially if your parent lives alone.
Older adults, especially those who live alone, are susceptible to loneliness and social isolation, which can lead to a range of serious physical and mental health conditions, including:
- Increased risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity
- A 50% increased risk of dementia
- A 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke
- Higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide
Your parent might be socially isolated if they:
- Seem to be lonely or talk about being lonely
- Show symptoms of depression, anxiety or another mental health condition
- Don’t have any friends or family members who live nearby or are unable to socialize due to mobility, financial or other issues
- Spend most of their time at home alone
If your parent is experiencing social isolation or a mental health concern, moving to an assisted living community can give them lots of opportunities to socialize, make new friends and be part of a community.
3. Health Decline or Increased Fragility
As your parent gets older, they have a higher likelihood of developing a chronic health condition like diabetes or heart disease. If they still live at home alone, they could have trouble caring for themself or getting to medical appointments.
It might be time for assisted living if your parent:
- Has a chronic condition or is at risk for one
- Has trouble managing their medications
- Is currently unable to get to medical appointments on their own
4. A Messy House
If you’ve noticed that your parent’s house has been messier than usual, it could be a sign that they need assisted living. Some older adults, especially those who have mobility issues, simply have trouble keeping up with all the housework. This usually isn’t a problem if it’s just a little extra mess, but if their home is truly dirty – unwashed dishes piled up in the sink, trash around the home, spoiled foods in the fridge or pantry, etc. – it can be a serious health risk. Clutter can also increase fall and injury risk.
5. Mismanaged Finances
Signs of financial problems include:
- Your parent talking about financial problems
- Your parent talking about business investments, sweepstakes they’ve entered or people they’ve met online. Seniors are often targeted for financial scams
- Piles of unpaid bills in the home
Assisted Living Means More Independence, Not Less
You might think that moving to assisted living means that your parent will have to say goodbye to their independence, but the opposite is actually true. When they have all their needs taken care of, they can focus on enjoying every moment of this special time of life.
In a vibrant community like Eagle Flats Village, your parent will meet new people, learn new things, share experiences with friends old and new alike and pursue new hobbies.
Our community provides:
- Spacious private apartments with kitchenettes and bay windows
- All utilities, including basic cable, included
- Housekeeping and laundry services
- Three home-cooked meals a day (plus snacks)
- A bustling social calendar
- Local transportation to medical appointments, shopping and more
- Assistance with ADLs
- Medication management
- And more
Ready to see why our residents love Eagle Flats Village?