Moving into a senior-friendly independent living community is a big decision for adults in their golden years, so it’s important to ensure your aging parent is well prepared. But there are also signs you can look for that may indicate your elderly parent shouldn’t live alone. If you see these signs and think it’s time for a change, consider asking your parent if they’d be open to moving into senior living or considering one for themselves:
You Notice Food Rotting
If you notice food rotting, it’s definitely time to start thinking about moving your parent into assisted living. It’s a sign of neglect and poor hygiene, which can also be signs that your aging parent is no longer capable of caring for themselves.
Food left out on the counter or in the fridge for too long might indicate that your loved one has gotten too forgetful to remember when they put something away earlier in the day. Food left out in pantry cabinets could mean that your parent isn’t able to get up and down from their chair as easily as they used to, so they’re having trouble reaching shelves where food is stored properly.
You Notice Unopened Mail
If you notice mail piling up unopened, your parent may not be able to get to the mailbox.
If the mail doesn’t seem to be delivered, it’s a good sign that something is off with your parent’s ability to handle basic daily tasks.
If the mail isn’t being delivered to their house but instead is being left in their mailbox, door, or post office box (or if they don’t have one), that also indicates a lack of ability on your parent’s part.
Your Parent Looks Less Clean
If your parent is no longer bathing regularly, grooming themselves, or dressing, it could be a sign that they cannot take care of their hygiene anymore. Your parent may need you to help them get dressed, brush their teeth, and shave.
If your parent doesn’t have another person helping them with these tasks, it’s time to consider moving into assisted living.
Your Parent Looks Thinner And More Frail
If your parent is losing weight and muscle mass, you might notice a change in their appearance. They may look thinner or frailer. They may also be losing strength, which could make daily tasks like bathing or dressing more difficult for them. It could also mean that they are having trouble getting around on their own due to limited mobility from arthritis or other conditions that cause pain in their joints when walking around the house all day long without interruption by breaks at home (elderly people often feel better after sitting down and resting).
Forgot To Pay The Bills
If your parent is having trouble keeping track of their finances, they may not have enough money to pay next month’s bills. This can set off a cycle where they don’t pay their current bills on time and then get hit with late fees and penalties. They may also lose access to services like phones or the internet if they don’t make payments.
It can be tough for older adults to admit when they need help managing their money. But if you see signs that indicate your parent may have trouble paying their bills on time (or at all), encourage them to get in touch with someone who specializes in financial matters, such as an accountant or attorney who can help them figure out what’s going wrong and how best to fix it.
Your Parent Falls Down A Lot
You might not think your parent’s falls are significant, but they indicate a serious problem. Although falls are a normal part of aging and can occur to anyone, they’re often a symptom of a medical condition like arthritis or an underlying health issue that requires treatment. If your parent has fallen more than once in the past six months, it’s time to talk to their doctor.