WHEN IS THE right time to begin considering assisted living services for a mother or father?
Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to watch their parents grow older, but it can be difficult to see the people who took care of us for so long begin to struggle more in their own lives. Sometimes the signs of that struggle come on very gradually, so here are several to keep in mind.
1. Minor Damage Appearing on Their Vehicle or Garage
Driving can be a difficult topic with older relatives because it is an important component of their independence. What is the condition of the car they drive and the space they park it in? If you notice that their vehicle shows signs of fender benders or they begin making references to how they are “always getting lost,” there’s a good chance that driving is becoming a safety issue for Mom or Dad.
No matter what, safety needs to be the priority. We can’t always trust the way they explain their driving troubles. Even if they feel they have iron-clad reasons that minor driving incidents were not their fault, the frequency of them is what matters. You may also notice things like lane drifting or slower reaction times at stoplights when you ride as a passenger.
2. Listless Behavior
A loss of interest in hobbies once enjoyed or withdrawal from social activities (a much more prevalent problem during the pandemic) could mean your parent is struggling with depression. Social withdrawal can even bring depression on. You may not be equipped as a caregiver to provide the right level of care for a parent struggling with depression.
3. A Disappearing Bank Balance
One of the biggest target demographics for scammers and fraudsters is older adults. Keep an eye out for an increase in the number of checks they send to “charitable organizations,” the sudden appearance of a new best friend with lots of questionable financial advice, or mail arriving from mysterious brokerage firms.
4. Poor Medication Management
Take a peek into Mom and Dad’s medicine cabinet. Are the vials in disarray or the pills in the wrong containers? Many seniors take multiple medications a day, and managing all of them can become increasingly difficult the older they get.
5. Ridged Nails and Brittle or Dry Hair
Hair grays and thins as we age, but the condition of it can be an indicator of the quality of nutrition an older relative is getting. The same goes for fingernails. Our hair and nails are made up of proteins, and we get the building blocks for them from the food we eat. Unhealthy-looking hair and nails can be a sign that your mom is having a harder time feeding herself.
6. Loss of Appetite or Weight Loss
If your dad seems to be losing interest in eating foods he used to enjoy, malnutrition isn’t the only concern. Loss of appetite can also be a sign of depression, which can impair an older person’s ability to perform many of their daily tasks.
7. Increased Stress Levels — of the Caregiver
Stress and depression aren’t just a problem for the seniors themselves; they also affect a large proportion of caregivers. Is your anxiety over the safety and wellbeing of your loved one increasing? Do you worry about them? Do you feel this stress is starting to affect your health? This could be the most telling sign that it’s time to think about getting them more help from an assisted living community.
For Seniors in the Heber Area, Spring Gardens Assisted Living Can Help
The stress you and your loved one are experiencing doesn’t have to last. Our assisted living community provides access to the medical resources and care services. Residents enjoy great food and activities with their peers, and they no longer have to worry about errands or everyday chores. Follow this link to our business page to learn more or come by for a tour!