When Is It Time To Consider Senior Living?


Your parents are not likely to call and say, “It’s time for me to move.” However, sometimes it is the best option to keep elderly or aging parents safe and healthy. Surprisingly, most seniors thrive and become more independent after a move into a senior living community because a lot of the stress of loneliness, cleaning, and cooking is gone. I would be glad to relate to you my own mother's experience!

Recommending that a parent consider a move to a retirement community is an uncomfortable conversation. Or may even become heated! Understand that there is no one specific sign that indicates your parent may be struggling. Sometimes you will “just know” and other times it helps to step back and evaluate. To determine if it's time for assisted living, or if your elderly parent can safely remain at home, you need to ask yourself these questions:

* Is your parent telling you that he/she is eating, but you're seeing food go bad in the refrigerator? Or is weight loss a concern?

* Is it evident they are falling? Do you notice bruises or an unstable walk or rising from a seated position?

* Are they taking their medications on time every day? Can they tell you which medications they take, the dosage and when? Are their medications filled on time every time?

* Is your parent clean when you go to visit? Can they bathe themselves without the fear of falling? Can they launder their own clothes?  

* When you look around the house or yard, is it tidy and clean? Are there chores they can no longer do? Are there piles of paperwork lying around?

* Are they able to operate kitchen appliances or yard equipment safely? Do they remember to turn appliances off when they are finished cooking?

* Do they have a plan in place to contact help in case of an emergency? Do they have grab bars where they are needed? Do they have an emergency pendant or a means to get help if they fall?

* Should they be driving? If not, do they have other means of transportation readily available to them seven days a week if necessary?

* Do they have visitors or are they isolated from others much of the time? Do they have conversations with peers that help them stay current with events?

Now it may help to think what your answers to this checklist might have been 6 months or a year ago. And then consider what the answer might be 6 months from now. An assessment like this is critical - it typically becomes harder for a senior to make a move, not easier, as they may become less resilient.

If you need assistance in assessing your unique situation, Senior Living Decisions can help. Contact us - serving seniors is our passion. 

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