Decision Guidance

What are the signs that indicate a need for assisted living? 

Change is never easy. However, there comes a time in some of our lives when it is necessary. Here are eight signs that transition into an assisted living may be drawing near.

  • Problems keeping up with household care or finances
  • Mobility issues or increased falls
  • Unable to manage or self-administer medication
  • Neglecting personal hygiene
  • Noticeable weight loss or poor nutritional intake
  • Changes in personality
  • Safety issues such as wandering
  • Social isolation

Tips on helping parents who don’t want help:

  • Plant the seed – Mention that there are options that could make their life easier and more fun. Reassure them that you are simply exploring options and planning for the future. You never want your parents to feel powerless in such a big decision that will directly impact their life.  Remember to be sensitive to your parent’s feelings. It is often very difficult for them to leave a home that holds so many memories. It can be very challenging for them to navigate through the emotions of leaving a home and losing what they feel is their independence.
  • Take a tour – Choose a few senior living communities to tour with your parents. Be mindful not to be pushing when extending your offer. If your parents are completely resistant, revisit the subject in a few days.
  • Watch for a “teachable” moment – Was there a recent fall that took place, but Mom or Dad escaped without injury? If so, use that as your platform to speak from: “Wow! That was a close one! Once you’re up feeling better, perhaps it would be wise to look into the senior community down the road. I think we’d both feeling better having more people around you.”
  • Friends are great company – Friendships are wonderful! And often, they ease the transition for many seniors, and help them as they adjust to the idea of moving. It is much more fun to move into a community where a great friendship has already been established. Do your parents have friends who are happily living within a senior community? Perhaps it is time to schedule a visit with them. Your parents will see firsthand how wonderful living in a senior community can be!
  • Join in on the fun – Many times, senior living communities will have their social calendars posted for public viewing. Even if they won’t know anyone, you can still take your parents to enjoy a party, watch a group having fun playing games, or enjoy the company of those who live there.
  • Carefree living –  Tell your parents that living in a senior community is like living on a cruise ship – meals are made, housekeeping and laundry are all taken care of, and entertainment is provided. They have worked hard all of their life, now it time to sit back and enjoy.