Should I Consider Assisted Living for My Parent?
Many people enter a stage in their lives when it’s time to make a decision about a parent or loved one. They may be retired and in pretty good shape, but it’s getting harder for them to manage the household. Cooking dinner and cleaning the house is just becoming too difficult. Maybe they can’t remember when to take your medicine. If your parent or loved one can get enough done on their own to avoid a skilled nursing environment, but is having trouble living independent, perhaps assisted living is worth discussing.
An assisted living facility (which I’ve heard a good friend describe to me as a “landlocked cruise ship” ) is a good choice if you need more personal care than you are getting at home, but you don’t need the round-the-clock care you would get at a nursing home. These facilities offer 24-hour support and access to care. They may be converted apartment complexes or converted homes. They may contain apartment-style living or shared rooms.
Some of the services you will typically find at an assisted living facility include:
If you are a caregiver, you may want to look for signs that a parent or loved one needs assisted living. Some of these signs may include a refrigerator filled with spoiled food (or it might even be empty), or weight loss. This could mean that shopping for and preparing food has become too difficult. Frequent bruises may be a sign of frequent falling and mobility or balance problems. If your loved one wears the same clothes over and over again, or neglects personal hygiene, doing laundry and bathing may have become too challenging. Additional signs could be a messy house, forgetfulness, signs of depression, or strange behavior like wearing inappropriate clothing for certain types of weather (does he or she try to wear a winter coat in the summer?).
Making a decision such as this is never easy. There are also a lot of financial and practical concerns where assisted living might not be the right choice, and it might be better to increase the supports available to a senior in their own home. A consultation with an experienced professional will usually make the answer much clearer. Pay close attention to what’s going on in your loved one’s daily life and decide what’s best for everyone involved.
Be sure to research what facility is best for you and please let me know if you need any advice.
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