How To Know When It's Time For Assisted Living

| Saturday, September 3, 2011
By Janine Sanderstine

It can be very difficult for everyone involved when it's time to make the decision to move a parent into assisted living.

Older adults find it especially hard to adjust to assisted living. After a lifetime of independence, the thought of leaving their home behind can lead to sadness and depression.

The children of aging parents also find it very difficult to make the decision in favor of assisted living for their parents. Many adult children see their parents as they were before. They may not be aware of the challenges their parents face each day just attending to their basic needs.

Many adult children continue to see their parents as strong and in control, just as they have been in the past. They are uncomfortable learning that their parents are struggling and cannot maintain the pace as they did in the past.

As adults age, they tire easily, and are unable to clean their homes, do laundry, shop and cook as they did in the past. They can often do any and all of these things if they pace themselves, but end up exhausted. The ability to make good decisions and to care for themselves often declines slowly. They are usually reluctant to confide in their children about the challenges they encounter.

Many seniors don't even know that assisted living is an option. They are familiar with nursing homes, and have always dreaded the time when they could no longer live in their own home and would have to move to a nursing home.

Adult children are often reluctant to admit that their parents need assistance on a daily basis. The fact that their parent has aged and need help with the activities of daily living is not easy for them to accept. The adult children often see their parent as they would like them to be rather than as the are.

It's an important decision and there are many things to consider. In order to determine if your parent is ready for assisted living, ask yourself the following questions: Are they wearing the same clothes every day? Have you noticed that their clothing is dirty or stained? Have they had falls recently? Have you noticed any bruises that might indicate one or more falls of which you were not aware? Is their home clean and sanitary? Is there food in the refrigerator that is spoiled? Is your parent able to manage their money and pay their bills appropriately? Do they know where there money is, how much they have and have some idea how long it will last? Can your parent understand his doctor's advise and is he able to follow that advise? Are medications being taken correctly? Are there expired medication in their home? In case of an emergency, such as a fire, would they be able to respond appropriately?

It may be time to consider assisted living if you answered yes to any of these questions. They will be able to maintain a great deal of the independence they have been accustomed to while enjoying the benefits of services that make their daily living enjoyable.Many elderly people are unable to make the necessary decision to move to assisted living. Their adult children have must make a decision that ensures their parents are properly cared for, comfortable, and secure.

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